image: traditional Tujia brocade

Play All)Songs and sayings: Antiphonal Singing

These two songs were performed one after the other. The first, a song of welcome, was sung to welcome us to the area, and should be antiphonal, but we were unable to respond in kind! The second song is more typical. Such singing is often impromptu, after eating and drinking together. The format is that of a friendly competition, with each singer trying to leave the other lost for words. In this example, after agreeing that current living standards are much higher, singer B tries to portray (in jest) singer A, who is from a wealthier background, as a typical oppressive landlord. Singer A retorts by singing that he is nothing of the kind, and that the only reason other people farm his land is his increasing age!


6.1.1: A Song of Welcome
6.1.2: Duologue between a Landlord and a Peasant

6.1.1: A Song of Welcome

Peng Jizhen, Dianfang Township, Longshan County
recorded on 18 July 2002

01 nga2-nie3 cu1-nie3 bu1cuo3 ang2 ge3 ye4 you, nga2 se2 la4ku1tu3 a3-bu1ce3.
As our guests you have come to our home, but we didn't even meet you at the roadside.
02 nga2 me lei4 me se2 da4ha3 me da4ha3 hhi2 yo, nga2 lei4 mo3 se2 you reng2-duo3-lie3.
Today we can spend time together; I only got to know you today.
03 nga2 long3bei3 me lu2 si3 ta2ci1-lie3 you, me qi3mo1 se2 you you2 li3 le?
I am over sixty this year, how should I speak to you?
04 jing1 li3-nie3 ji1hui1 be2 hang2la3 tao2 yo, nga2 bu2si1 me da4ha3 ba4-i-ta1 yo.
We won't have an opportunity to talk like this again, otherwise I wouldn't have come to see you now.
05 se2 ku4 mo3 ku4 mo3 ang2 ge3 ye4 you o, ku1ca4 huan4-alie3 hhi2-lie3 ge3.
You have had a hard journey coming here, you came over the mountains to get here.
06 hu3pa3 a2-lie3 me ge3du1-cai3, gai2 ku4-nie3-xi2 nga2duo3 me3-lie1 die2.
You had a hard river crossing to get here, I will never forget this.

6.1.2: Duologue between a Landlord and a Peasant

Peng Jizhen & Gong Pingqing, Dianfang Township, Longshan County
recorded on 18 July 2002

01 A: nga2 gai2 si3jie3 yo da4 huan1xian1 tiao4 mo3 ba you, nga2 wai2wai1 ni2 jian1 qi3mo1 la? nga2 dao2di1 me kei3du1-cai3-bo3 gao1-i, ni2 lai4 nga2 luo3 mo3 ni2 la1 ba4 ba4.
A: Let's talk together now. What do you have to say, nephew? Where should I go? You are scolding me like this, think about it!
02 B: nga2 me zeng1di1 you bi2zi1ka3, nga2 sa3li3 cang2guo1 ya bi2zi1sa3. qian3 kao2 me dang1-nie3 zeng2ce3 ca2 a, lei4 da4 tai3 ga3 cang2guo1-la1.
B: I'm really and truly Tujia. I use Tujia whenever when I speak or sing. Thanks to the Party's good policies, today we can sing together here.
03 A: nga2 ni2 be2 me3-lie1 hang2 die2-la1 you, nga2 be2 me3-lie1 huan1xi4 la. ang2ni1 la2 nie1 hi4lie3 me you wu2 ka4 ou, gai2 da4ze3 ling1tao2 peng2duo1-da2.
A: I know that you think the same way, I feel happy too. All day we look after the cattle as they graze, with no chance to meet with such leaders [visitors].
04 B: qian3 kao2 dang1-nie3 zeng2ce3 ca2, ce1zi1 kai1-lie3 ku1ca4 ga3. hu2ni1 me da4ha3 nie4 cai2 ka1, dang1-nie3 qing3yi2 ta4 si1ma3.
B: Thanks to the Party's good policies, vehicles can now get through to our mountains. We can live happily together, let's not forget the Party's many kindnesses.
05 A: ang2ni1 bi2zi1ka3 you me bi2zi1sa3 you, me bi2zi1sa3 be2 ta4 si1ma3. nga2 jiu1 jian1 mu2la1 nie4ka1 ca2 you, qian3 kao2 me ling1xiu2, guo2 die3 ca2.
A: We are Tujia, we speak Tujia, so don't you forget to speak Tujia! I'm saying how good our lives are now, thanks to our excellent leaders.
06 B: qian3 kao2 dang1-nie3 zeng2ce3 ca2, hu2ni1 da4ha3 nie4 cai2 ka1. ni2 la4 hhi2 ce3 du1 gai1jie3-liao3, hu2ni1 dian2deng1 lian2 hua1hua1.
B: Thanks to the Party's policies, we can all live happily together. There are now roads and piped water, there are electric lights in every household.
07 A: ang2 da4 da3bie1 ai1 si3jie3 die2 mo3 ba you, dian2huan3 cang3gang4 jiu1 you hu4ca3. nga2 cong3lai3 ce1zi1 duo3 yi3-bo3-da2 you, lang3cei1 song1kuo1 jiu1 tie4tie3 za4.
A: Let's think back to the former times, when we had to walk to market in Dianfang. I had never seen a car, and in the evening I had to carry a lamp when I came back.
08 B: yi1wan1 nga2 be2 you die2-bo3-la1, cuo3xie2 tai2 me you ji3ku3 ha3. cang3gang4 jie2ri1 du1 ji3ku3 da2 you, ji3 ga3ha2 me you pao2zi1 la3.
B: I can remember not having any shoes to wear; we had to make straw sandals. When we went to market or worked in the fields, we had to wear straw sandals. We got blisters on the soles of our feet.
09 A: nga2 mu2la1 me ai1 si3jie3 da4ze3-da2 you, me ji3 ga3 me lian3hai3 da2-bo3-la1. sa4-la1-hu3 me ji3 ga3 me pi3hai3 da2 you, me cong3lai3 sa4-da2 me you a3-ta1.
A: Now things are different for me, on my feet are proper sandals. When it gets cold I wear leather shoes, but if it isn't cold I won't wear them.
10 B: eng1di1 me qian3 kao2 zeng2ce3 ca2 o, mu2la1 hu2ni1 me nie4 cai2 ka1. nga2 hui3yi2 nga2 yi1qian3 bi2cei1-zu2, a1di1 ku4ri3 si1ma3-da2.
B: This is all thanks to good policies, nowadays life is good for everyone. I remember when I was small, how can I forget such bitter days.
11 A: nga2 bi2cei1-zu2-nie3 a3nie1 a3ba1 you, nga2 be2 me3-lie1 die2-bo3-la1. nga2 ku3 me ca1ca1ku3 lao4 da2, se3gu3li1 duo3 yi2si1 wo4ta3 la2.
A: I remember well my parents when I was small. My trousers were split-crotch trousers that babies wear, with my bottom sticking out.
12 B: ni2 nga2 be2 nian3ji3 hang2 ri3-da2 you, yi1wan1 me ang2 nie1 hu3 bai4 li3-ta1. nga2 mu2la1 me ni2 dang1-nie3 zeng2ce3 ca2, ni2 nga2 be2 biu2 da4 nie4 cai2 ka1.
B: You are not much older than I am, let's not talk anymore about those days. Now the Party's policies are good, I live happily in my daughter's home.
13 A: nga2 ai1 si3jie3 mu2la1 da4ze3-da2 you, me2 ga3-ta1 sa4-da2 you a1-da2 ou. nga2 ku3 si1ba1 yi2si1 duo3 da2-ci3 xie2, nga2 si1li1 mang1mang1 a cang3si2 ga2.
A: Things were different then, now we don't suffer drought or cold, nor are we hungry. We all have clothes to wear, and we eat rice regularly.
14 B: hei yi1wan1 nga2 be2 jiu1 sui2 ba1 you, di2zu1 duo3 mu2la1 da4ze3-dao2. a1di1 xie2ma1 me me2zi1 bao1gu1 ga2 you, mu2la1 qiong3-ma1 duo3 bao1gu1 be2 ga2-da2.
B: Ah! When I was about one, the landlords were very different from now. In the past, even the rich had to eat wheat and maize; nowadays even poor people don't need to eat maize.
15 A: ni2 ya jiu1 nga2 ya3-lie3 nga2 ga3ha2 you, me ang2 cu1 me zeng1di1 di2zu1-ka3. a3nie1 a3ba1 me zang4 you2 zang4, yan1si1 la2-lie3 pe2ti1 zao3.
A: When you see me, you say that my life is better than yours and that I'm truly a landlord. My parents were both very thrifty, they locked the house [hiding the key] and went to work in their fields.
16 B: ang2 da4 eng1ge1 li3-nie3-xi2 be2 si2hua1, ang2ni1 wan1tian3 a1di1 di2zu1-ka3. guo2 da2-xi2 be2 ca1huo4 you, ga2-xi2 me ca2 suo1 nie1 ping3huo3 la2 mong2 ha3.
B: Everything I've told you is true, we used to be landlords. He didn't dress well, but he ate well and had a feast once every three days.
17 A: nga2-nie3 si2hua1 ni2 bo3 la2 you, me qing3kuan2 me li3-xi2 hang2 ze3-da2. a1di1 bu1cuo3 hhi2-lu3 me si3 lao4 bang2 a, bu1cuo3 hhi2-da2 me si3 yi3-da2.
A: I'm speaking the truth to you, things weren't as good as you said. We only had meat when visitors came, if there were no guests we would not eat meat.
18 B: ang a1di1 li3-xi2 zeng1di1hua1, zang4-nie3-xi2 me xie2ma1ka3! ang2 qiong3-ma1 guo2 guo2 me you2 hu3ri1 ei, zeng1di1 si3 duo3 da4 yi3-da2!
B: Ah! I'm telling the truth, you penny-pinching rich folk! All of us poor folk had to work; we wanted meat but never saw any!
19 A: ni2 ga2-da2, me nga2 ga2-da2 you, ga2-zu2 me yi2si1 ta2ku1 ga3. cong3lai3 be2 tuo2ni1 you2 gao1-da2, nga2duo3 luo2bu1 ye1 ba4-bo3-la1.
A: When you didn't eat meat, neither did I; when we ate, we did so from a common pot. In the past we didn't cook any other food, I saw it with my own eyes.
20 B: ai1 me a1di1 nie4 me nga2 me ka1-bo3-da2 yo, ying1wei3 ai1 si3jie3 nga2 bi2cei1-lang2. zi2you1 a3nie1 a3ba1 li3-xi2 xi4 le, qi2kui1 le ang2ni1 le qiong3ma1ka3.
B: Those were terrible days, because I was still only small. All I could do was obey my parents, all of us poor folk got the worst of it.
21 A: di2zu1-nie3 qing3 luo4 me ngeng2 da4ze3-da2 you, ai1ta1 me nga2 qing3mo1 di2zu1-ka3? nga2 se3ke1 pe2ti1 me ga4 [ke3] xie2 yo, nga2 ri1-hi1ce1 me se2 qing4.
A: The descendants of landlords are indeed different, otherwise how could I be a landlord now? I have several fields of my own, they are too much for me to work myself so I ask others to help.
22 B: ni2-nie3 a1di1 li3-xi2 zeng1di1hua1 yo, nga2 be2 li3-xi2 be2 xi4-la1. xie2ma1 me, guo2 ngeng2 da4 qiong3ma1 qing4, me suo1yi1 le guo2 cu1 nie4ka1 ca2.
B: You are telling the truth; I've also heard people say that. Rich folk always hire poor folk to do their work, so that they can live comfortably themselves.
23 A: ai1di1 bang2hua1 tai2-lie3, me hu3 qing4 la you, po3pa1cei1 lao4-alie3, lu2 si3 ba2. nga2 me ai1 si3jie3 si3 lai1 sui2 ei, nga2 guo2 me tie2ba1 ri1-duo3-da2.
A: I can't help it, I have to get others to work my land. I'm getting old now, I'm already sixty-eight. Back then when I was ten or so, I hadn't done any heavy work.
24 B: ni2 a1di1 li3-xi2 zeng1di1hua1 o, la2 nie1 hi4lie3 ni2 ci1ci1 ba4. suo1yi1 ni2 qie3pa2 me ri1-ci1hhe1 ei, heng1duo1-nie3 dao2li1-nie3 ni2 ri1-da2.
B: What you say is true, you spent all day studying. So you don't know how to farm, there are a great many things you don't know how to do.
25 A: nga2 me ni2 bo3 si2hua1 la2 yo, nga2-nie3 a3nie1 me zeng1di1 xie1qi1 ca2. guo2 me qie3pa2 tao1tao1 su2, nga2 be2 guo2 ta1nie1 dang1guo3-la1.
A: I'm telling you the truth, my mother was very strong. She knew all about farming, and I learnt by following her.
26 B: ni2 bi2kui1-zu2 me nie4ka1 ca2 o, ni2 mu2la1 be2 wan1nian3 nie4 be2 ca2. ni2 re4 ca2 le bi2 le ca2 o, la2 mong2 hi4lie3 re2 si3 you2 ni2 duan2-da2.
B: You had a good time when you were small; life is also good for you now, when you are old. Your children and grandchildren are happy, you have meat and wine at every meal.
27 A: nga2 be2 me mu2la1 you me lu2 si3-liao3 ba2 you, hua1jia1 ngao2-alie3 he2ri3ba3! nga2 li3-lu3 me zeng1di1 nga2 ming2 ca2 you, re4bi2-die1 duo3 wo4ta3 gong1hu1 ha3.
A: I'm already sixty-eight, I'm no longer a young man! It seems I have been very lucky, my grandchildren have all gone off to work.
28 B: mu2la1 ai1di1 zeng2ce3 you2 kai1huan2, ni2 me zeng1di1 you2 ming2 ca2! ni2 la2 nie1 hi4lie3 wu2 la1 ka4 yo, bie2di1 xian3si2 ni2 guan1-ta1.
B: Nowadays things are opening up everywhere, you really are lucky! You look after your cow every day, and don't need to do anything else.
29 A: ai1me1, mu2la1 nga2 be2 me3 die2-la1 you, gao1-de1xi3 me nga2 ba4-ta1 mang. qie4 gao1-de1 me qie1xie3 gao1, zi4 bo3 ye3 luo2-lie3, me wu2 la1 ka4 yo.
A: Well, now I have to bear in mind, what my children and grandchildren can do, they won't let me do. I do what I can, cooking food for the pig, looking after the cow.
30 B: ang2ni1 me nie1 hu3 me jing1 ta4 cang2, a1di1 lao4 su1ji1 me ru3-bo3-la1. ni2 lian1-di yi2jian1 you2 qing3mo1 la1 li3 me? ang2duo3 da4 xiu1xi3 ba.
B: The two of us have sung enough, that retired Party Secretary has been listening to us. What do you to have to say? Let's have a break now.
31 A: nga2 jing1zao1 li3 me hang3 hua1 you, ang2 da4 me xiu1-alie3 suai4 mo3 la2. ni2 be2 nga2 zi1ge1 me you2 ong3-bo3 o, ni2 guo2 lu3ying1ji1 ni2 nga2 ta4 ba4-bo3!
A: What we've said today is just off the top of our heads; we are going to have a rest now, don't take our words to heart. There you are sitting in front of us, don't point your cassette recorder at me any more!






Copyright (C) 2004 Philip & Cecilia Brassett