English Lyrics to Vietnamese Songs
by Pham Quang Tuan


Rice Drum Song

Tinh Tu Tin (Tình Tự Tin) by Pham Duy
English verses by Pham Quang Tuan

1. My love (s)he's got a little drum,
Oh how he plays his love-a-drum drum
(Love-a-drum drum
Love-a-drum drum)
Come and see the boys and girls
They cross the stream
To find, find their dream
(Find their dream)
(Drum-a-drum drum,
drum-a-drum drum,
drum-a-drum drum)

2. REPEAT [1]

3. Drum-a-drum drum
I can see these boys and girls
(I can see these boys and girls)
They cross the stream
To find find their dream
(find their dream)
Let's sing a drum-a-drum-a-song
(Let's sing a drum-a-drum-a-song)

4. My love she's got a little song,
Oh how she sings her love-a-song song
(Love-a-song song
Love-a-song song)
Come and hear the little diddle birds
They sing in the tree
So happy to be free
(To be free)
(Drum-a-drum drum,
drum-a-drum drum,
drum-a-drum drum)

5. REPEAT [4]

6. Drum-a-drum drum
I can hear these little diddle birds
(I can hear these little diddle birds)
They sing in the tree
So happy to be free
(To be free)
Let's sing a drum-a-drum-a-song
(Let's sing a drum-a-drum-a-song)



The Wind On The Bridge
Qua Cầu Gió Bay

Folk song, collected by Pham Duy
English verses by Pham Quang Tuan

To you, I'll give my hat(*) to you
And I will lie to Mom and Dad (ooooo)
That when I was on the bridge
(That when I was on the bridge)
The wind it blew...
(The wind it blew ...)

To you, I'll give my shirt(*) to you
And I will lie to Mom and Dad (ooooo)
That when I was on the bridge
(That when I was on the bridge)
The wind it blew...
(The wind it blew ...)

(etc. replace "hat" by "shirt", "ring" and other items of clothing for each new verse)


Pretty Bamboo Tree
Cây Trúc Xinh

Folk song, collected by Pham Duy
English verses by Pham Quang Tuan

Bamboo tree
Oh lovely bamboo tree
Standing idly by the pond ...
Pretty girl,
Why are you standing there by the pond
Pretty girl come to me.
(There by the pond
Pretty girl
Bamboo tree)

Bamboo tree
Oh lovely bamboo tree
Standing idly by the shrine ...
Pretty girl,
Yoúre lonely standing there by the shrine
Pretty girl come to me.
(There by the shrine
Pretty girl
Bamboo tree)



Introduction to Phạm Duy's "Mẹ Viet Nam"

Pham Quang Tuan

Me Viet Nam (Mother Vietnam) was written during the 1960s as the Vietnam war was rapidly escalating. As Pham Duy recounts, "in the troubled and divided atmosphere of that period, everybody was looking for a common denominator. I did not need to look very far: that common denominator was Mother Viet Nam! To find our lost nation, our compatriots, our people, our humanity, we had to go back to Mother Viet Nam. That's how Me Viet Nam came about..."

A programmatic composition built on a highly structured and coherent symbolism, Me Viet Nam comprises four parts: Mother's Earth, Mother's Mountains, Mother's Rivers and Mother's Seạ In the composer's own words, "in her youth [Part I], Mother Vietnam embodies the fertile Earth, loving and passionate, the foundation of family, ricefields, villages and country. In middle age [Part II], she becomes the Mountain, patient, persevering, sacrificing, protecting the soldier son. Then her heart is broken at the sight of her divided children the Rivers [Part III], some of whom have gone astray, betraying mother and fighting each other for glory and dominancẹ In old age [Part IV], Mother becomes the great Sea, generous and forgiving, calling for her children to return..."

The work starts with OUR MOTHER, a solemn hymn, economical - even spartan - in both music and words, as befits the homespun cloth of the subject matter. BEAUTIFUL MOTHER (No. 2) is a masterly allegory, the geographical image of Viet Nam lying by the Pacific merging imperceptibly into that of a youthful, sensual woman waiting for love. MOTHER'S WAIT (No. 3) refers to the legend of the goddess Nu Oa, who had a contest with her husband to see who could raise the tallest pillar; Nu Oa won but in the process the sky collapsed, and she had to carry stones to mend it. It is worth noting Pham Duy's comfortable attitude towards the Chinese cultural heritage, in contrast to the strident nationalistic attitude often heard today.

MOTHER'S RICE (No. 4) is, together with Mother Ocean (No.16), perhaps the most accessible piece, celebrating young love and Mother Earth's rice crop. In SHE WELCOMES FATHER (No. 5) the important role of the Vietnamese woman in the family and the nation is highlighted. The song alludes to several legends. At her husband's instigation, Chau Long went to live with his friend and benefactor Luu Binh who had fallen in bad times, encouraging him to persevere and overcome his troubles, and all the time remaining faithful to her husband. Kinh Tam was a woman wrongfully accused of trying to murder her husband; to escape opprobrium, she disguised herself as a man and took on a monk's robes, only to be accused by a village coquette of fathering her baby. Out of kindness, she remained silent and raised the child to manhood. Finally the "warrior with velvety eyes" could be any of several national heroines of ancient Vietnam, the most famous being the Trung sisters and Lady Trieu.

The sky suddenly darkens as we enters Part II (Mountains). In MOTHER'S QUESTION (no. 6) the shadow of war descends. The theme is elaborated in the melancholic THE FESTIVAL IS OVER (No. 7), set to a tune of Hat Ly (southern lullaby). The drums shaking the moonlight on the Great Wall is an image from Doan Thi Diem's Chinh Phu Ngam (Song Of The Soldier's Wife). In the second section, the legend of the Nam Xuong woman is introduced for the first time. While her husband Truong was at war, she amused her child by pointing to her shadow on the wall and calling it his father. When the soldier returned, the child told him, in the mother's absence, that he could not be his real father who came only at night. Truong thereafter angrily accused her of being unfaithful, whereupon she threw herself in the river. Here Pham Duy has adapted the legend and the shadow is cast by the setting sun on the dyke.

MOTHER IN THE TRAVELLER'S HEART (No. 8) is a march, but an unusual one with a lingering feeling of compassion and a longing for peacẹ Lam Son (Blue Mountain) was the base from which Le Loi liberated Vietnam from the Chinese invaders in the 15th century, while Hoanh Son, a buttress of the Annamitic Range, was foretold by the great Vietnamese astrologer Nguyen Binh Khiem to give "protection for ten thousand generations". MOTHER'S ANSWER (No. 9) gives a delayed reply to No. 6, yet the tone is just as mournful.

In MOTHER TURNS INTO STONE (No.10), the shadow of the Nam Xuong soldier has come and gone for the four thousand years of Vietnam's historỵ Mother's milk has dried after witnessing all the hardships. At the sight of suffering in all directions, she turns into stonẹ Again this is an adaptation of a well known legend, Hon Vong Phu (The Rock of Expectation), in which a soldier's wife carrying her child waited for her husband day after day on a mountain top, until she herself turned into a rock (reputedly still a landmark in Vietnam). With this comes the end of Part II.

LONGING TO GO HOME (No. 11) is a short, melancholic folk rhyme leading into the frenetic OBSESSED RIVERS (No. 12). Mother Vietnam's children, represented by her rivers, are possessed by dreams of glories and begin to forget Mother. The mighty, often destructive Red River and the Bach Dang (White Crested) are mentioned, the later being the site of two famous naval victories, King Ngo Quyen's in the tenth century (which opened Vietnam's independence era) and General Tran Hung Daós over the Mongols.

RIVERS ENTOMBING MOTHERS (No. 13) contains references to three different stories, one real, one semi-mythical and one fictional. In 40 ẠD., after her husband was executed by the Chinese overlords, Trung Nu Vuong rallied the people and liberated Vietnam from the Chinese yoke for a short period before being defeated by the Chinese general Ma Vien. She defiantly threw herself into the Hat river rather then submitting. The Nam Xuong lady is again mentioned. The last stanza refers to the wife of You Must Live, a short story by the contemporary writer Khai Hung; when a peasant couple was swept away by the rising flood, she refused her husband's help and gave up her life so that he might live and raise the children.

RIVERS WHICH HAVE LOST THEIR WAY (No. 14) is a logical continuation of No. 12 and is set to the same theme. The River children are now completely captivated by their ideologies, as represented by the colors red, brown, yellow etc., and having lost their souls begin to fight each other. RIVERS OF DIVISION (No. 15) starts with an untranslatable word play on "dividing (or divided) water", since "nuoc" means both country and water. There is a quick reference to the legend of the heavenly princess Chuc Nu, who fell in love with her father's cowherd; as a punishment he was banished to the other side of the Silvery River (Milky Way) and the couple was allowed to be reunited only once every autumn. The Thuong river's murky and clear halves flowing side by side have long been another symbol of separation. The Gianh divided Vietnam during the Trinh Nguyen secession (1600-1786) just as the Ben Hai river divided Vietnam after independence in 1954. At the end, a ray of hope comes with the faint voice of long forgotten Mother calling to her children, leading to Part IV (Sea).

The faint voice turns into a soothing lullaby as MOTHER OCEAN (No. 16) brings a hopeful mood, then into persistent sea calls in the evocative WAVES ON THE EASTERN SEA (No.17). Finally the call is heeded in the joyful and rhythmic HOMEWARD SAIL THE BOATS (No. 18). This song, and No. 20, end with the familiar "stork" folk strain symbolising a return to Vietnamese values.

LIGHTNING ON THE SEA, RAIN ON THE SPRINGS (No. 18) brings a note of mysticism as sadness and joy intertwinẹ The title is from a folk rhyme, and Pham Duy himself explained: "At her children's return, mother's joyous tears evaporate and rise to the sky to form clouds full-bodied and warm, which float away to cleanse the whole earth, closing the full circle of Me Viet Nam." This cyclic theme is developed further in SILTING SANDS AND SWIRLING CLOUDS (No. 20), in which Sea Mother sends back silt and sand to build up the earth from which she came, as "lifeblood circles back to the heart". In the poignant O MOTHER VIETNAM (No. 21), the repentant children promise to love each other and cherish Motherland for ever.

The Finale, VIETNAM VIETNAM, has been called the Vietnamese's "unofficial national anthem" and is one of their best loved songs. Its grand vision, built on universal love and humanity, is rare in Vietnamese literature and music. Contemporary history is never far, however - the innocuous "sacred flame" is an allusion to the monk Thich Quang Duc's fiery self-immolation, which contributed to the downfall of Ngo Dinh Diem in 1963.



1. To get the CD "Mẹ Viet Nam" go to Phạm Duy's homepage.

2. The English verses of Me Viet Nam are for singing and therefore aim to convey ideas and moods rather than to be an accurate translation. As far as possible, however, all references to Vietnamese mythology, popular literature and history have been preserved.



By Phạm Duy
English lyrics by Pham Quang Tuấn



Me Viet Nam, no rouge, no powder
Me Viet Nam, just soil and sun
Me Viet Nam, no silk, no velvet
Me Viet Nam, just plain homespun


Her cheeks rosy, so rosy, her hands so white,
Slender of build, rounđbreasted, waist wasp-like,
- In the wind she lies -
O Me Viet Nam, eyes so clear, hair a-streaming in the wind,
By the ocean, legs a-stretching, she's looking for the rain.
For husband fair she looks for husband fair,
The gentle earth is eager to welcome the ploughshare
- In the mist she smiles -
O Me Viet Nam off'ring her suntanned body, Me Viet Nam
Virgin ricefield, waiting still for seeds to come, Me Viet Nam
Beneath the dawn sky,
In golden twilight,
The swallows of spring are soaring in free flight
In search for love, Me Viet Nam!


For her husband Mother waits,
Arms outstretched she mends the skies.
In hills and streams her love endures,
The soul of Oa-Nu in her eyes.


We met when earth was brown,
When seeds slept in the ground.
When rain in Spring came late,
Hand in hand, we knelt in wait.

Then rain at last came round,
Green tips showed through the ground,
In close embrace we felt
Sweet raindrops dripping down.

Green ran the countryside,
Love grew one Summer night,
In the cool breeze from the South,
Under the moon we made our vows.

Far stretch the golden plains,
Sweet smells the ripened grain,
Young bride, Íll take you home
In the gentle Autumn rain...


She welcomes him, welcomes him with open arms.
Though life be hard, true love is in their hearts.
- Love is in their hearts -
O Me Viet Nam, all year round she works hard to feed her man,
O Me Viet Nam, day and night she keeps the fire, waves the fan.
Devoted wife, she may have been Chau-Long
Repaying his debts, always keeping her faith pure and strong.
- She's novice Kinh-Tam -
As a novice, for a fatherless child she took the blame,
Kind and loving, silently she raised him in her namẹ
She is the warrior with velvety eyes,
Deadly to her foes, in battle she still smiles
A smile for peace, Me Viet Nam!



1. MẸ TA

Mẹ Việt Nam, không son không phấn
Mẹ Việt Nam, chân lấm tay bùn
Mẹ Việt Nam, không mang nhung gấm
Mẹ Việt Nam, mang tấm nâu sồng.


Đôi má tươi hồng, má tươi hồng, với bàn tay trắng
Nhỏ người vai lẳn, vú căng tròn, tròn lưng ong
Mẹ nằm phơi gió trăng
Ôi Mẹ Việt Nam, Nghiêng mắt xanh chải tóc mây ngàn
Mẹ Việt Nam, Bên bờ đại dương
Mẹ duỗi chân dài chờ mưa tuôn, Mẹ Việt Nam
Mẹ mong, mong chồng Cũng như là ruộng sâu nông
Ruộng cứng hay mềm
Cũng êm đềm đón lưỡi cầy tìm da thơm
Mẹ cười trong gió sương, Ôi Mẹ Việt Nam
Dâng tấm thân nhuộm nắng nâu ròn, Mẹ Việt Nam
Đây ruộng đồng trinh
Mẹ khát khao mầm, mầm tươi ngon, Mẹ Việt Nam
Trời Đông ánh dương hồng
Cũng như chiều vàng mênh mông
Có đàn chim én lượn trên đất xinh
Chứa chan tình, là tình mong chờ
Mẹ Việt Nam.


Mẹ chờ mong Ngày trông tháng đợi
Đợi Thần Trai đội đá vá trời
Với hồn Nữ Oa Mẹ giơ tay đón
Với tình nước non Mẹ còn chờ mong.


Yêu nhau khi lúa chưa mòng
Thương nhau khi nắng khô đồng
Ôm nhau nghe nước mưa ròng

Chẩy vào lòng cập tình nhân
Bên nhau khi lúa xanh rờn
Chia nhau bông chĩu thơm vàng
Đem nhau ra giữa sân làng
Nhìn đèn trăng kể truyện xưa
Xinh xinh bãi lúa xanh rì
Ngoan như cơn gió đêm hè
Nghe hơi dưới đất vỗ về
Một lời thề nặng tình quệ
Vươn vai lúa nhớn dậy thì
Mưa thu cưới lúa đem về
Nâng niu lúa chín tới kỳ
Kỳ nở hoa, đẹp lòng ta.


Mẹ đón cha về, đón cha về
Duyên thề chắp nối
Cuộc đời trôi nổi, vẫn tươi cười vì lòng vui
Đời nghèo nhưng có đôi
Ôi Mẹ Việt Nam
Năm tháng lo gạo gánh nuôi chồng, mẹ Việt Nam
Đêm ngày thầm mong
Lửa bếp thơm nồng tình uyên ương, mẹ Việt Nam
Mẹ yêu, yêu chồng có khi Mẹ là Châu Long
Nợ trả thay chồng vẫn giữ lòng
Trắng như ngần và sạch trong.
Mẹ là tiểu Kính Tâm lên chùa giải oan
Ôi sót thương trẻ khóc trong vườn, trẻ con hoang
Ôi Mẹ từ bi
Giọt máu rơi này, Mẹ nhận là con, mẹ Việt Nam.
Việt Nam có anh hùng, mắt nhung và môi son
Giữa mùa Xuân giết giặc
Yêu nước non, hé môi cười
Nụ cười thanh bình
Mẹ Việt Nam.




For king
For lord
He goes...
O God how many foes
Must he kill, kill for them?


Springtime breeze, upon the hillsides
Wild flowers sway,
Wild flowers swaỵ
Young mother's thoughts stray
On this Spring daỵ..
It's festival time
Wherés the laughter gonẻ
Wherés the young folk gonẻ
They went long ago
When drums shook the moonlight
On Great Wall one night,
The men went to fight
On far battlegrounds.
The festival is over now!

Summer breeze, the setting sun wanes
On the hill
On the hill.
One Summer day,
The child stops play,
Where is my dad?
Like Nam-Xuong's soldier
Is he gone forever?
The lingering light
Plays tricks on the dykẹ
Could this shadow bẻ
My son, can you see
Your wish has come true!
Your father's come home to you!


Deep run the forests
Tall rise the mountains
Yet we know theréll be a waỵ
Though hardships may abound,
Though dangers surround,
Yet we know wéll see the daỵ

To Lam-Son we go
To That-Son we go
Where ancient battles were won.
Hoanh Son's great rampart
Faithfully stands guard,
Yes, we know theréll be a waỵ

Remember Mother's words
In days long past we heard
Life was made to share
Man was born to care
Yet the world has seen many sorrows.
War rages through our land,
Our people need our hand,
Let's join our Mother in the mountains.
My love, yoúre called to war,
Íll wait for evermorẹ
Our mulb'ry Íll tend,
Our child Íll defend,
While the soldier answers his Mother's call.
Her arms extending wide,
She stands by our side,
Her son for her love must fight!


For people
For country
For village,
Keep well my love and fight
I'll raise, raise our child.


Autumn wind, a young child sleeps
Mother sings,
Mother sings.
For four thousand years
The shadow has called
The shadow has gone
The shadow has fall-en
To nourish the fields.
Hilltops have gone white
As bones bleached and dried,
And blood stained the earth
And Mother's milk dried.
But when good news came
Her breasts gave forth a sweet milk stream!

Winter chill, she stands and she looks
In the four winds
What does she see?
A ploughman in rags,
A peddling girl
And her unsold cakes.
She stands and she finds
A young begging child,
A human draught horse
With a lumbering cart,
A poet downhearted,
Then Mother turns into stone.



Lính vua !
Lính chúa !
Lính làng !
Trời ơi ! Giết bao nhiêu giặc
Cho chàng, chàng phải đi ?


Gió mùa Xuân,
Mẹ bâng khuâng hỏi :
Hoa trên đồi, hoa trên đồi
sớm tối còn tươi
Giữa ngày xuân mới,
giữa hội mùa vui
Sao vắng tiếng cười ?
Sao vắng bóng người ?
Tiếng trống, trống năm xưa,
trống đổ, đỏ đêm khuya
Trên trường thành trăng ngả,
cho tàn cuộc vui nhỏ
Cho ai tiễn đưa người
Ra đi chốn xa vời, hỡi aị

Gió hè qua, Mẹ ra con hỏi
Khi trên đồi, khi trên đồi
nắng quái chiều hôm
Có phải chàng Trương
gốc miền Nam Xương
Xa vắng xóm làng
vì cha ở chiến trường
Nắng sẽ sẽ không đi,
bóng Mẹ ngả trên đê
In hình người chiến sĩ,
cho Mẹ nhìn con trẻ
Con ơi hỡi cha kìa
Mau ra đón cha về với con.


Đồi cao, cao núi cao
Rừng sâu, sâu rú sâu
Cũng có, có lối leo đường trèo
Đường treo, treo giữa đèo
Đường dẫu, dẫu hiểm nghèo
Đường ta, ta vẫn có lối theo
Đường lên, lên núi Lam
Đường sang, sang Thất Sơn
Đường tới những chiến công ngọn nguồn
Hoành Sơn nghiêng dẫy nằm
Vạn kiếp chốn dung thân
Đường đưa ta đến với người thương.

Ra đi còn nhớ ngày nao
Nuôi con Mẹ vẫn nguyện cầu
Người sinh ra có nhau
Phải thương nhau mến nhau
Nhưng đã có biết bao phen khổ đau
Giặc xâm lăng nước nhà
Phải cứu lấy đân ta
Thì ta lên núi với Mẹ già
Anh ơi ! Phải lính thì đi
Nơi quê em gìn giữ lời thề
Vườn dâu em đốn sâu
Trẻ thơ khôn lớn mau
Cho chiến sĩ bước theo tiếng Mẹ kêu
Mẹ giơ tay đón chào
Gìn giữ lũ con yêu
Vì yêu, con chiến đấu dài lâu.


Giữ dân !
Giữ nước !
Giữ làng !
Giữ thân cho Mẹ !
Cho nàng dậy con.


Gió mùa Thu, Mẹ ru con ngủ
Con vẫn chờ
Con vẫn chờ
Bóng cũ người xưa
Bốn nghìn năm qua,
bóng về rồi đi
Bóng ngã chiến trường
làm phân bón cánh đồng
Tóc núi đã phơi xương,
máu nhuộm cả vai non
Ai làm dòng sữa cạn?
Xin mời Mẹ lên ngọn
Nghe tin nước vui mừng
Cho nên Mẹ ứa đôi dòng sữa ngon.

Gió mùa Đông, Mẹ không thấy mỏi
Đứng trông về,
đứng trông về
Bbốn cõi trời xa
Sót người nông phu
chắp từng manh áo
Thương gái gánh về
thùng bánh ế cuối ngày
Biết mấy nỗi thương vay,
thấy trẻ nhỏ giơ tay
Con ngựa người vất vả,
xe nặng nề qua ngõ
Thương thi sĩ hay buồn
Cho nên Mẹ hóa ra hòn núi cao.



I wait on the bank each day
The homeward boat
never comes this way


Khoan hoi ho khoan oi khoan khoan ho ho khoan
Why do you river run across my way?
Khoan hoi ho khoan oi khoan khoan ho ho khoan
Why don't you ferry never come this way?
The mighty Red, so swift he flows,
The Da he grabs, the Lo he tows,
The Bach Dang buries many Northern fleets,
Each one is vying for the greatest deeds.
Heigh ho heigh ho
For fame and glory look how fast they go!
Heigh ho heigh ho
Their mother's waiting but away they flow!
Heigh ho heigh ho
Heigh ho heigh ho


Brave and proud she stood in defeat
and welcomed a glorious death.
Borne away by the wand'ring Haat,
her body drifted on the waves...
Her heart remains for all time
defiant in the wat'ry gravẹ
Reaching to aggrieved souls,
she gathers Nam-Xuong's wife in her arms.
O Mother! Mother!
For your sons and daughters
you chose the river!
O Mother! Mother!
This water forever shall cleanse your children's hearts!
Driftwood, mother was gath'ring
in the shallows by river's sidẹ
Rising flood, surging, swirling wild, took her
in a mad treach'rous tide.


Khoan hoi ho khoan oi khoan khoan ho ho khoan
In many colors, treacherously they ride,
Khoan hoi ho khoan oi khoan khoan ho ho khoan
Engulfing mother, murderous-minded and wild,
The blood red stream fights off the brown,
The sick and helpless green cries out,
The yellow king shows off his golden gown,
The snaking troops follow the dragon's crown.
Heigh ho ho heigh
For fame and glory they have gone astray,
Heigh ho ho heigh
Poor loveless souls who forgot mother's way,
Heigh ho ho heigh
Heigh ho ho heigh


Whereto do rivers go,
Splitting and parting as they flow?
As the Silv'ry Stream divides
The Cowherd and his Princess Bride,
Song Thuong's dark and light
Flow on side by side,
Stream of love and stream of hate and spitẹ
O Song Gianh scene of grandiose schemes!
O Ben Hai of shattered dreams!
Born of joyful springs
Floods of tears you bring,
Cold and grim, soullessly wand'ring streams!
Bonds of friendships and love you part,
Splitting brothers, estranging hearts,
Breaking bones and limbs,
Slashing flesh and skin,
Wounds that leave forever searing scars.
O how many a broken dream
Has passed under Hien Luong's beams?
Sund'ring North and South,
In the mist you flow,
Cold and grim, soullessly wand'ring stream!
Back home a mother yearns
For wayward children to return.



Chiều chiều ra đứng bờ sông
Muốn về quê Mẹ
Muốn về quê Mẹ
Mà không có đò !


Khoan hời hò khoan, ơi khoan khoan hò hò khoan
Ai bảo là sông, ơi sông không có đò ngang
Khoan hời hò khoan, ơi khoan khoan hò hò khoan
Ai bảo là sông, ơi sông không chờ người sang
Sông Hồng cuộn sóng lôi cuốn Sông Lô
Sông Đà, Sông Đuống trôi xuống Sông Cầu
Nghe Bạch Đằng Giang chôn bao nhiêu xác quân Tầu
Sông nào cũng muốn đến trước tranh lấy công đầu
Khoan hời hò khoan
Sông còn ngổn ngang
cho nên chưa được bình an
Khoan hời hò khoan
Sông còn mải mê cho nên chưa về Mẹ quê
Khoan hời hò khoan
Khoan hời hò khoan


Nhớ xưa, nhớ Mẹ, nhớ Mẹ xưa
Mẹ xuống sông rửa nhục anh hùng
Mẹ trôi trên dòng sông Hát
Nước ngược suôi đưa Mẹ đi muôn nơi
Nhớ chăng, nhớ Mẹ, nhớ Mẹ chăng?
Chôn đáy sông mối hận yêu chồng
Chàng Trương có buồn thương khóc
Rước Mẹ lên, nước thiêng sẽ giải oan
Nhớ Mẹ, nhớ Mẹ
Yêu đàn con, thương đàn con
Nên trao thân cho nước ngoan.
Nhớ Mẹ, nhớ Mẹ
Trên trường giang mong đàn con
Sông trôi xuốt đời trong trắng
Hỡi ôi ! Có ngày, có Mẹ vui
Ôm sóng bơi, vớt củi sông dài
Ngờ đâu sông đảo điên say máu
Nước cuộn mau khiến cho Mẹ chìm sâu.


Khoan hời hò khoan, ơi khoan khoan hò hò khoan
Ai bảo là sông, ơi sông không dìm Mẹ oan
Khoan hời hò khoan, ơi khoan khoan hò hò khoan
Ai bảo là sông, ơi sông không đổi mầu luôn
Sông đỏ như máu tranh đấu sông nâu
Sông vàng xanh yếu kêu cứu sông giầu
Sông nhuộm vàng mau chia nhau uốn khúc khoe mầu
Sông rồng lôi kéo lũ rắn đi cắn sông đào
Khoan hời hò khoan
Sông tìm vẻ vang cho nên quên lời Mẹ khuyên
Khoan hời hò khoan
Không tìm tình thương cho nên không đường về tim
Khoan hời hò khoan
Khoan hời hò khoan.


Nước đi là nước không về
Chia đôi dòng nước chia lià dòng sông
Chia đôi bên bờ bến lạnh lùng
Cho Ngưu Lang và Chức Nữ ngại ngùng
Chia đôi dòng sông Thương
Nước bên đục bên trong
Nước ân tình đổi thành ra nước căm hờn
Chia sông Gianh phân tranh mộng đồ vương
Chia con sông Bến Hải buồn thương
Nước yên vui từ nguồn
Bỗng gây nên điều buồn
Dòng lệ tuôn thành sông không có linh hồn
Chia anh em vì quên tiếng gia đình
Chia tay chân và cắt đứt ngang mình
Chia thân hình yêu đương
Cắt da thịt chia xương
Trái tim buồn còn hằn in vết thương lòng
Sông tang thương trôi nghiêng nhịp cầu sương
Cho thê lương điếm cỏ Hiền Lương
Nước sông trôi bềnh bồng
Thiếu bao nhiêu mặn nồng
Vì dòng sông, dòng sông chia rẽ đôi đường
Lũ con lạc lối đường xa
Có con nào nhớ Mẹ ta thì về.




She sings a lullaby of gently lapping tide,
A vast embrace of blue turquoise she opens wide,
Bestows her gift of salt to bring us pleasure at meal time,
With fish and prawn she fills the net of a grateful child.
Our Mother's old and sweet
She threatens no big storm,
Her rain is gentle and her wind is mild.
Each day her hopeful heart turns to the morning sun's warm rays,
Each night her longing rises for the children gone astray.
She looks to Northern winds
And to the sunny South,
Love reaching out to boundless empty space.
The lullaby of pines and gently lapping tide
Is calling wayward children back to Mother's side.




Ha a a ho o hoy
Over the Eastern sea
Ha a a ho o hoy
The waves are roaming free
Calling on wand'ring sails
To return home from all four seas.
Ha a a ho o hoy
Ha a a ho o hoy
Rivers come from far and wide
Born on snow-lined mountainsides
To Viet Nam they converge
And merge in Mother Ocean's tide.
Ha a a ho o hoy
Ha a a ho o hoy


With billowing sails we catch the fresh'ning breeze,
Along the river t'wards the sea we ride with ease,
We ride the playful waves, the playful waves.
We ride the playful waves, the playful waves.
We ride the playful waves, so playful the waves.
We children are returning home to Mother Sea,
Our mother waiting, waiting tirelesslỵ
Our mother waiting, waiting tirelesslỵ
Our mother's waiting, waiting tirelessly,
As wand'ring swallows flock home from, from the seas,
Our home so sweet and full of beauties.
Our home so sweet and full of beauties.
Our home so sweet and full, so full of beauties!
With waves so gentle and the sea, the sea so kind.
Wéll live in peace with all of mankind.
Wéll live in peace with all of mankind.
We build a home of love, our home Viet Nam,
Wéll bring our love to all the world with open arms.
Ting ting tang, tang ting ting,
For our Mother, let us sing
We shall love, we shall share
We shall love, we shall share.


Last night lights flashed on the sea
And rain came down on mountainsides...
Sadness and delights they brought, laughs and cries.
Mother smiled and sent her clouds
Ascending to the lofty skies,
And rain washed away
The sins of mankind...


The waves are rising rising with the tide,
In the moonlit night with silt and sand they come to shore,
The surging, swirling waves in the moonlight
The surging, swirling waves in the moonlight
The waves are surging swirling in the moonlight
And salty deltas grow to plains of fertile earth
And lifeblood circles back to my heart.
And lifeblood circles back to my heart.
And lifeblood circles back to my heart,
Young children watch the joyful larks soar and fly
And clouds that float so high, oh so high!
And clouds that float so high, oh so high!
And clouds that float so high, so light and so high!
They roll and swirl and weave their veils 'round the sun,
As seasons come and go, they weave on.
As seasons come and go, they weave on.
As seasons come and go, they weave their dreams
And bring down Mother's rain in sweet, gentle streams
Ting ting tang, tang ting ting
Hand in hand, let us sing
Now wéve learnt, learnt to love...
Now wéve learnt, learnt to love...


Me Viet Nam always in our hearts (*)
Me Viet Nam always in our hearts (*)
We long for the touch of your hand,
We vow to cherish Mother's land.
Lifés but a brief moment in time,
A mother's love will never die,
O Me Viet Nam,
O Me Viet Nam.

(*) or: Me Viet Nam oi, Me Viet Nam oi



Sóng vỗ miên man như câu ru êm của Mẹ dịu dàng
Nước biếc mênh mông như đôi tay ôm của Mẹ trùng dương
Mẹ Việt Nam cho quê hương muối trắng
Thêm thơm mâm cơm mặn nồng
Me còn cho con
Luôn luôn tôm to cá lớn tươi ngon đầy thuyền
Mẹ hiền không lên bão tố
Mẹ già không đem nỗi khó
Mẹ là mẹ nhà cho mưa với gió hiền khô
Ngày ngày vươn vai
Ra khơi đón ánh dương soi con tim bồi hồi
Chiều chiều chơi vơi
Không nguôi thương thương nhớ nhớ con trong cuộc đời
Mẹ tìm con trong gió Bắc
Mẹ về phương Nam nắng gắt
Tình nhà mở cửa đem ra góp với bao la
Sóng vỗ êm êm như khuyên con nên trở lại Mẹ hiền
Gió rít thông reo như kêu con mau trở về Mẹ yêu.


Hà à a hơ ơ hờ
Biển là biển Đông sóng gợn
Hà à a hơ ơ hờ
Biển là biển Đông sóng gợn
Biển Đông gợn sóng tư bề
Gọi thuyền viễn xứ quay về Biển Đông
Hà à a hơ ơ hờ
Hà à a hơ ơ hờ
Sông ra đi từ khi non dại
Từ miền ngoài sông lại Việt Nam
Có từ Hi Mã Lạp Sơn
Cũng về biển Mẹ thành con một nhà
Hà à a hơ ơ hờ
Hà à a hơ ơ hờ


Buồm căng, buồm căng, lộng gió, lộng gió thênh thang
Thênh thang thuyền về
Trên sóng trường giang, thênh thang thuyền về
Thuyền về trên lớp sóng vui, trên sóng vui
Thuyền về trên lớp sóng vui, vui vui vui là vui
Đàn con về với, với, với biển khơi, khơi Mẹ già
Mẹ già đang đón chờ ta, đang đón ta
Mẹ già đang đón chờ ta, đang đón ta
Có đàn chim én, én, én từ xa về rồi
Quê ta đẹp lắm Mẹ ơi, ơi Mẹ ơi !
Quê ta đẹp lắm Mẹ ơi, ơi Mẹ ơi !
Biển êm sóng lặng, lăng, lắng nước nôi, nôi hiền lành
Về đây xây đắp mối tình, một mối tình
Về đây xây đắp mối tình ôi tình Việt Nam
Yêu nhà yêu nước, nước, nước và thương thương mọi người
Tình tính tang tang tính tình,
yêu Mẹ già, thương Mẹ ta
Đàn con nhớ, nhớ yêu nhau
Đàn con nhớ, nhớ thương nhau.



Đêm qua chớp bể mưa nguồn
Để người trong nước hết buồn lại vui
Vui buồn chút lệ rơi
Vui buồn khóc lại cười
Mẹ cười Mẹ bốc thành hơi
Mây từ biển quý lên ngôi trời già
Mây về khắp cõi đời
Mưa rửa lỗi con người.


Triều dâng, triều dâng, ngọn sóng, ngọn sóng theo trăng
Theo trăng vào bờ, ôm lớp phù sa, theo trăng vào bờ
Ngọn triều dâng sóng nhấp nhô, sóng nhấp nhô

Ngọn triều dâng sóng nhấp nhô, xa xa xa là xa
Đồng chua rộng nới, nới, nới thành ra, ra ruộng mềm
Đền bồi cho máu về tim, lên cõi tim

Đền bồi cho máu về tim, lên cõi tim
Có đàn cháu bé, bé, bé nhìn chim, chim ngoài trời
Mây bay đẹp lắm Bà ơi, ơi Bà ơi !

Mây bay đẹp lắm Bà ơi, ơi Bà ơi !
Làn mây trắng cuộn, cuộn, cuốn khắp nơi, nơi đợi chờ
Làn mây che nắng bốn mùa, cả bốn mùa

Làn mây che nắng bốn mùa, bốn mùa mộng mơ
Hay là cho nước, nước, nước Mẹ mưa, mưa ngọt bùi
Tình tính tang tang tính tình
Cho đời người thêm đẹp tươi
Vì đã biết, biết yêu nhau
Vì đã biết, biết thương nhau.


Mẹ Việt Nam ơi ! Mẹ Việt Nam ơi !
Mẹ Việt Nam ơi ! Mẹ Việt Nam ơi !
Chúng con đã về khát khao hơi Mẹ
Chúng con xin thề giữ thơm quê Mẹ
Cuộc đời rồi phai tàn sau thế giới
Chỉ còn tình yêu của Mẹ mà thôi
Ôi ! Mẹ Việt Nam !
Ôi ! Mẹ Việt Nam !




Viet Nam, Viet Nam the sounds I heard
The very day I saw the world,
Viet Nam, my land!
Viet Nam, Viet Nam the words I'll say
The very last on my dying daỵ
I see thy many splendors,
Heights of soaring grandeur,
Mighty neverending streams.
I hear thy voice proclaim
That freedom is thy aim,
That happiness for all is thy dream.
Thy future is in sight,
A sacred flame so bright
That one and all on Earth shall see.
For Mankind we shall fight
With love instead of might
To build a world that's just and free.
Viet Nam, Viet Nam!
Eternally will shine thy flame!
Viet Nam, Viet Nam!
For ever live thy name!



Việt Nam, Việt Nam, nghe tự vào đời
Việt Nam, hai câu nói bên vành nôi:
Việt Nam, nước tôi
Việt Nam, Việt Nam, tên gọi là người
Việt Nam, hai câu nói
Sau cùng khi lià đời.
Việt Nam đây miền xinh tươi
Việt Nam đem vào sông núi
Tự Do, Công Bình, Bác Ái muôn đời
Việt Nam không đòi xương máu
Việt Nam kêu gọi thương nhau
Việt Nam đi xây đắp yên vui dài lâu
Việt Nam trên đường tương lai
Lửa thiêng soi toàn thế giới
Việt Nam ta nguyền tranh đấu cho đời
Tình Yêu đây là khí giới
Tình Thương đem về muôn nơi
Việt Nam đây tiếng nói đi xây tình người
Việt Nam ! Việt Nam !
Việt Nam quê hương đất nước sáng ngời
Việt Nam ! Việt Nam !
Việt Nam muôn đời !

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