The moon has always been a special object in Chinese poems and songs. Usually the moon stands for the family, friendship, and love. We believe that our beloved ones can share the same moonlight with us, even if we are apart.
Wang Yue (望月) by Song Zuying is one of my all-time favourite Chinese songs. And my mum loves to hear me sing this song. I feel so nostalgic every time I listen to it. It’s about a girl separated from her family/lover, but hoping that they can be emotionally together forever. Song Zuying’s virtuous singing adds to the flavor of the song. Another similar song is Yue Zhi Guxiang (月之故乡). But I think the song would sound better with higher keys (better sung by a soprano), as what I would do if I perform.
The next is a classic song, Mingyue Qianli Ji Xiangsi (明月千里寄相思). The song was originally performed by Wu Yingying (吴莺音) in the 1930s. The lyrics are about the girl thinking about her lover in the past and wishes him all the best. The rhythms and meanings match perfectly. Here is a recent version by Zhang Yan (张燕).
Young composers and young singers also like to use the moon as the leading image in the song. A good example is Yueliang Nv’er (月亮女儿) by Zhang Yan (张燕). It’s a sweet song about a girl dreaming about her future. The whole song is immersed in a cheerful mood.
Moon is also used in the song to create a romantic atmosphere. Bange Yueliang Pa Shanglai (半个月亮爬上来) is a typical example. It tells a story of how a young man waits under the window of the girl he loves. This is a minority song, so the melody might sound a bit “exotic” even for many Chinese.
Lastly, I want to introduce one of the most beautiful songs I know, Zai Yinse De Yueguang Xia (在银色的月光下). This version is by Cai Qin (蔡琴). This is also a minority folk song in China. The song tells a story of a young man who wants to pursue his true love and follow her to wherever she goes.
There are many other Chinese folk songs which incorporate the moon in the atmosphere. The Chinese folk songs are so rich in meaning that you need to spend time savoring it.