Two Songs By Detained Young Tibetan Singer Choegon

High Peaks Pure Earth has translated two songs by a young Tibetan singer called Choegon who was reportedly detained on 25 September, 2011 on his way from Kham to Lhasa to perform at a concert. He was 19 years old at the time of detention. This is the second Wednesday in a row that High Peaks Pure Earth is posting music videos online, follow this link for last week’s music video “Song of Sorrow” by Dawoe.

Originally from Jomda County in Kham, Choegon was affectionately known by the nickname of “Little Kunga”, referring to his status as student of the popular Tibetan singer also from Kham, Kunga. Readers familiar with Kunga’s music and look will notice similarities between them also in hairstyle and the signature dark glasses! This is probably a much nicer nickname than the one given to Choegon by Tibetans in exile of the “Tibetan Justin Bieber” (!).

Choegon also took part last year in a recording of a cover version of Sherten’s most famous song “The Sound of Unity” with two other singers, the video can be viewed on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvn52ghJASk As background, readers might be interested in this essay about Tibetan songs, with a focus on The Sound of Unity, on the website Merabsarpa.

Although there are many music videos by Choegon online, High Peaks Pure Earth has selected two, “Listen Up” and “I Want to go to Lhasa”. The Tibetan title of the lively song “Listen Up” is Amchog Chen, amchog is the word for ear and chen is to possess, so the song is literally addressed to “those with ears” to listen to his messages for Tibetan people. Although “I Want to go to Lhasa” is a less immediately catchy song, the lyrics such as “This black darkness of night has become the norm” are jarring as they are juxtaposed against beautiful and calm scenery. If there are any readers who have any updates on Choegon’s current situation, please leave a note.

Check back on High Peaks Pure Earth next Wednesday for two more music videos.

“Listen Up” By Choegon from HPeaks on Vimeo.

“Listen Up”
By Choegon

The good path to securing peace
Arises from the kindness of the Father in his 70s
If you really are a good child of the kind Father
Listen up!
Remember this path with all your heart

The youth of the pure father tongue
Are the soul of Tibetans in black nomad tents
If you really are a Tibetan
Listen up!
Don’t corrupt the father tongue by mixing it
Listen up!
Don’t corrupt the father tongue by mixing it

These two good moral customs are the legacy of our forefathers
If you really are a descendant of our forefathers
If you really are a descendant of our forefathers
Listen up!
Don’t neglect these moral customs
Listen up!
Don’t neglect these moral customs

“I Want to go to Lhasa” By Choegon from HPeaks on Vimeo.

“I Want to go to Lhasa”
By Choegon

Divine rays of light that shine from the sky
The magnificent sound of joy and happiness
In the morning my white cloud extended its wings
At night I crawl out of the universe
This life is like an everlasting ripple on the Yarlung Tsangpo
Warm rays of sunlight emanate from the top of the Potala
Endless grasslands, caring like a mother
The bleating of the lamb is myself

I want to go to Lhasa
Go to Lhasa!
I want to see the radiant snow mountains
The beautiful and pleasant vast grasslands
My heart permeates all the nomad areas

I want to go to Lhasa
Go to Lhasa!
From birth until death, this cycle of samsara is the truth of existence
This black darkness of night has become the norm
I pray to the precious jewel
That dwells in my heart

Divine rays of light that shine from the sky
The magnificent sound of joy and happiness
In the morning my white cloud extended its wings
At night I crawl out of the universe
This life is like an everlasting ripple on the Yarlung Tsangpo
Warm rays of sunlight emanate from the top of the Potala
Endless grasslands, caring like a mother
The bleating of the lamb is myself

I want to go to Lhasa
Go to Lhasa!
I want to see the radiant snow mountains
The beautiful and pleasant vast grasslands
My heart permeates all the nomad areas

I want to go to Lhasa
Go to Lhasa!
From birth until death, this cycle of samsara is the truth of existence
This black darkness of night has become the norm

I pray to the precious jewel
That dwells in my heart

I want to go to Lhasa
Go to Lhasa!
From birth until death, this cycle of samsara is the truth of existence
This black darkness of night has become the norm

I pray to the precious jewel
That dwells in my heart

I pray to the precious jewel
That dwells in my heart

I pray to the precious jewel
That dwells in my heart

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