4 Classic Chinese New Year Songs

Andy Lau

Chinese new year song is a way to express people’s happiness and wishes for a new year in China. It helps us cultivate a phenomenon suitable for people to celebrate the festival. China, as a country with great population, also loves new year songs when it comes to the spring festival. In China, people always give good wishes about love, family, luck, wealth and health when they greet each other during the spring festival, and the government values the importance of Chinese traditional culture. Accordingly, Chinese new year songs are mainly about the development of the country, the reunion and harmony of families, good fortune, wealth and health. Sometimes, they describe the beautiful sceneries of the coming spring, for spring represents hope and future. Here are 4 classic ones.

The first one is a song called “Unforgettable tonight”. This song is super classic and has been sung many times on the Spring Festival Gala from 1984 to 2016. It has almost become a symbolic song for people in China. Every time the song is played, it will remind Chinese people of old memories about Spring Festival in former years. It is Li Guyi, a very famous female singer in China, who sang this song for the first time on 1984 Spring Festival Gala. The lyrics of this song was written by Qiao Yu, now the honorary dean of the Opera Research Institute Of Peking University. The music was composed by Wang Ming composer, vice president of China light music society. In 1986, “Unforgettable Tonight” won the “Morning Bell Award” — the highest award for music composing in China.

This picture is Li Guyi, singing Unforgettable Tonight.

Actually, there is a story about the birth of this song. In 1984, Huang Yihe, the head director of the Spring Festival Gala on CCTV, thought they still needed a song to match up with all performances on this gala, so he found composer Qiao Yu, and asked Qiao to write a song about the reunion of families and China, the love of families and the wishes for the future, which was well indicated in the lyrics. The rhythm of this song is very soft and gentle, infective and catchy. With Li Guyi’s beautiful voice, this song received great popularity among the whole country.

The second song is called “Kung Hei Fa Choi”, which means wish you make a big fortune. This song is sung by Andy Lau, a very famous star in China. Andy Lau personally got involved in the composing of its lyrics, expressing the hope that the world will keep peaceful, and bad things won’t happen in the future, so that everyone has a happy New Year. Andy Lau also mentioned in the lyrics, “next year we will be more wonderful… on the world stage, we will develop faster than other countries.” Andy Lau saw China’s athlete Liu Xiang, who spared no efforts in the Olympic games, so he indicated his appreciation for this single-mindedness and the spirit of sports, to cheer for Liu Xiang. “Kung Hei Fa Choi” is an excellent mix of lyrics and melody, with strong and distinctive national characteristics.

Andy Lau, holding a banner with Chinese characters —“Kung Hei Fa Choi” on it

The lyrics are very easy to understand, and even children can understand it. What’s more, it is a very catchy song, too. Andy Lau put “Kung Hei Fat Choi” (which means may you be rich) into the song to give people a good wish in the new year, to share the New Year’s real joy with all listeners. In recent years, you can hear this song played in many Chinese supermarkets, to produce a joyous festival phenomenon. Here is a link of the MV of this song.

The third one is a song called "Happy New Year". Actually, it is a children’s song in China. Lyrics is very easy and it also has an English version. The English lyric is:“happy new year; happy new year; happy new year to you all; we are singing; we are dancing; happy new year to you all."

One part of the music score of “Happy New Year”, with both English and Chinese lyrics

In fact, it is a British song for children, but it was translated into Chinese and was constantly transmitted by several generation. It has become a part of many Chinese children. Most of Chinese kids know how to sing this song, for their parents learn this song when they were little and they teach their own kids to sing this song. You can listen to this song.

 

The last song is called “Sambo auspicious”, which means the three members in a harmony family — father, mother and daughter. “Sambo auspicious” is a song composed by Wang Bao, an inner Mongolian singer, and sung by his wife, his little niece, and himelf. (the reason why his niece sang with them is his daughter already grew up and her little cousin was singing her part with a cute kid voice, for art.) it is a song about the harmony of a simple three-member family on the savannah in inner Mongolia.

Wang Bao and his families were singing on 2009 Spring Festival Gala.

 “Sambo auspicious” is performed in a form of dialogue between three family members, with inner Mongolian style. Its start with a soft RAP in Mongolian, brings a fresh feeling to its listeners. The cute child voice puts listeners into a scene of a beautiful grass land with a smell of fresh milk. It is said the little girl’s voice can give you an ear spa. Moreover, this song has a very soft and gentle rhythm. At first, this song was written in Mongolian, but the composer translated it into Chinese by simple words. The lyrics exactly expresses the harmony of both the family and the nature, with best wishes to all listeners. If you want to try this song, you can find it at

That is all about the 4 classic Chinese New Year songs I want to introduce to you. 2016 is going to end, and the new year is coming. Here I wish you a happy new year.

One Response to 4 Classic Chinese New Year Songs

  1. EdmundoX says:

    I must say you have quality articles about Chinese new year song.When the Chinese new year is coming, I will share those great Chinese music with my family.

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