“Song of Sorrow” By Dawoe

Song of Sorrow by Dawoe from HPeaks on Vimeo

High Peaks Pure Earth has translated a song from Tibet called “Song of Sorrow”, performed by a young singer from Kham named Dawoe. The music video has been posted and viewed online many times since around March this year, including on YouTube.

The melody of the song is quite mournful, and there are some parts of the lyrics that boldly refer to the ongoing self-immolations in Tibet. Dawoe pays tribute to “The heroic youth of Tibet / Making offerings of their bodies”, many of the self-immolators being under 25 years of age. Despite the self-immolations not being well-documented by Tibetans within China’s “Great Firewall”, here is a song that addresses those politically sensitive acts.

Noteworthy also is the message in the song that says that although prayers are being carried out for the self-immolators, as indicated by singing about the rosary but the emphasis is firmly on the importance of living rather than dying: “Counting the months and years with a rosary / Life is still the most precious thing”. In this way, the song recalls the views of a Tibetan netizen in the comments to the poem “Mourning” that was translated by High Peaks Pure Earth where a blogger named “Mindrug” says: “I want to express my great respect to both the dead and living heroes. In the meantime, I want to say that the body, the base of the mind, should not be offered as a butter-lamp offering.” 

The last verse makes an overt reference to the Dalai Lama who left Lhasa and fled to India in 1959, but using his religious name Tenzin Gyatso, instead of the usual title.

Apologies for the low quality of the music video, if anybody has seen a higher resolution version (or has one), please let us know. High Peaks Pure Earth will continue to post music videos from Tibet every Wednesday for the next few weeks so be sure to check back.

Finally, below are the translated lyrics to “Song of Sorrow” by Dawoe:

“Song of Sorrow”
By Dawoe

 

Ai ma! Three jewels!
In the Land of Snows
The heroic youth of Tibet
Making offerings of their bodies
The heroic youth of Tibet
Making offerings of their bodies

Counting the months and years with a rosary
Life is still the most precious thing
Offering their lives to the Snowland
Our hearts will not forget
Offering their lives to the Snowland
Our hearts will not forget

From the Potala Palace
The supreme protector Tenzin Gyatso
Traversed many passes and valleys
The children remained behind
Traversed many passes and valleys
The children remained behind

 

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