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Little ducks (xiǎo yā zi)
Last updated: 02.02.20
"Little ducks" is all about a "team" raising a flock of ducks and taking them back to their nest when school is out. Cindy Mao and Ma Baolin explain in their cultural notes in Sing Chinese that this song was composed in the 1960's when the commune system still existed in China. Under this system, a team is the smallest production unit in the countryside. Although the commune system has long been dissolved, this song remains popular. The music and lyrics are attributed to Pan Zhensheng.
For me this is a very Chinese tune and when playing it for myself, I half expect to hear the clash of cymbals every few bars or so.
Verse 1.
In our team we have raised a flock of ducks. wǒ men duì lǐ yāng le yì qún xiǎo yā zi.
I take them every morning to the pond. wǒ tiān tiān zǎo chén gǎu zhe tā mén dào chí tán liu.
Toward me little ducks quack quack quack. xiǎo yā zi xiàng zhe wǒ ga ga ga de jiào
Little ducks goodbye I will go to school zài jiàn ba, xiǎo yā zi wǒ yào shàng xué le.
Little ducks goodbye I will go to school zài jiàn ba, xiǎo yā zi wǒ yào shàng xué le.
Verse 2.
In our team we have raised a flock of ducks. wǒ men duì lǐ yāng le yì qún xiǎo yā zi.
After school I take them back to their nest wǒ fàng xué lái gǎn zhe tā men dào péng lǐ qù
Toward me little ducks quack quack quack. xiǎo yā zi xiàng zhe wǒ ga ga ga de jiào
Good night little ducks the sun has set. shuì jiào ba, xiǎo yā zi tài yáng xià shān le.
Good night little ducks the sun has set. shuì jiào ba, xiǎo yā zi tài yáng xià shān le.