Hakka Hill Songs
One of the more famous aspects of Hakka culture is the HakGa SanGo or Hakka Hill Songs. There seem to be relatively few musical tunes, instead, the same tunes are used for a number of individual lyrics of varying subject matter. These may be love ballads, questions and answering riddles, tragidies endured by folk in times gone by, and observations about life.

You will need a Real Audio player to hear a typical snippet. If you haven't got a Real Audio player, you can click on this next link at Progressive Networks to acquire some freebies.

(Please note, thare large files, {see below} and to acquire the best result, you should ideally have at least a 28.8kbps modem.)

Many tunes are actually the same, only the content of the lyrics are different.
Below are the lyrics of a song about the graces given and suffering endured by anyone's caring parents bringing up the kids. I have packaged the entire song into 4 Real Audio (.ra) parts, mainly because the files are large to download. That not withstanding, please click on the next four links to download and hear the song in its entirety. Please not also note that the lyrics below serve as a guide to what is being sung, and is not intended to be a full verbatim transcription, since some extra words have not been icluded. For completeness, the song is sung in Chiung Hiu (lit. Pine Mouth) Hakka. There are small differences with my own dialect, but nonetheless, is almost totally intelligible, unlike of another example at the bottom of the page.

The song is sung by a male and female duo. They alternate between stanzas. In this example, the singer alludes to bamboo sticks, which is part of the accompanying music. The subject of the song is sung first. The last line of the stanza is repeated in part or in whole as a preliminary to the stanza in which the singer the sings. At the end, both singers do alternate lines of the same end stanza, finishing with both singing the same line.

Part 1 416 912 bytes : Part 2 447 212 bytes : Part 3 348 224 bytes: Part 4 205 632 bytes

I do have another song, (but only in part) not only to demonstrate the similarity of the music, but also another of the Hakka sister dialects which is probably in Meixian (Moi Yen) Hakka. It is about schooling. I sadly do not have the lyrics to this song.

Another Hakka Hill Song, but on Schooling 413 kilobytes
A Rough Translation of Chinese Character Lyrics (BIG5) : Go to Hakka Links : Return to Dylan's Homepage

This page was last updated on Thursday 2nd October 1997.
©Dylan W.H.S. 1996-1997
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