Lyrics: The Orphan of Asia by Lo Ta-yu 羅大佑《亞細亞的孤兒》

Years before the end of the Japanese Rule of Taiwan (1895-1945), the writer Wu Chuo-liu started writing the semi-autobiographical novel Orphan of Asia. The protagonist Hu Tai-ming is a young Taiwanese intellectual drifting between the mainland, Taiwan, and Japan during the colonial rule. Suffering from the turbulent historical period and identity crisis, he finally lost his mind. The tragedy of Hu is an allegory to the history of Taiwan, an island exploited by imperialist Japan and discriminated against by China at the same time, existing as the “orphan” of Asia.
The novel soon gained broad attention after its publication, and its title became a well-known term to depict Taiwanese psychology in the 20th century. It also inspired the singer-songwriter Lo Ta-yu, the godfather of Chinese rock/folk-rock, and “Bob Dylan of Taiwan.” Titled after Wu’s work, the song Orphan of Asia conveys the subtle concern on Taiwan during the 70s, although it was initially defined as a song about the descendants of the KMT soldiers in Burma due to censorship under the Marital Law.

Music video with Chinese lyrics
2020 Version, feats. Eli Hsieh and ZenKwun

Orphan of Asia 亞細亞的孤兒

Composer/Lyricist: Lo Ta-yu 曲/詞:羅大佑

亞細亞的孤兒 在風中哭泣
黃色的臉孔有紅色的污泥
黑色的眼珠有白色的恐懼
西風在東方唱著悲傷的歌曲

Weeping in the wind, the orphan of Asia
There is scarlet mud on his yellowish face
There is White Terror in his dark pupils
And there is West Wind whistling the sad song in the East

亞細亞的孤兒 在風中哭泣
沒有人要和你玩平等的遊戲
每個人都想要你心愛的玩具
親愛的孩子你為何哭泣

Weeping in the wind, the orphan of Asia
No one ever wants to play with you, if for a fair game
But every one wants to grab your toy beloved
O dear child, you are shedding tears-for what

多少人在追尋那解不開的問題
多少人在深夜裏無奈地嘆息
多少人的眼淚在無言中抹去
親愛的母親這是什麼道理

Many are pursuing the question without an answer
Many sigh in the night without being heard
And many tears dried, with mouths sealed
O dear ma, who made these rules for them

亞細亞的孤兒 在風中哭泣
黃色的臉孔有紅色的污泥
黑色的眼珠有白色的恐懼
西風在東方唱著悲傷的歌曲

Weeping in the wind, the orphan of Asia
There is scarlet mud on his yellowish face
There is White Terror in his dark pupils
And there is West Wind whistling the sad song in the East

多少人在追尋那解不開的問題
多少人在深夜裏無奈地嘆息
多少人的眼淚在無言中抹去
親愛的母親這是什麼真理

Many are pursuing a question without an answer
Many sigh in the night without being heard
And many tears dried, with mouths sealed
O dear ma, what’s the truth behind all that

亞細亞的孤兒 在風中哭泣
黃色的臉孔有紅色的污泥
黑色的眼珠有白色的恐懼
西風在東方唱著悲傷的歌曲

Weeping in the wind, the orphan of Asia
There is scarlet mud on his yellowish face
There is White Terror in his dark pupils
And there is West Wind whistling the sad song in the East

亞細亞的孤兒 在風中哭泣⋯⋯(重複)

Weeping in the wind, the orphan of Asia… (Repeats)

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