|Posted by John Jung on October 1, 2012 at 12:20 AM|
Our parents had a small collection of 78 rpm phonograph records (the only kind in the 1940s before the new obsolete 33 and 45 rpm formats existed). We had to crank the handle of the nonelectric phonograph to get the turntable to spin, I never saw my parents play any of the records, which may be because they had no time or also because they had records of songs such as "For Me and My Gal," Begin the Beguine," and "The Vamp." They did have ONE Chinese record, and as kids, George and I loved to play that record frequently even though we could not understand the Chinese lyrics. I later learned the music on it was China's National Anthem, known as the "March of the Volunteers." It had a military drum roll, a brief incantation (in Chinese) which I assumed was some sort of call to arms, followed by marching music, which encouraged us to march around the room several times until the record ended. The version on YouTube is not the same one that we had, but is close enough and it also gives the lyrics which I never knew.
March of the Volunteers ( traditional Chinese: 義勇軍進行曲; pinyin: Yìyǒngjūn Jìnxíngqǔ, the national anthem of the People's Republic of China was written by the noted poet and playwright Tian Han with music composed by Nie Er. The piece was first performed as part of a 1934 Shanghai play and its original lyrics are the official lyrics of the national anthem. In 2004, a provision that the March of the Volunteers be the national anthem was added to the Constitution of the People's Republic of China as Article 136.
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