Rolled Up Pearl Curtain by Henry Huo: lyrics, pinyin, translation | 卷珠簾 by 霍尊 (Juan Zhu Lian) 歌詞翻譯9 min read

See below for Rolled Up Pearl Curtain by Henry Huo: lyrics, pinyin and English translation! (aka 卷珠簾Juan Zhu Lian) by 霍尊 Huo Zun)

  • Lyrics by Huo Zun
  • Music by Huo Zun
  • Sung by Huo Zun

Singer-songwriter Henry Huo (霍尊 / Huò zūn) is a Chinese singer-songwriter, musician, and actor who rose to fame when he won first place in the first season of the Chinese reality singing competition “Sing My Song,” in which contestants compete by singing their original compositions.

“Rolling Up the Beaded Curtain” (卷珠簾 / Juǎn zhū lián) is a highly lyrical and literate song with strong nostalgic old-Chinese flavor, describing a woman from ancient China who is missing the one she loves.

The deeply poetic lyrics use Classical-style Chinese at times (文言文 / wényánwén), and is quite tricky to translate (I did my best!) There are also two versions of the song: after Henry Huo performed it on SMS, his mentor changed the lyrics in certain places. Both versions are represented here:

Original Lyrics / Pinyin / Translation

鐫刻好 每道眉間心上
Juānkè hǎo měi dào méijiān xīn shàng
Engraved well, every eyebrow on the heart
畫間透過思量
huà jiān tòuguò sīliang
The painting room is filled with considerations
沾染了 墨色淌
zhānrǎnle mòsè tǎng
Dyed with ink drops,
千家文 都泛黃
qiānjiā wén dōu fàn huáng
A thousand documents, yellowed with age
夜靜謐 窗紗微微亮
yè jìngmì chuāngshā wéiwéi liàng
The night is quiet, the window screens sparkle in the dark

拂袖起舞於夢中徘徊
fúxiù qǐwǔ yú mèngzhōng páihuái
The long sleeves dance in dreams, wandering
相思蔓上心扉
xiāngsī màn shàng xīnfēi
The feeling of missing/longing winds (like a vine) up the doors of the heart
她眷戀 梨花淚
tā juànliàn líhuā lèi
She misses (someone), pear-blossom teardrops [refers to a Tang dynasty poem, “Chang Hen Ge”/”Long Regret Song” by Bai Juyi]
靜畫紅妝等誰歸
jìng huà hóngzhuāng děng shuí guī
Quietly putting on red makeup, waiting for whose return?
空留伊人徐徐憔悴
kōng liú yīrén xúxú qiáocuì
This left-behind person, slowly grows wan and sallow

啊~ 胭脂香味
a ~ yānzhī xiāngwèi
Ah–the scent of rouge
卷珠簾 是為誰
juǎn zhū lián shì wèi shuí
Rolling up the beaded curtain, waiting for whom?
啊~ 不見高軒
a ~ bùjiàn gāo xuān
Ah–cannot see the high tower
夜月明 此時難為情
yè yuè míng cǐ shí nánwéiqíng
The moon is bright, feeling terrible all day and night (reference to a Li Bai poem)

細雨落入初春的清晨
xì yǔ luò rù chūchūn de qīngchén
Feather rain falls on an early Spring morning 
悄悄喚醒枝芽
qiāoqiāo huànxǐng zhī yá
Quietly wakening the tender sprouts
聽微風 耳畔響
tīng wéifēng ěr pàn xiǎng
Listening to the echo of the breeze
嘆流水兮落花傷
tàn liúshuǐ xī luòhuā shāng
The falling water injures the flowers
誰在煙雲處琴聲長
shuí zài yānyún chù qín shēng zhǎng
Who is playing an instrument in the cloudy fog?

“Beaded Curtain” Version 2

鐫刻好 每道眉間心上
juānkè hǎo měi dào méijiān xīn shàng
畫間透過思量
huà jiān tòuguò sīliang
沾染了 墨色淌
zhānrǎnle mòsè tǎng
千家文 盡泛黃
qiānjiā wén jǐn fàn huáng
夜靜謐 窗紗微微亮
yè jìngmì chuāngshā wéiwéi liàng
[All of this is exactly the same as the top, so see above for English translations]

拂袖起舞於夢中嫵媚
fúxiù qǐwǔ yú mèngzhōng wǔmèi
The long sleeves dance charmingly in a dream
相思蔓上心扉
xiāngsī màn shàng xīnfēi
longing winds up the doors of the heart like a vine
猶眷戀 梨花淚
yóu juànliàn líhuā lèi
(she is) still missing; pear-blossom tears
靜畫紅妝等誰歸
jìng huà hóngzhuāng děng shuí guī
Putting on red makeup, waiting for whose return?
空留伊人徐徐憔悴
kōng liú yīrén xúxú qiáocuì
The left behind person pines and grows wan

啊~ 胭脂香味
a ~ yānzhī xiāngwèi
Ah–the scent of rouge
卷珠簾 是為誰
juǎn zhū lián shì wèi shuí
Who (is she) rolling up the beaded curtain for?
啊~ 高軒霧褪
a ~ gāo xuān wù tuì
Ah–the fog surrounding the high tower recedes
夜月明 袖掩暗垂淚
yè yuè míng xiù yǎn àn chuí lèi
Sleeves hide tears

細雨酥潤見煙外綠楊
xì yǔ sū rùn jiàn yān wài lǜ yáng
The crisp rain sees the plot of grass beyond the smoke
倦起愁對春傷
juàn qǐ chóu duì chūn shāng
Tired and worried about spring injury
殘燭化曉風涼
cán zhú huà xiǎo fēngliáng
leftover candle has melted; morning wind is cold
歸雁過處留聲悵
guī yànguò chù liú shēng chàng
Returning wild geese flying past leave behind a long trail of calls
天水間誰撫琴斷腸
tiānshuǐ jiān shuí fǔqín duàncháng
Between the waters and the sky, who is holding a musical instrument with a broken heart?


Lyrics in Colloquial English

Every eyebrow is exquisitely engraved on the heart, the painting room (or the painting) is filled with thoughtfulness. Thousands of old yellowed missives and manuscripts are dyed with black ink. The night is quiet, the windows shine faintly in the dark.

Long beautiful sleeves flutter and dance in dreams. The feeling of missing someone winds up her heart. She misses someone with tears shaped like pear blossoms. She quietly puts on her makeup–who is she waiting for?

Ah, the scent of rouge wafts through as she rolls up the beaded curtain–who is she waiitng for? Ah, the elegant tower in which she lives is hidden by the fog, the moon is bright, but she is miserable all day and night.

On an early Spring morning, a feather rain descends, quietly awakening the tender sprouts. The breeze echoes, ringing in the ears, as falling water injures the tender flowers. Who is that playing an instrument in the cloudy fog?

Version 2

[First two stanzas are the same]

Ah, the scent of rouge. Who is she rolling up the beaded curtain for? Ah, the fog surrounding the high tower recedes as she hides her tears behind her sleeves.

The crisp rain sees the grassy fields beyond the fog. The grass is worried about being injured by the spring rains. The candle has melted, the morning wind is cold. Returning geese fly past, their cries echoing long behind them. Between the earth and sky, who is that nursing her broken heart with a musical instrument?

 
 

Lyrics Explained

鐫刻好 每道眉間心上
Juānkè hǎo měi dào méijiān xīn shàng
Engraved well, every eyebrow on the heart

  • 鐫刻 / 好 / 每道 / 眉間 / 心上 = engraved / well / every / eyebrow / heart+on= on the heart

畫間透過思量
huà jiān tòuguò sīliang
The painting room is filled with consideration

  • 畫間 / 透過 / 思量 = art room / pass through / consideration

沾染了 墨色淌
zhānrǎnle mòsè tǎng
Dyed with ink drops,

  • 沾染了 / 墨色 / 淌 = dyed / ink / drops

千家文 都泛黃
qiānjiā wén dōu fàn huáng
A thousand letters, yellowed with age

  • 千 / 家 / 文 / 都 / 泛黃 = thousand / family / letters, manuscripts / all / yellowed

夜靜謐 窗紗微微亮
yè jìngmì chuāngshā wéiwéi liàng
The night is quiet, the window screens sparkle in the dark

  • 夜 / 靜謐 / 窗紗 / 微微亮 = night / quiet / window screens / slightly+light = sparkling, twinkling, not very brightly

拂袖起舞於夢中徘徊
fúxiù qǐwǔ yú mèngzhōng páihuái
The long sleeves dance in dreams, wandering

  • 拂袖 / 起舞 / 於 / 夢中 / 徘徊 = long sleeves / dance / in / dreams / wandering

相思蔓上心扉
xiāngsī màn shàng xīnfēi
The feeling of missing/longing winds (like a vine) up the doors of the heart

  • 相思 / 蔓上 / 心扉 = missing, loneliness / crawls like a vine up / the doors of the heart

她眷戀 梨花淚
tā juànliàn líhuā lèi
She misses (someone), pear-blossom teardrops [refers to a Tang dynasty poem, “Chang Hen Ge”/”Long Regret Song” by Bai Juyi]

  • 她 / 眷戀 / 梨花 / 淚 = she / misses (someone) / pear blossom tears

靜畫紅妝等誰歸
jìng huà hóngzhuāng děng shuí guī
Quietly putting on red makeup, waiting for whose return?

  • 靜 / 畫 / 紅妝 / 等 / 誰 / 歸 = Quiet / draw or paint / red makeup / wait / who /return

空留伊人徐徐憔悴
kōng liú yīrén xúxú qiáocuì
This left-behind person, slowly grows wan and sallow

  • 空 / 留 / 伊人 / 徐徐 / 憔悴 = empty / left / that person / slowly / grows pallid, sallow, wan

啊~ 胭脂香味
a ~ yānzhī xiāngwèi
Ah–the scent of rouge

  • 啊~ / 胭脂 / 香味 = Ah / rouge / pleasant scent

卷珠簾 是為誰
juǎn zhū lián shì wèi shuí
Rolling up the beaded curtain, waiting for whom?

  • 卷 / 珠簾 / 是 / 為誰 = rolling / the beaded curtain / is / for whose sake?

啊~ 不見高軒
a ~ bùjiàn gāo xuān
Ah–cannot see the high tower

  • 啊~ / 不見 / 高軒 = Ah / can’t see / high tower

夜月明 此時難為情
yè yuè míng cǐ shí nánwéiqíng
The moon is bright, feeling terrible all day and night (reference to a Li Bai poem)

  • 夜 / 月 / 明 / 此時 + 難為情 = night / moon / bright / at this time + difficult situation (refers to a Li Bai poem, 秋風詞/Qiūfēng cí “Autumn Word”)

細雨落入初春的清晨
xì yǔ luò rù chūchūn de qīngchén
Feather rain falls on an early Spring morning 

  • 細雨 / 落入 / 初春 / 的 / 清晨 = Feather rain / falls / opening of Spring / ‘s / morning

悄悄喚醒枝芽
qiāoqiāo huànxǐng zhī yá
Quietly wakening the tender sprouts

  • 悄悄 / 喚醒 / 枝芽 = Quietly / calling awake / sprouts

聽微風 耳畔響
tīng wéifēng ěr pàn xiǎng
Listening to the echo of the breeze

  • 聽 / 微風 / 耳 / 畔響 = listening to / breeze / ear / ringing

嘆流水兮落花傷
tàn liúshuǐ xī luòhuā shāng
The sighing water sighs as it falls and injures the flowers

  • 嘆 / 流水兮 / 落 / 花 / 傷 = Sigh / flowing water / falls / flower / injury

誰在煙雲處琴聲長
shuí zài yānyún chù qín shēng zhǎng
Who is playing an instrument in the cloudy fog?

  • 誰 / 在 / 煙雲處 / 琴 / 聲 / 長 = who / in / clouds / instrument / sound / long?

“Beaded Curtain” Version 2

鐫刻好 每道眉間心上
juānkè hǎo měi dào méijiān xīn shàng
畫間透過思量
huà jiān tòuguò sīliang
沾染了 墨色淌
zhānrǎnle mòsè tǎng
千家文 盡泛黃
qiānjiā wén jǐn fàn huáng
夜靜謐 窗紗微微亮
yè jìngmì chuāngshā wéiwéi liàng
[All of this is exactly the same as the top, so see above]

拂袖起舞於夢中嫵媚
fúxiù qǐwǔ yú mèngzhōng wǔmèi
The long sleeves dance charmingly in a dream
相思蔓上心扉
xiāngsī màn shàng xīnfēi
longing winds up the doors of the heart like a vine
猶眷戀 梨花淚
yóu juànliàn líhuā lèi
(she is) still missing; pear-blossom tears
靜畫紅妝等誰歸
jìng huà hóngzhuāng děng shuí guī
Putting on red makeup, waiting for whose return?
空留伊人徐徐憔悴
kōng liú yīrén xúxú qiáocuì
The left behind person pines and grows wan

啊~ 胭脂香味
a ~ yānzhī xiāngwèi
Ah–the scent of rouge
卷珠簾 是為誰
juǎn zhū lián shì wèi shuí
Who (is she) rolling up the beaded curtain for?
啊~ 高軒霧褪
a ~ gāo xuān wù tuì
Ah–the fog surrounding the high tower recedes

  • 啊~ / 高軒 / 霧 / 褪 = Ah / high tower / fog / recedes

夜月明 袖掩暗垂淚
yè yuè míng xiù yǎn àn chuí lèi
Sleeves hide tears

  • 夜月明 / 袖 / 掩 / 暗 / 垂淚 = night moon / sleeve / cover / dark / tears

細雨酥潤見煙外綠楊
xì yǔ sū rùn jiàn yān wài lǜ yáng
The crisp, light rain sees the plot of grass beyond the smoke

  • 細雨 / 酥潤 / 見 / 煙外 / 綠楊 = Feather rain, drizzle / crisp / sees / beyond the smoke / green grass

倦起愁對春傷
juàn qǐ chóu duì chūn shāng
Tired and worried about spring injury

  • 倦起 / 愁 / 對 / 春 / 傷 = rolls up / worry / toward / spring / injury

殘燭化曉風涼
cán zhú huà xiǎo fēngliáng
leftover candle has melted; morning wind is cold

  • 殘燭 / 化 / 曉風 / 涼 = remaining candle / melted / morning wind / cold

歸雁過處留聲悵
guī yànguò chù liú shēng chàng
Returning wild geese flying past leave behind a long trail of calls

  • 歸 / 雁 / 過處 / 留 / 聲 / 悵 = returning / wild geese / pass / leave behind / sound / long


天水間誰撫琴斷腸
tiānshuǐ jiān shuí fǔqín duàncháng
Between the waters and the sky, who is holding a musical instrument with a broken heart?

  • 天水間 / 誰 / 撫琴 / 斷腸 = sky+water+between / who / holds instrument / broken+intestine = heartbreak?

 


Singable English Lyrics

Every eyebrow engraved on the heart
Thoughts suffuse rooms of art
Black ink marks, darkened lines
On the scrolls, yellowed with time
The windows twinkling in the dark

Long sleeves dance in her dreams, like a sigh
Longing grows as a vine
Like pear blooms are her tears
Who are you waiting for, dear?
She loses color as she pines

Ah–scent of red paint
Parting curtains as she waits
Ah–on this cloudy
moonlit night; can’t forget the pain

Feather rain early falls all about
Softly waken green sprouts
and her ears, the breeze scours
falling water wounds the flow’rs
who is that making music now?

“Beaded Curtain” Version 2

(Everything is the same except the last few stanzas)

Ah–perfume drifting
through curtains made of beads
Ah–now the fog clears
And her tears hide behind her sleeves

Feather rains now descend on the green
Autumn steals away spring
Just one candle is found
In the distance, geese cries sound
Whose broken heart is now singing?

 


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