In their cultural notes in Sing Chinese
, Cindy Mao and Ma Baolin explain that "Little Cowherd" is a title shared by several folks songs from Herbei Province and that this is the most famous one. Like the other songs with the same name, it is sung by young cowherds and adopts the question-and-answer form.
In this version the questions are: Who built the Zhaozhou Bridge, who built its marble rail, who rode it on a donkey and who left a cart trail on the bridge? The answers being: Lu Ban (a master carpenter some 2000 years ago), a holy man, Zhang Guo Lao ( one of the eight Taoist immortals know to ride backwards on a whit donkey) and a kitchen god respectively.
Fascinating stuff, dear surfer, what! For me this also another good tune for the concertina/recorder combination.