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Sunday, April 09, 2017

Mo Li Hua 茉莉花 Trump's Grandchild's Diplomacy

Little Arabella's diplomacy with two Presidents.


The Diplomatic Coup

It is a diplomatic coup and it only took a little child to sing a popular melody, which is already a pop folk classic.

When President Donald Trump welcomed President Xi Jinping to the US for their first meet in April 2017, the powerful pair, together with their wives and Mr Trump's family, were entertained to a rendition of Moh Li Hua (茉莉花)  , a Chinese classic that dates back to the 18th Century.

Already with the poise and personality of her famous mother, five year old Arabella Kushner,  Ivanka Trump's daughter, serenaded the group with more tact and gracefulness that her grand dad could ever do with his Twitter quips.
Mo Li Hua (Jasmine Flower) sung by Cai Qin: The song is one of the anthems of Chinese Pops: Video from Mehdi Benhenia.

The Song

Mo Li Hua or Jasmine Flower, another favourite song of my mother,'s (where I learnt most of my Chinese songs from) has been on the Chinese Hit Parade list for decades and known not only in China but all over the world. 

Covered by many artistes internationally, the song carried its worth when Westerners heard it as part of Pucini's famous opera, Turandot (1928), covered by Kenny G, loved by Jiang Zemin and has been performed in many opening ceremonies including the Beijing Summer Olympics in 2008. 

Lately Celine Dione learnt to sing it and there are many recordings both on You Tube, on ring tones, mp3s, CD's and other media.

A historic moment don't you think? A Chinese folk classic sung by a little American girl during the first meet of two great country heads.
The jasmine flower or mo li hua has about 200 species, grown for its fragrance.

Image: from The Star Online and Google.
Video: Mehdi Benhenia.

12 comments:

Thimbuktu said...

好一朵茉莉花,
好一朵茉莉花,
满园花开香也香不过她,
我有心采一朵戴,
又怕看花的人儿骂。
好一朵茉莉花,
好一朵茉莉花,
茉莉花开雪也白不过她,
我有心采一朵戴,
又怕旁人笑话。
好一朵茉莉花,
好一朵茉莉花,
满园花开比也比不过她,
我有心采一朵戴,
又怕来年不发芽。
近些年流传甚广的歌词为:

好一朵美丽的茉莉花
好一朵美丽的茉莉花
芬芳美丽满枝桠
又香又白人人夸
让我来将你摘下
送给别人家
茉莉花呀茉莉花

明清的版本 :

好一朵茉莉花,
好一朵茉莉花,
满园花草也香不过它,
奴有心采一朵戴,
又怕来年不发芽;
好一朵金银花,
好一朵金银花,
金银花开好比钩儿芽,
奴有心采一朵戴,
看花的人儿要将奴骂;
好一朵玫瑰花,
好一朵玫瑰花,
玫瑰花开碗呀碗口大,
奴有心采一朵戴,
又怕刺儿把手扎

What a good jasmine,
What a good jasmine,
A full garden of fragrant flowers and fragrance better than her,
I have a heart to wear,
Afraid of people who see flowers to scold,
Good a jasmine,
Good a jasmine,
Jasmine snow is also white, but her,
I have a heart to wear,
Afraid of others to laugh.
Good a jasmine,
Good a jasmine,
Full of garden than than her,
I have a heart to wear,
Afraid of the next year does not bloom.

In recent years the widely circulated lyrics are:

What a beautiful Jasmine Flower
What a beautiful Jasmine Flower
Fragrant beauty full of branches
About incense and whiteness everyone praise
Let me take you off
To someone else's home
Jasmine Flower, Jasmine Flower

Ming Qing versions:

Good a jasmine,
Good a jasmine,
Full of garden flowers are fragrant but it,
Slaves have a heart to wear a wear,
Afraid of the next year does not bloom;
A good honeysuckle,
A good honeysuckle,
Honeysuckle is better than buds,
Slaves have a heart to wear,
The flower of the child to be slavery;
Good a rose,
Good a rose,
Rose bowl open,big bowl open,
Slaves have a heart to wear,
Afraid of thorns to poke the hand.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thanks so much James. Appreciate both your versions, translated.

BARRY HUNTER (ENGLAND) said...

Never under estimate the power of children!

anon said...

Just another fake show by the fake US President.

PATRICK CHAN (BAND LEADER, LEAD GUITARIST 'THE PATRICIANS') said...

Even John Denver sang this song when he performed in China.

MAGENA DRAGON YOU TUBER said...

I went to China for a second time last year and learnt this song. I love how it sounds and also love that I can sing it word for word :D

RAMONA MCKEAN YOU TUBER said...

I love this Chinese song! Such a friendly, light, elegant performance by Cai Qin. :-)

Alexander S (You Tuber) said...

Comment on the Celine Dion and Song Zuying version:

Actually Song Zuying blows Celine off the stage. It's almost funny how terrible Celine sounds compared to Song's.

Celine's voice is so raspy it sounds she's already damaged her vocal cords. Song's voice is so pure. I think Celine is way overrated. Sarah Brightman and Song Zuying would be a better match.

Eng Hwa Koh Joey said...

Music is the universal language of mankind. It is really a good mean to bridge the relationship of people of all over the world from different cultures and backgrounds.

Applaud President Donald Trump's grand-daughter for stepping forward to bridge the gap between China and USA with her singing the popular Chinese National song callled "Jasmine" or Mo Li Hua in Mandarin.

At least for once, personally I think US government is doing the right thing by the new President of USA.

Hope this first summit meeting between DT and Xi will lead the world to Peace and Prosperity for many more years to come.

God Bless America and China!

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thanks to all who wrote in to cheer the meeting and more importantly to recognise the song. This blog is after all a music one with no political bias.

I have an affinity to this Chinese folk and many other ones because I learnt them as a young person, my mother being the lady behind the scene.

It was with a PYE radio when the family listens in to the programs from all over the world. This was after WW2 and in the early 50's when Shanghai divas, Xavier Cugat, Abbe Lane, Harry James, Benny Goodman and the big bands were the in thing.

Cliff Richard, his Shadows, Mick Jagger and others were still learning from Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters about rock n roll and the blues. :-)

In between songs, I heard Mo Li Hua. And the flower is so sweet smelling. Especially when we moved to the East Coast area and mother had this beautifully nice plant in the corner of our garden.

FACEBOOK ANDY said...

THANKS FOR LIKING POST
James Seah
Philip Chew
Tony Ng
Rose Khoo
John Cher
Doreen Evans
Anne Rowena Lim
Foo Jong Fook

DOREEN EVANS FACEBOOK said...

Listened. It is sweet and of course familiar.