Vietnamese: Northern Hồ horse, Southern Việt bird

branche

New Member
Japanese
Hello Everyone!
Is anyone here familiar with Vietnamese quan ho songs?

I'd like to know what the line means in one of the quan ho songs which I found in a movie.

"Northern Hồ horse / With southern Việt bird"

I'm guessing "Hồ" represents Hồ Chí Minh but don't really know the connection with "horse."
Was he known for keeping a horse or is there any legend about him with horses?
And what about the Việt bird? Does that simply mean "the bird of Vietnam" or does Việt mean something special in Vietnamese?

Here's the whole lyric introduced in the film:


"One's from the North / One's from the South
Folks, take a rest / We are about to leave
Now one heads north, the other heads south
Northern Hồ horse / With southern Việt bird..."
 
  • Ghabi

    AL/OL/Ar/Zh mod
    Cantonese
    They seem to be the famous imagery (胡馬 and 越鳥 respectively) of an ancient Chinese poem (行行重行行). Arthur Waley's translation of the poem goes (with the relevant lines highlighted):

    On and on, always on and on
    Away from you, parted by a life-parting.
    Going from one another ten thousand "li,"
    Each in a different corner of the World.
    The way between is difficult and long,
    Face to face how shall we meet again?
    The Tartar horse prefers the North wind,
    The bird from Yüeh nests on the Southern branch.

    Since we parted the time is already long,
    Daily my clothes hang looser round my waist.
    Floating clouds obscure the white sun,
    The wandering one has quite forgotten home.
    Thinking of you has made me suddenly old,
    The months and years swiftly draw to their close.
    I'll put you out of my mind and forget for ever
    And try with all my might to eat and thrive.
     

    branche

    New Member
    Japanese
    Wow!! I was totally misunderstanding the Hồ horse part!
    Now I could look up the 胡馬 and 越鳥 in my own language and found the Chinese poem you are talking about.
    So the song in the film I guess was written based on the poem.
    Thanks a lot!!
     

    fdb

    Senior Member
    French (France)
    Just to add (perhaps superfluously) that hồ mã and việt điểu are the Sino-Viet readings for 胡馬 and 越鳥 respectively.
     

    haibinhle

    Member
    Vietnamese
    Hello Everyone!
    Is anyone here familiar with Vietnamese quan ho songs?

    I'd like to know what the line means in one of the quan ho songs which I found in a movie.

    "Northern Hồ horse / With southern Việt bird"

    I'm guessing "Hồ" represents Hồ Chí Minh but don't really know the connection with "horse."
    Was he known for keeping a horse or is there any legend about him with horses?
    And what about the Việt bird? Does that simply mean "the bird of Vietnam" or does Việt mean something special in Vietnamese?

    Here's the whole lyric introduced in the film:


    "One's from the North / One's from the South
    Folks, take a rest / We are about to leave
    Now one heads north, the other heads south
    Northern Hồ horse / With southern Việt bird..."
    It takes me quite some times to find out which Quan Ho song you are talking about.

    Finally I found it. Its name is "One in the north and the other in the south" or "kẻ bắc người nam" in Vietnamese.

    The "Hồ horse" or "Việt bird" is kind of classical reference from ancient china. Anh it's actually mentioned by @Ghabi

    Generally speaking, it wants to talk about the nostalgy that one has when he/she lives far away from the home town!
     
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