Qiao Yu: Timeless melodies

(en.chinaculture.org)| Updated : 2020-03-09

Print Print

Born in 1927 in Jining city of East China's Shandong province, Qiao Yu is an outstanding lyrics writer in the music creation circles.

"Let's pull on our oars, with the little ship pushing away the waves, my dear pals, who have arranged such a happy life for us…"

This song, named "Let's Pull on Our Oars," is familiar to almost everyone aged from 10 to 60.


Qiao Yu, an outstanding lyrics writer in the music creation circles [Photo/dzwww.com]

In fact, there are few songs that every one of such a wide age-span can sing. However, Qiao has written many of the few songs.

When speaking of Qiao, many overseas Chinese express their gratitude to him for relieving their homesickness with his songs about China - their motherland, and many famous singing stars in the Chinese mainland, such as Guo Lanying (known for singing Qiao's "My Motherland") and Mao Amin (famous for singing Qiao's "Unforgettable Tonight" and "Missing") tend to show their thanks for becoming famous by singing the songs he wrote.

In the Chinese mainland, Qiao is a household name, due to the numerous lyrics of universal popularity, from "My Motherland," the theme song for the film Shang Ganling in the 1950s to the recent "Sunset Glow."

Qiao has recorded in his lyrics the significant transformation of every historic era and the Chinese people's wishes at different times as well as his love for the country and its people.

Closely related to the pace of times and representing the voice of Chinese people, Qiao's songs tend to get popular among the general populace soon after being released. He is therefore honored as the "People's Artist."

Life: the best inspiration

A humorous and optimistic man with rich body language, Qiao tends to leave a deep impression on people with his energy and vitality.

Under the guidance of his father, when still a small boy, Qiao was able to identify 3,000 characters and read the Chinese classics- such as the "Hundred Family Surname", "Thousand Character Essay", and "Three Character Scripture"- very well.

Due to his hard work, Qiao gained a deep understanding of the poets with a strict tonal pattern and rhyme scheme, the Yuefu (Han-styled folk songs), and folk ballads of ancient times at a small age, which laid a solid foundation for his later career as a lyric writer.

However, he often says that the decades of life experience is his greatest fortune, and that most of his works are inspirations from life.


Qiao Yu [Photo/dzwww.com]

Though all his songs are written with his talent and hard work, Qiao has never thought his job as divine and noble, as he often says, "I have never viewed lyrics as good clothes, tasty food, or large and comfortable houses. It is but a homemade meal, coarse clothes, and a small but comfortable courtyard."

In his eyes, the best of his works are those tinted with a touch of the simple real life and the aroma of earth.

Some people say Qiao is good with the "rustic style," as his lyrics are easy to understand by the general populace.

As to this, Qiao explains he prefers plain and concise lyrics to those with excessive embellishment. In fact, only Qiao knows how hard it is to work out his seemingly simple lyrics.

1 2 3 >