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HomeChinese Music and LyricsThe Untamed (OST) (陈情令, Chén Qíng Lìng) - 孤城 ~ lyrics +...

The Untamed (OST) (陈情令, Chén Qíng Lìng) – 孤城 ~ lyrics + English Translation

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孤城

男:霁月清风 萍水若 相逢一方
一颗救世初心共渡的向往
温柔相待 朝夕甜似糖
命运却 无情错放

女:终究戮村 出弑友 悲真相
肝肠寸断此生清偿
善恶摇晃 谁又深陷业障
爱滚烫 恨且冰凉

女:何惧行世上
这心慈眼盲夜荒凉
惟有谎却不可原谅 怎了却既往

男:怜悯却穿心
换星尘误落的宿命
得一句错不在你

女:霜华拂雪 双剑身负侠肠
留恻隐在梦里怅惘
如泣竹敲 从此生死枉
剩孤城 追忆无方

男:奈何缘字 太难写
合:又难续 从何来云淡而风轻
浩荡天地 现实荒唐执迷
听风悸 只好会意

合:何惧行世上
这心慈眼盲夜荒凉
惟有谎却不可原谅 怎了却既往
合:怜悯却穿心
换星尘误落的宿命
得一句错不在你
又何来 苏醒


English #1 – Lonely City

Bright moon, cool breeze1—a chance meeting in life’s river2
A heart that wished to save the world3 carried us forward, together
Interactions, warm and gentle—mornings and evenings sweet as candy
But fate, unfeeling and ruthless, misplaced us

In the end, villages slaughtered, friends murdered—grieving for the truth
Heartwrenching, heartbroken4—the debts of this life cleared away
Good and evil, quivering, shaking—who was it who fell deep into karmic sin?5
Love boils and burns—hate, though, is cold as ice

Why fear travelling through this world?
This kind heart, these blind eyes—the nights, desolate and cold
Only lies cannot be forgiven—how can we settle our past history?

Compassion and sympathy—yet, heart-pierced—
were exchanged only for Xingchen’s wrongly-fallen destiny
and the words: “the wrong did not lie with you.”6

Shuanghua, Fuxue, two swords—bodies bearing hero’s hearts7
Leaving behind empathy and compassion—in dreams, distress and despair
Like tear-stained bamboo striking ground—this life and death, in vain
Boarding this lonely city—chasing memories, without direction8

Why is the word “fate” so hard to write, and hard to sustain?9
Where do these light clouds and gentle winds come from?10
Heaven and earth is vast and mighty—reality, absurd and mistaken
Listening to the restlessness of the winds—one can only understand

Why fear travelling through this world?
This kind heart, these blind eyes—the nights, desolate and cold
Only lies cannot be forgiven—how can we settle our past history?
Compassion and sympathy—yet, heart-pierced—
were exchanged only for Xingchen’s wrongly fallen destiny
and the words: “the wrong did not lie with you.”

and yet why awaken?

1.Somehow, this is still not the precise combination of the chengyu associated with Xiao Xingchen. The chengyu 霁月清风 jiyue qingfeng / “bright moon, cool breeze” has connotations of peacefulness and tranquility, as well as beauty. A closely related chengyu, 霁月光风 jiyue guangfeng / “like a light breeze and clear moon” is specifically used to describe a person’s character, and contains valences of “open-hearted, tolerant.”
2.The chengyu 萍水相逢 pingshui xiangfeng means, literally, “to meet by chance, like patches of duckweed.” We’ve seen this literary metaphor before, in Wen Qing’s 疏林如有诉 Shulinruyousu. Gloss duplicated below: 水中萍 shuizhongping, literally “[duck]weed floating on water,” is often used to describe passerbys who have no connection to each other—they meet briefly, bump into each other, and then separate, without any lingering connections. It is likely a reference to the Song Dynasty poem 《阮郎归·风中柳絮水中萍》 by 王丛书 Wang Congshu, which begins with the lines, 风中柳絮水中萍。聚散两无情 / in the wind, willow catkins; in the water, floating duckweed. Meeting and separation—both, without feeling.
3.I couldn’t manage to work in an elegant translation of 初心 chuxin into the translation of this line; literally “beginning heart,” the concept of 初心 chuxin is quite similar to the concept of 原本 yuanben / “original intent” from Wen Ning’s character song 赤子 Chizi. Both gesture at the good (often idealized) intentions a person often has at the beginning of a particular journey. Whether or not a person can remain true to their “beginning heart” or “original intent” as they confront setbacks and gain power is a central concern of much of Chinese history and literature.
4.肝肠寸断 ganchang cunduan is a chengyu, that can be literally translated as “[to have one’s] liver and guts cut into inch-long pieces,” and is figuratively used to describe overwhelming grief or heartbreak.
5.The binome 业障 yezhang is a technical Buddhist term used to refer to acts that lead to spiritual/karmic retribution. Baidu-baike glosses the Sanskrit as “karmavarana.” Again, I am wary of working with technical Buddhist terms in translation due to my lack of knowledge; between 荒城渡 Huangchengdu and this song, the Yi City Arc appears to go all-in on Buddhist references.
6.These three lines deserve some detangling, I think, since I’ve been reading them as a single sentence that comes out somewhere along the lines of “all of Xiao Xingchen’s compassion for the world only got him a wrongly-fallen destiny and the verdict ‘you were not in the wrong.’” The idea, here, is that all of Xiao Xingchen’s good intentions earned him nothing more than a tragic ending (“wrongly-fallen destiny”) and acquittal from his guilt.
7.“Hero’s hearts” is an imprecise translation of 侠肠 xiachang, which might more literally be rendered as “heroic intestines.” Unlike English, the Chinese literary tradition considers internal organs aside from the heart to be symbolic and significant, and so the intestines, too, can be home to sorrow and grief, passion and sincerity, worries and anxieties, and is often paired with the heart (心肠 xinchang) to describe one’s heart, state of mind, or feelings.
8.无方 wufang (translated here as “without direction”) has multiple possible interpretations; in addition to “lacking direction,” it can also mean “lacking method,” “limitless,” or “unsuccessful.” I elected to translate it physically, since the line deploys a metaphor of travel—“boarding” the city, as if it were a ferry or a train, but lacking particular direction to travel in while chasing memories.
9.This line utilizes some truly lovely layers of metaphor; once again, we’ve run into the character 缘 yuan, which you might recognize from 清河诀 Qinghejue. Generally speaking, it means “fate,” but specifically the kind of predestined fate between two people who will leave deep impressions on each other’s lives. The lyrics, here, play on the metaphor that fate is a character that is difficult to write, and also difficult to sustain over long periods of time.
10.云淡风轻 yundan fengqing is a chengyu that literally translates as “the clouds are bland and washed out; the wind is light and gentle.” It is used to describe both nice, mild weather, as well as the personality/interiority of nice, mild people.

Submitted by absolutelsewhere

孤城 Gucheng is the thirteenth song on the CQL companion album, and is sung by Sun Bolun and Chen Zhuoxuan for the Yi City Arc, likely as the voices of Song Lan and A-Qing, respectively.

The title of this song does not necessarily evoke any literary references, though it is a binome that appears briefly in one of the more famous Tang poems, 《凉州词二首·其一》 by 王之涣 Wang Zhihuan. This 七言绝句 qiyan jueju / seven-character quatrain is a 边塞 biansai / frontier poem, describing the wildness, loneliness, and emptiness of the lands on the western edge of empire. It is most well-known for its last line: 春风不度玉门关 / the winds of spring do not cross Yu Pass.

The poem is vast in its scope, from 黄河远上白云间 / The Yellow River ascends into the midst of white clouds; simultaneously, the landscape it paints is desolate and lonely, harsh and austere: 一片孤城万仞山 / a spread of lonely city—ten thousand bladed peaks. Given that much of the tragedy of Yi City occurred precisely because it was so isolated, remote, and lost, the poetic resonances of 《凉州词二首·其一》 can be easily read into the song.


English #2 – Lonely City

Man:
Under a clear moon and a light breeze, we met by chance at that place like drifting duckweed
Longing to remain true to the original aspiration of bringing salvation to people
Treating each other with kindness, the days together are sweet like candy
But fate is cruelly misplaced

Woman:
Ultimately slaughtering the whole village and discovering the despairing truth of killing his dearest friend
Overwhelmed by grief, he repaid his deeds with his life
Swaying between good and evil, who is deeply entrapped in karmic debt?
Love is scorching and hate is icy

Woman:
Why be afraid of roaming in this world?
Having him with kind heart and blind eye in this desolate night
Only lies cannot be forgiven; how can the past be forgotten?

Man:
His kindness pierced his heart
Leading to the mistaken end of Xingchen’s destiny
He received the words, “Everything is not your fault”

Woman:
The swords Shuanghua and Fuxue signify their owners’ chivalry
Leaving pity and wistfulness in my dreams
Bamboo tapping on the ground as if crying; life or death no longer matters
Only the lonely city is left for me to reminisce forever

Both:
After all, the word “serendipity” is too hard to write and hard to continue
How can anyone pretend as if nothing occurred?
The world is wide; reality is absurd and obsessed
Listen to the blowing of the wind; only this can be understood

Both:
Why be afraid of roaming in this world?
Having him with kind heart and blind eye in this desolate night
Only lies cannot be forgiven; how can the past be forgotten?
His kindness pierced his heart
Leading to the mistaken end of Xingchen’s destiny
He received the words, “Everything is not your fault”
Why would he reawake?

Submitted by shiromori

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