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My Heart's in The Highlands

Posted by lotsofwordsandnospaces June 2, 2009 in the Group General Discussion.

Tags: Robert Burns, poem, patriotism

I am from Scotland, and I might not be the most patriotic person on earth, but I am always proud of the great contributions Scottish people have made.

Robert Burns is a national treasure, and we celebrate Burns Night here around the time of the Chinese New year. I tend to average the two dates, and meet friends for "Chinese Burns Night".http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/School_prank#Indian.2FChinese_burn

There are a couple of Burns songs and poems that have entered the Chinese psyche, but one less commonly noticed one is "My Heart's in the Highladnds".

Here is a quote from The Scotsman newspaper:

http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/robertburns/Robbing-Burns.4903903.jp

This official seal of approval came after a Chinese translation of 'My Heart's in the Highlands' had become a popular resistance anthem during the Japanese occupation. The affinity between Burns's lyrics and traditional Chinese poetry was such that Robert Crawford records the artist Chiang Yee suggesting that Burns was "brought back as a baby from China by some missionary named Burns". 

Here is an english translation from electricscotland.com

http://www.electricscotland.com/burns/hearth.html

 

My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here,

My heart's in the Highlands a-chasing the deer -

A-chasing the wild deer, and following the roe;

My heart's in the Highlands, wherever I go.

Farewell to the Highlands, farewell to the North

The birth place of Valour, the country of Worth; 

Wherever I wander, wherever I rove, 

The hills of the Highlands for ever I love.

 

Farewell to the mountains high cover'd with snow; 

Farewell to the straths and green valleys below; 

Farewell to the forrests and wild-hanging woods; 

Farwell to the torrents and loud-pouring floods.

 

My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here, 

My heart's in the Highlands a-chasing the deer 

Chasing the wild deer, and following the roe; 

My heart's in the Highlands, whereever I go.

 

 

And here is a Chinese version I have found - it may not be the definitive version - let me know if there is a better one!

From http://www.chinapoesy.com/Foreign8bd569d2-b027-42ea-8f6a-b66b31e6d755.html

我的心儿在高原,我的心不在这儿,

我的心儿在高原,追逐着鹿儿。

追逐着野鹿,跟踪着獐儿;

我的心儿在高原,不管我上哪儿,

别了啊高原,别了啊北国,

英雄的家乡,可敬的故国,

不管我上哪儿漂荡,我上哪儿遨游,

我永远爱着高原的山丘。

 

别了啊,高耸的积雪的山岳,

别了啊,山下的溪壑和翠谷,

别了啊,森林和枝檀纵横的树林,

别了啊,急川和洪流的轰鸣,

我的心儿在高原,我的心不在这儿,

我的心儿在高原,追逐着鹿儿,

追逐着野鹿,跟踪着獐儿,

我的心儿在高原,不管我上哪儿。

I would certainly not claim it is the most subtle and thought provoking poem. But it certainly is patriotic... no matter where you are from. Which is something I suppose I can muse on.

 

 

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