Chinese & Art Classroom

Chinese Classical Poem 0121 & Shirley Created Music-109:   Chile Ge -- Chile Song (By Anonymous) - July 18, 2010

Listen to Shirley Singing the Poem in English July 18, 2010
Listen to Shirley Singing the Poem in Chinese July 18, 2010

Listen to Shirley Singing the Poem in Chinese Oct 8, 2005

Listen Shirley Explaining the Poem July 19,2010 & Follow Me to Read It
Follow Shirley to Read the New Words & the Poem

Read Shirley's Comments about This Poem July 18, 2010

See Shirley Created Paintings & Calligraphy for the Poem July 19,2010

Hi, friends, have you been to any grassland? Today, I would like to introduce a new Chinese classical poem names Chi Le Ge-- A Song Of Chi Le (Grassland), which was a folk song by a nomadic nationality names Chi Le that had lived in today's Inner Mongolia in the Southern and Northern Dynasties of China(420 -589).

Notes: According to the Chinese Pinyin, I should write Chi Le as Chile, for avoiding the confusing from the country's name of Chile in English, I wrote it as Chi Le.

Chi Le people were very good at making high vehicles. Therefore, they were also called Gaoche -- high vehicle nationality in the history. When they came to the Chi Le plain by the Yinshan Mountains ( in today's inner Mongolia) by their high vehicles and cattle. They chose to settle down in the beautiful place.

In one of the hardest wars, at the most difficult time that they were near to fail, an elder Chi Le general--Hu Lu Jin led his soldiers to sing this poem. The strong tone and the beautiful lyric made them tear and gave them courage to protect their grassland. With a high emotion, they beat their enemy and came back with their cattle together.

So, this is not only a common folk, but also an ancient fighting song. The pity is that for the time is too long so that the music has been lost.

I love this poem for it has written out so much love of the Chi Le people to their hometown via describing the beautiful landscape of the North of China with a very simple language ? how the Chi Le plain lies by Yanshan mountains, how the sky is like a yurt and envelop the earth, how the wind blows the grass banding low and the cattle is appeared here or there, and“paint out” a beautiful view with peaceful sky, mountains and grassland, moving clouds, wind, cattle, with the sounds of wind, birds and cattle in the simple lyric. So that every time, when I read it, I have the feeling that I should be able to create something for it. :-)

So, I had written a piece of music to match the poem on the airplane from Wuxi and Shenzhen, after visiting my parents in the national holiday Oct, 2005,

When I wrote it on my notebook, tears flew on my face, not for the sadness, but for the happiess -- It was the first time that my mother saw and heard what I had created and she encouraged me to create my own music after she had been against me to learn art of painting and music for so many years)...Also, the beautiful white clouds in the blue sky out of the windows of the airplane have really offered me a lot of inspirations and helped me to complete it quickly...

Right now, my mother has left from me and I have been suffering the sickness since she was gone.

But, I will never give up to work as long as I can. I am going to do my best to create something most beautiful to help all of the friends who are interested in Chinese cultures, while to encourage and improve myself, to return the beautiful world with my limited life and endless love to the world...   

So, this weekend, I have created a new painting and re-tanslated, sang it. I do hope that my effort will be some of help with you to learn Chinese language and cultures...


Chile Song

Folk of Southern and Northern Dynasties
( 420 -589)

Chi Le plain,
lies by the Yinshan Mountains,
the sky is like dome yurt
envelop the earth.

The heaven is vast and hazy
the wilds is boundless.
When the wind blows the grass bending low,
the cattle is appeared there...

Translation by Anonymous

Song of the Chile Prairie

Below the Yinshan Mountains, the Chile Prairie lies.
Like a huge yurt, hangs over the earth the sky.
Between the blue sky and the boundless earth, wind blows,
Flocks and herds appear, grass bending low.


You are welcome to hit any Chinese character that you need help, to see its Chinese pinyin, meaning, pronunciation and follow me to read it


敕勒川 - Chì lè chuān,
阴山下 - yīn shāng xià。
天似穹庐 - tiān sì qióng lú,
笼盖四野 - lǒng gài sì yě 。

天苍苍 - Tiān cāng cāng,
野茫茫 - yě máng máng,
风吹草低见牛羊 - fēng chuī cǎo dī xiàn niú yáng。

If you have any questions, comments and suggestions, please write to or You are welcome to publish your opinions in Message Board as well.

Shirley Zhang

Written, Sung, Translated & Recorded Sun, July 18, 2010/Oct 8, 2005

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