NTU 台灣大學 1964
Graduation Time: Graduation Songs   驪歌   骊歌
received from Shing Lin, Wei Chen, AJ Chen
Shing Lin's Email
Sent: Wednesday, June 25, 2008 1:15 PM
Subject: Graduation Time

Hi, All,

This is the time of the year again that people get graduated in college, high school, primary school, etc etc etc.  Of course the school invites prominent person to give speech.  
This is especially true for most universities, a big event that attracts attention.  Stanford invited Oprah Winfrey this year.  A lot of people rushed to the big stadium to see her,
not necessary to listen to her.  Some of them even dreamed of getting a free gift from her: a new car.  I didn’t join the crowd even I was just 2 miles away.  I did watch her
speech from the YouTube.  It was a so-so speech, a little bit inspiring but not carrying much weight.  “Trust your gut.  If you don’t think it is right, don’t do it.” “To be truly
happy, you have to give back to society”.  They are nice message but nothing earthshaking.  In fact, most graduates don’t have anything.  How can they give back now?  Oprah
is famous & influential person in entertaining industry.  I think you have to be influential, rich or well-known political figure to be invited by universities to deliver a speech.  
For example, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are invited every year.  I also watch Jobs & Gates delivered their speeches.  All of them had a manuscript in front of
them & they sort of read it along.  It sort of reduces the power of the speech as you might think they are reading some other person’s idea.  Good thing is that at least they
think it is a serious business.  I think Jobs’ speech is better than Gates’ except that I don’t understand why he threw out the following message at you: Stay Hungry & Stay
Foolish.  There is no obvious connection between this message & his previous talk.  Bill Gates talked about how he can save thousands of children in Africa & how important
it is.  I feel that he might underestimate the scope of his task.  I don’t think the graduates were enthusiastic about his message.  In all, his speech was very boring.  I wonder if
any of us still remember what speech and message we got from our NTU president 錢思亮, in 1964.  I remember NTU did not invite any heavyweight to deliver our
commencement speech.  If we all forgot about it, it must be a mundane one.

It seems not many schools play the anthem or any graduation song these days.  Back in our school days in Taiwan, we played school anthem in most of big events that included
the graduation ceremony.  However, each school has its own song.  The big exception is the graduation song of primary schools.  At the end of the commencement, majority of
schools sang 青青校樹….  The melody is familiar to most of us.  Most of our boys & especially girls cried & could hardly finish the song.  It was indeed a solemn
experience.  Twenty years ago, I was in a company’s café & met a Japanese woman.  It was June, the time of bride & graduation of the year.  She hummed a tune she sang in
graduation.  I was frozen.  It is the same tune as that in our schools in Taiwan.  I realized that the tune must be originated from Japan.  I never verify this until sometime ago.  
Somehow I found a link in YouTube:
This clip has Japanese lyrics with English translation.
The other link:
This one you can listen to the song and has a Chinese translation at the bottom of the page.
The another link:
This one is the Chinese version of the song just as we sang in the school.  
AJ Chen's Email
It is very interesting & very revealing when we compare the lyrics.  It is surprising that Chinese lyric is so terse & compact that the same length of song contains almost twice of
words & meaning in it comparing to Japanese.  It is deep in meaning & rich in emotion.  There is no mention as to who the author of the Chinese lyrics is.  In fact, both Japanese
& Chinese versions list 作 曲, 作 詞 as unknown.  I did get to Japanese Wikipedia to get some info, though not much:
It does mention that the song was adapted in 1884 from some unknown Scottish folk song.  It is highly plausible as it was the time of 明治維新, Japanese learned a lot of things
from Europe, be it English, French, Scottish etc etc etc.

The Chinese lyric is a piece of gem.  It is in a form 4-4-6 style, not a traditional Chinese poem style 5-5 or 7-7.  I think the reason is that the melody is 4 notes in a measure.  It is
simply hard to squeeze 5 or 7 words in one measure.  This reminds me one puzzle I had before: How did our ancestors sing 樂府, most of them are 5-5 or 7-7 style.  Perhaps old
Chinese music got different structure of measures.  Anyway, it is a shame that nobody knows who the author of lyric is.  Someone suggests it may be 李叔同.  But I doubt it.  Since
this song is not sung in mainland China, the lyric must be written after 1945 by someone in Taiwan.  李叔同 never set foot on Taiwan before he converted himself to 弘一法師.  
He did write several lyrics for songs like憶兒時, 送別 etc.

The Chinese lyric of our graduation song contains three sections:
1. The relations between you & teachers         誨我諄諄,南針在抱,仰瞻師道山高。
2. The relations between you & classmates     所唱驪歌,難捨舊雨,何時重遇天涯。
3. The relations between you & society            去去建樹,前行後繼,提攜同上康莊。

Ah, for us, it was a long, long, long time ago.
Sent: Friday, June 27, 2008 9:38 PM
Subject: Re: Graduation Time

Dear Classmates:

Look like Mark Lin is a walking encyclopedia on literately any topics. We really appreciate his generosity to share his knowledge.

BTW, I am organizing a one-day excursion for our elementary classmates, who we met more than 60 years ago, on Tuesday, July 1.
There will be around 40 participants. I am going to give them the lyrics of the Graduation Song, which will be sung while we are traveling
in bus.

I'll update the e-mail address for Min-Tai Pao. in our next Directory Update. Please let me know if there are other corrections needed to be


A. J. Chen
Wei Chen's Email
Sent: Saturday, June 28, 2008 11:28 AM
Subject: RE: Graduation Time

Hi, All,

I agree with A.J. that Mark is a walking encyclopedia. Do kids still sing this song on graduation ceremony today? Time has changed. Nowadays, the relationship between
teacher and pupils is so commercialized that it could be hard to find “love” and “respect” between them. Long ago, I saw a Korean movie where the Korean kids sang the same
graduation song. After all, the Korean school system was pretty much copied from the Japanese also. Now, compare the lyric of this song to that of the new NTU school song,
the latter appears to be quite shallow. There was another popular “goodbye” song sung on graduation, Auld Lang Syne. Its Chinese lyric for graduation was very good too,
though I don’t remember much of it.

AJ Chen's Email
Dear Mark:

Could you help us to find the lyrics of " Auld Lang Syne " as mentioned by Wei Chen in the following e-mail?


A. J. Chen
Shing Lin's Email
Hi, AJ,

There may be several versions of the lyric to "Auld Lang Syne".  The one mentioned by Wei should be the one used in graduation, not the time people sing near the end of the
year.  The closest one of this is the following:

驪      歌

驪歌初動  離情轆轆  驚惜韶光匆促
毋忘所訓  謹遵所囑  從今知行彌篤
更願諸君  矢勤矢勇  指戈長白山麓
去矣男兒  切莫躑躅  矢志復興民族

懷昔敘首  朝夕同堂  親愛兮未能忘
今朝隔別  天各一方  山高兮水又長
依稀往事  費煞思量  一思兮一心傷
前途茫茫  何時相見  相見兮在何方

Some song books list this song & "青青校樹" in sequence that means they are used for the same purpose.  So I think this 驪歌 (Auld Lang Syne) with the above text may be
the closest one you are looking for.  If Wei can't recall anything like this lyric, then there might be some other version that I don't know.  驪歌 has been used for some other
song such as the one by 李叔同, sometime called "送別".   So don't get confused when you hear 驪歌 with lyric as "長亭外, 古道边...".  That is "送別" composed by John
P. Ordway, lyric by 李叔同.  The lyric above (two sections) is for "Auld Lang Syne" during graduation occasion.
AJ Chen's Email
Sent: Saturday, June 28, 2008 6:40 PM
Subject: Re: Graduation Time

Dear Classmates:

Mark Lin helped us to find out the " Graduation Song " Wei Chen is looking for. Many thanks , Mark.

If I remembered correctly, the 1st session was sung by the graduating classes, who thanked for teachers, the 2nd session was sung by the non-graduating classes, who
encouraged the graduating classes
and the last one was sung by all together, encouraging one and other.


A. J. Chen


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