Does The Road to Heaven Sound Like This?

On a typically cold, grey January evening in central London, Tibetans and supporters gathered opposite the Royal Courts of Justice to protest against the Chinese Vice-Premier Li Keqiang’s visit. As usual, Chinese “welcomers” were given pole position with their drums, megaphones and flags.

Photo via SFT UK

There wasn’t much unusual about this protest really but one thing I noticed was that the Chinese party seemed to take great pleasure out of blasting Chinese pop songs about Tibet at us! Maybe I just hadn’t really noticed if they had done it before in the past but when the tune started to ring a bell I realised they were playing the official song that commemorated the opening of the railway to Tibet in 2006. The song was called “Tian Lu” and it was sung by Han Hong, I’ve seen Tian Lu translated in different ways, I guess it could be Sky Road or Heavenly Road.

 

I remember seeing the song performed at official functions in Beijing. My main abiding memory of it though is that one of the security officials involved in my deportation operation had the song as his ringtone!!

This is some video I took last night of the Chinese party enjoying the music they brought along to welcome their Vice-Premier with but I’ll upload the real song as well:

I found various videos of the song on YouTube, one version uploaded by ikhamo also carries the translation of the song so I am copying it below, enjoy (!) …

Tian Lu (Heavenly Road)

At dawn, I stand upon the green grassland
I see a magical eagle bathed in ruddy light
Like an auspicious cloud soaring through the blue sky
Bringing good luck to the Tibetan people

At dusk, I stand atop the tall mountain peak
I see the railway built to my hometown
A colossal dragon soaring through the mountains
Bringing prosperity to the snowy plateau

That is a magical Heaven’s Road
Bringing the motherland’s warmth to borderlands
Mountains are no longer high, journeys are no longer long
All ethnic groups unite as one

At dusk, I stand atop the tall mountain peak
I see the railway built to my hometown
A colossal dragon soaring through the mountains
Bringing prosperity to the snowy plateau

That is a magical Heaven Road
Bringing us to paradise on earth
Barley beer and butter tea will taste more sweet
Joyful songs echo in all directions

That is a magical Heaven Road
Bringing us to paradise on earth
Barley beer and butter tea will taste more sweet
Joyful songs echo in all directions

Joyful songs echo in all directions

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4 thoughts on “Does The Road to Heaven Sound Like This?

  1. Pingback: Li Keqiang Feted in UK while Human Rights Ignored | China Digital Times (CDT)

  2. Excellent post, thank you for sharing this. I first caught it on CDT. You manage to be grim and amusing, and grimly amusing, all at once. I guess the burlesque nature of the situation only calls for that type of response. Keep it up.

  3. Pingback: High Peaks Pure Earth – Tibetan “Red Songs” Series, Part 2: “Heavenly Road”

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