This article does not cite any sources. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Tune of Li Zhongtang" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (April 2019) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

The Tune of Li Zhongtang (simplified Chinese: 李中堂乐; traditional Chinese: 李中堂樂; pinyin: Lǐ Zhōng táng Yuè) is the first semi-official national song of China, written by Li Hongzhang in 1896 during the Qing dynasty. It also served as the imperial anthem for the dynasty.

History

In 1896, (the 22nd year of Guangxu), Li Hongzhang (李鴻章), Minister of Beiyang and Governor of Zhili, paid a diplomatic visit to Western Europe and Russia. As a national anthem was requested for the welcome ceremony, Li Hongzhang adopted a Tang dynasty poem by Wang Jian for the event.

Lyrics

Simplified Chinese

金殿当头紫阁重,
仙人掌上玉芙蓉,
太平天子朝天日,
五色云车驾六龙。

Traditional Chinese

金殿當頭紫閣重,
仙人掌上玉芙蓉,
太平天子朝天日,
五色雲車駕六龍。

Hanyu Pinyin

Jīndiàn dāng tóu zǐgè chóng,
Xiānrén zhǎng shàng yù fúróng,
Taìpíng Tiānzǐ cháo tiān rì,
Wǔ sè yúnchē jià liù lóng.

English translation

In the Golden Palace, amongst the overlapping purple pavilions,
Like a jade lotus flower in an immortal's palm,
The Son of Heaven of Supreme Peace pays tribute to Heaven's sun,
In its five-colour chariot of clouds, drawn by six dragons.

See also