Music Video: “Lang Darma” By Tsultrim Gyaltsen

2014 01 22 Emperor Lang Darma

High Peaks Pure Earth has translated a song called “Lang Darma” by Tsultrim Gyaltsen. “Lang Darma” is by the same singer and lyricist team that brought you “Tears of Blood”, a song that we posted in May last year.

“Lang Darma” can be found on Tibetan language websites, see this post from June 2012, and also on YouTube where the upload took place in September 2011.

As with last weeks’ music video “Steps of Snow”, “Lang Darma” video takes us back to a different era in Tibet’s history. This song is about the last Emperor of Tibet – Lang Darma. What most people will say or know about Lang Darma is that the Tibetan Empire collapsed as a result of his persecution of Buddhism. In order to stop him, the song lyrics describe how Lhalung Paldor rode, wearing a black hat, and assassinated the Emperor with an arrow. However, contrary to the usually held view of Lang Darma, Tsultrim Gyaltsen seems to be calling for a re-appraisal of Lang Darma and his rule. To read more about Lang Darma, visit the ever-excellent blog “Early Tibet” which describes how modern scholars have questioned the traditional Tibetan view of Lang Darma.

This is music video number 42 translated by High Peaks Pure Earth since the Wednesday music video series started towards the end of 2012. Do go back and watch our other videos using this link: http://highpeakspureearth.com/category/music-from-tibet/

Below are the subtitled music video and translated lyrics of “Lang Darma”.

“Lang Darma” By Tsultrim Gyaltsen from HPeaks on Vimeo.

 

“Lang Darma”
Lyrics: Migmar Tsering
Composer: Siching Pathar
Singer: Tsultrim Gyaltsen

 

In the spaces throughout tortuous history
A question mark is put on you
Called an advanced emperor
And an enemy of the Dharma too
When the dark judgements disappear
A light of truth will prevail
After many centuries of trials
The truth and the lies will become clear
Oh! My emperor Lang Darma

The leader of advanced thinkers
The master of striving reforms
The forefather of ruddy-faced Tibetans
The supreme emperor
Either it was three years too early
Or it was three years too late
Under the arrow of the black hat
The fate of the Snowland changed again
Oh! My emperor Lang Darma
My emperor….The unfortunate emperor

[Translation by High Peaks Pure Earth]

For those unable to view the videos on Vimeo, there is also a High Peaks Pure Earth YouTube channel here with our music videos: http://www.youtube.com/highpeakspureearth

3 Comments

  • Thank you so much for translating this song into English and thereby make it accessible to non-Tibetan speakers.
    My interpretation of the lyric around between 3:10 and 3:12 is
    “the fate of the Snowland changed too” and not “changed again”.

    Just as the Emporer’s fate changed with that fatal arrow, so did the fate of Tibet.
    That is my interpretation

    Thank you
    Tsering Choedone (in Tokyo)

    • The name is Tsering Choedon. I misspelt my name. The first sentence should read
      “Thank you so much for translating this song into English and thereby making it accessible to non-Tibetan speakers”

      Thank you