Photos from Lijiang, considered in prepareation of The Entertainer is the Charm, which is presently with the publishers. Songs and photographs from northwest Yunnan, land of mountains, color, songs and dance
Rainbow girl, rainbow girl Carefree child of sun and rain Come out with me and dance in the rain I could lose myself in you, rainbow girl Out in the evening Your dance is like a late sunbeam As quickly gone as rain or sunTibetan girls dancing a traditional Tibetan fold dance at Highland Gale As ever-changing as a song
Thunder child, a ride too wildAh Yuan, dancing a Tibetan dance I could not bear to be by your side Thick with dust, your world is too wide Dont call me out, Im safe inside at Solong Tibet Out of the evening You came just like a wild thing Youll soon be gone like rain and sun As ever-changing as a song
Rainbow girl, rainbow girl Carefree child of sun and rain Come out with me and dance in the rain I could lose myself in you, rainbow girl I’d like to lure you out To change my life, to touch my heart You say youre busy elsewhere now A rainbow does not linger longJiancuo and Tashi dancing at our cook’s house warming party
Thunder child, a ride too wildI could not bear to be by your sideThick with dust, your world is too wideDon‘t call me out, I’m safe inside; You hoped to lure me outWith tales too frightening to think aboutYour world is exciting, that I dont doubt; Your thunder is loud, I wont come out Drolma dancing at the house warming, with EP dancing right behind her
Rainbow girl, rainbow girl Carefree child of sun and rainLatsu, a Pumi tour guide in Mosuodress , singing a welcome song to visitors at Solong Tibet Cafe Come out with me and dance in the rain I could lose myself in you, rainbow girl When the sun and rain are gone I could not hold you very long You danced away, away from me By tomorrow, you are gone
Thunder child, a ride too wildA neighbor, playing his xuanzi (lap I could not bear to be by your side violin) at a dance gathering Thick with dust, your world is too wide Don‘t call me out, I’m safe inside After the night is gone You wouldnt be here very long Your dance in your way, I dance in mine By tomorrow evening, youll be gone.
Nima Tashi playing a traditional song on the guzheng
Another Tibetan instrument, another Tibetan singer to an adoring audience at Solong Tibet
Another famous Tibetan singer gets a ceremonial scarf at Highland Gale, while monks and commoners applaud
In the mountains in the morning Theres a glow around your head Like a glimmer of your former life Valor, wielding dreadhand in a churn, outside Solong Tibet Butter tea, made the “real” way, by The mountain land of bandits Breeds men hardy and astute Here the air is clear, the land is rich And lifestyles absolute Tradition holds your heart, my dear, Convention holds your head Your mothers word is all you know, Where your father touched this land A family is a trophy You present before the hearth That warms the house your mother keeps, To feed her long-term dreams
2. Once you wandered off to seek Your fortune in a song Fortune brought you many fights And revelry all wrong But fearsome though you are at night By day your mind is clear Quick wit has seen you to today Through all that has appeared 3. A family is the pounding Of your bloodstream, day and night A warmth that calls you home when drunk Or wandering empty roads Before, your pride was drinking wine And fighting, knife and chain Your pride was climbing hillsides Shooting creatures in the rain 4. Your home is by the Jinsha Jiang, the Mekong River’s source Your heart is clearer than that stream And strong as the river‘s force Your pride was driving roads where mountains move and hillsides slide Mud falling from above to block your way when mountains floodIt takes great courage to keep traditions alive in a modern world
5. But better the devil you know to keep the devil you dont awayYour heart is warm though your eyes are cold; Your words are here to stay.The mountain land of banditsBreeds men hardy and astuteHere the air is clear, the land is rich And lifestyles absoluteTradition holds your heart, my dear, Convention holds your headYour mothers word is all you know, Where your father touched this landA family is a trophy You present before the hearthhat warms the house your mother keeps, To feed her long-term dreams
Everyone loves to dress up Trees that tower to the sky, Graceful hiker, take care when by, Monkeys, bears or wild cats may be there, Hidden creatures to beware of, Trees arent always all that they seem. The town streets are quite in the night, But in dark corners, young boys will fight, After the excitement of the show, At the back door anger grows, Lovely streets arent always all they seem. The mountain trails outside have soaring distant views, But be careful walking when a strong wind blows, Travelers on the higher trails kick down the sand in dusty sails, These lovely mountains are not always all they seem. The stream of crystal water rushes by, Reflecting grasses on the banks, clouds in the sky, Playful singing past the sandy rocks, Farther the rapids reach the boat locks, This stream is not always what it seems. The singers song is haunting to the ear, But I warn you, if hes drinking, please beware, Life seems peaceful but its surface beauty, Covers woes and poverty, Lovely things arent always all they seem.
Still I sing of the beautiful and mildThe lovely things I knew when I wasjust a childI am grateful for those momentsNow so distant, visions of the pastMemories are always what theyseem
When a tulku makes a ceremonial appearance it’s fun for everyone
Lama Rinpoche, hear what I saySelfish ego, take it all awayFree me from the things I thought I neededFree those truthless views and thoughts thatgrow up like weedsNow from you I can see the mind unbornI can see this illusion dissolving itselfWith you, I see appearances for what they areWith you I see appearances as nothing else
You learn a lot just walking down the street with a tulku
Any time you hang out with a wise man at little of it rubs off on you.
Friends getting together is what it’s all about
When you don’t have so many possessions to distract you, you value the people in your life more than anything.
Brothers, sometimes they see things the same way, sometimes not, but they always stick together
Best friends, sometimes they stay that way and sometimes not, but it’s always fun along the way 1. The clouds sometimes can cover but never conceal The clouds sometimes can fool you but never deny This blessing I send you remains like the sky That the clouds sometimes cover but never deny. You may look for me sometimes in the clouds in the sky You may find me there, sometimes, as softly they lie You will find me there, sometimes, as the wind rushes by You will find me through your anger, in its roar, in its sigh. 2. For this blessing of mine will remain for all time Its a wish you cant run from or ever deny Its a wish that will follow you whereer you fly You can never avoid this nights blessing of mine.3.As the sky fills with stars, may your heart fill with joyStars sedately out roaming like a wandering soulAs you wander through lifetimes that your dreams may destroyMay you always remember this time that we held.As the moon reappears bringing light to this placeMay you think of your sister’s eternal embraceFrom her arms, warmth and comfort, understanding and peaceMay you bask in this light when the moon shows her face.4. As the moon shines the brightest through the dark of the nightMay your mind be kept free of both anger and wineMay you always remember this time for alwaysMemory to stay with you for always and now.
Dances are short but the memory should be forever
Dancing together is like nothing else – or maybe it is like everything else. It brings joy to the dancer and whoever is watching. It happens, then it’s done.It’s like a flower, to be loved while its time is here, and remembered when it’s gone.
Like youth itself, the dance is gone before you know it.1. You just wont know till I have goneThe things that I have done,The things that I have done for you to make for you happy.2. You just wont thank me till that dayYou find me far away；Yes, Ill be very far away before you finally say.3. I was the one who fought your fightsFor you, laid sleepless at night；I was the one to make your home To make your home feel right5. Time will prove what I have doneTime will prove I was the one；The one to make you feel at homeTo make your heart a home for me.
Coming upon a wild orchid in thewoods or in a field is exciting
When EP married a Tibetan, wild as the orchids in his field, he presented her with a bouquet of wild rhododendrons, abundant with color, splendid in their time
The marriage was consecrated before the villagers
And then, like many another local man, the husband went away to find another
The home and the fields were not to be for the wife but for the lover
The manly tradition of riding off into the sunset was maintained in all its purity.The feelings strong, theheart is falseIt changes by the moment.Imagination running wildNo honey comes fromhornets. Your hand was strong, it made me burn Foolish I was to believe you, Your smile seemed clear, it made me think That I could start to be with you. A moments dream of comfort leads to heartbreak and much worse, A moments smile, a few stray words Years of friction only. Life together is impossible to do Why should I be so foolish as to fall in love with you?
The answer is to learn all that can be learned about the life that was lost
Honor with all your heart the friends who stopped to see you through the lesson
And dance, for love is like a dance, here for just as long as the dance is on, and when the dance is over, then love’s gone
No matter how beautiful the weddingdress, it’s only good for the wedding Out on the grassland where the little flowers grow Youve a different kind of smile when the wind begins to blow When the sun begins to burn but no one even cares When the horses come by nuzzling and the yaks stop to stare Out on the grassland where the little flowers grow Where the river runs so clear and the stream runs by so slow Where the picas sit and look at you until you come too close As the eagle keeps an eye out high, the distant deer browse Out on the grassland where the little flowers grow You once sang to me a song that I could never get to know In the rain I rode the horse that packed your soggy camping bed And you showed me how to sidle close to catch him by the head You were my buddy in the rain and when the sun comes out again You were my buddy in the new snow way too bright, your face aglow You were my buddy by the tent fire at the closing of the day Theres no boundary at the fence wire, theres no work that isnt play
•Out on the grassland where the little flowers growWith a song on the wind filled with ice and cuttingsnowWhere the day ends with a hot tea, where the tentfires always warmAnd a log on the ground is the stoop that keeps outharm•On the grass in early morning when the sun is stillhung lowAnd its wet out by the stream where the little flowersgrowAnd the curious crowd of cattle come by, crowding tolook inJust to see whos come to sit out on the hillside by thestream•Out on the grassland where the little flowers growYou lay back on the lichens when the rain began toflowAnd you wouldnt get up till I came by and sat by yoursideAnd told you once again how many beers wed hadthat nightYou were my buddy in the rain and when the suncomes out againYou were my buddy in the new snow way too bright,your face aglowYou were my buddy by the tent fire at the closing ofthe dayTheres no boundary at the fence wire, theres no workthat isnt play
Out on the grassland chasing foxes there one day We ran till we were exhausted, fell down watching fox cubs play There the hillside was so slippery we came sliding back to camp Leaving mud slides on the hillside as the distant thunder clapped Out on the grassland you once took me to a place Where the mountain spirits gather and we marked that special space Leaving gifts of little flowers and a pile of little stones Leaving there a set of sheep horns on a great big head bone That sheep heads still there staring at the sky, and at the rain.When I next come by to see you well go visit there againAnd well sit on the slope where the rivulets start to flowTalking long in the rain storm where the little flowers growYou were my buddy in the rain and when the sun comes out againYou were my buddy in the new snow way too bright, your face aglowYou were my buddy by the tent fire at the closing of the dayTheres no boundary at the fence wire, theres no work that isnt play
There were three Khampas, came to the doorAnd downstairs ran the lady - OOne sang high and the other sang lowAnd the other sang "Come out to the woods with me"Then she folded up her silk finished gownAnd pulled on boots of leather - OAnd to the cheers of the horses at the gateShe ran off with those rugged ragged Khampas - OIt was late last night when my boy came homeInquiring of his lady - OThe neighbors said on every side"Shes gone with rugged ragged Khampas - O""O saddle me up my milk-white steedBring out the dapple pony - OI must go outside to retrieve my brideWho has gone with the rugged ragged Khampas O"So he rode high and he rode lowHe rode through woods and valleys tooUntil he came to a wide open fieldWhere he found those three Khampas with his lady - O"What makes you leave your house and your land?What makes you leave your money - O?What makes you leave your own familyTo be off with the rugged ragged Khampas - O?""What care I for my house or my land!What care I for my money - O!What care I for my own family!For Im off with the rugged ragged Khampas - O!"