Cui Jian's Greenhouse Girl (花房姑娘)

Last year, I took part in the Chinese Bridge competition, which is a Chinese Proficiency competition for foreigners. My Chinese was a bit bad back then, but part of the competition included a "culture" section. You could do anything Chinese really. Sing a song, say a poem, tell a story, do calligraphy or dancing whatever. I decided early on I'd sing a song.

I didn't know any Chinese songs back then, so I Googled quite a lot to find a suitable song. I was looking for a nice acoustic tune so that I could play it on guitar. I then found 崔健's 花房姑娘. Translated as Greenhouse Girl, I immediately fell in love with this song. I got the tabs for the song and furiously went to learning it.

It took me quite some time to get the lyrics memorized, which I did completely wrong by the way. I learned the syllables and not what the lyrics actually meant. Which meant that I got extremely frustrated in learning the song. Nevertheless I managed to learn most of the lines before the competition. Along with my guitar I did a solid performance. Although my speech and test (other parts of the competition) didn't go so well, I didn't win anything. But that is fine with me, I had a wonderful time and learned a brilliant song.

Little did I know that a year later my girlfriend would come to me saying that they are learning a song in Chinese (she just finished her first year in Chinese, same University). I was intrigued and she said something about a girl and flowers. My instincts proved right when I looked at the lyrics. This song has now become a song that embodies my Chinese learning experience and something that I share with my girlfriend. Incidentally her Chinese name is 白花 and her real life name is Saffron. She is indeed my 花房姑娘.

I keep listening to this song, even though I haven't listened to much other songs of 崔健. 一无所有 is also another great song of his. I'm going to try and learn to play 花房姑娘 again and maybe I'll upload a cover song (翻唱) on Youtube. Here are the lyrics and a Youtube video of a live performance. Enjoy!

崔健 - 花房姑娘




wǒ dúzì zǒu guò nǐ shēn páng, bìng méiyǒu huà yào duì nǐ jiǎng,
wǒ bù gǎn táitóu kàn zhe nǐ de, o ......liǎn páng.
nǐ wèn wǒ yào qù xiàng héfāng, wǒ zhǐzháodàhǎi de fāngxiàng,
nǐ de jīngqí xiàng shì gěi wǒ, o ......zànyáng.

nǐ dài wǒ zǒujìn nǐ de huāfáng, wǒ wúfǎ táotuō huā de mí xiāng,
wǒ bùzhībùjué wàng jì le, o ......fāngxiàng,
nǐ shuō wǒ shìshàng zuì jiānqiáng, wǒ shuō nǐ shìshàng zuì shànliáng,
nǐ bùzhībùjué yǐ hé huār, o ......yīyàng.

nǐ yào wǒ liú zài zhè dìfang, nǐ yào wǒ hé tāmen yīyàng,
wǒ kàn zhe nǐ mòmò de shuō, o ...... bù néng zhèyàng,
wǒ xiǎng yào huídào lǎo dìfang, wǒ xiǎng yào zǒu zài lǎo lùshang,
wǒ míngzhī wǒ yǐ líbùkāi nǐ! o ...... gūniang!
wǒ jiù yào huídào lǎo dìfang, wǒ jiù yào zǒu zài lǎo lùshang,
wǒ míngzhī wǒ yǐ líbùkāi nǐ! o ...... gūniang!

Alone I walk past you
But have nothing to say
I dare not raise my head to look at your
(oh!) Face
You ask me where I'm heading
I point to the ocean
Your surprise seems to give me
(oh!) Praise
You ask me where I'm heading
I point to the ocean

You lead me into your greenhouse
I am intoxicated by the fragrance
And without realizing it I forget my
(oh!) Destination
You say that I am the strongest in the world
I say you are the kindest in the world
And gradually the flower and I become
(oh!) One
You say that I am the strongest in the world
I say you are the kindest in the world

You want me to stay here
You want me to be like them
I look at you and silently say that's
(oh!) Impossible
I wish I could return to that old place
I wish I could walk down that old road
But only then do I realize I can't leave you
(oh!) Girl
I will return to that old place
I will walk down that old road
Even though I'm sure I can't leave you
(oh!) Girl