Jump to content
Learn Chinese in China

沧海一声笑 - A laugh on the blue sea (Wong Jim) - Pls help me to understand the lyrics


Recommended Posts

沧海一声笑 is a great song written by Huang Zhan (Wong Jim). It was used in Swordsman 1 and Swordsman 2, two most famous adaptations of Jin Yong's Xiao Ao Jiang Hu.

Here it is:

I love the song but its lyrics is too poetic and metaphorical for me to really get the meaning.

Below is my literal interpretation of the lyrics:

沧海一声笑 - A laugh on the blue sea

1. 沧海笑滔滔两岸潮 - The blue sea is laughing, the tidal waves are surging up on both shores

2. 浮沉随浪记今朝 - Drifting along with the waves, I only remember today

3. 苍天笑纷纷世上潮 - The blue sky is laughing, the tidal waves of human society are numerous and complicated

4. 谁负谁胜出天知晓 - Who will win, who will lose, only Heaven knows

5. 江山笑烟雨遥 - The rivers and mountains are laughing, the misty rain is far away

6. 涛浪淘尽红尘俗事知多少 - How many temporal affairs in human society have the waves erased?

7. 清风笑竟惹寂寥 - The pure wind is laughing, unexpectedly provoking feelings of loneliness

8. 豪情还剩了一襟晚照 - The magnanimous feelings still remain ...................

9. 苍生笑不再寂寥 - The common people are laughing, no more loneliness

10. 豪情仍在痴痴笑笑 - Yet the magnanimous feelings in me are still laughing crazily

I'm not sure about lines #3, #6, and #10, and line #8 totally beats me.

What does '纷纷世上潮' mean?

What does '涛浪淘尽红尘俗事知多少' mean?

What does '豪情还剩了一襟晚照' mean?

What does '豪情仍在痴痴笑笑' mean?

Please help me to understand them.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

Good song. A dear person sent it to me once, with love :D

Anyway, as already stated in your previous thread similar to this one

Just remember in looking at songs, that you may not get an "exact" answer. They are going to be slightly abstract and you have to kind of get more of a "feel" for the lyrics rather than the exact meaning.

jianghu theme songs are usually deeper in meaning and the use of figurative speech is one of its main features: eg. 沧海 could be interpreted as short for 沧海桑田 which means life's twists & turns, in this case it refers to the vicissitudes in the life of a warrior 江湖英雄. 

笑 here is also used figuratively to imply the transience & vanity of human existence, which is best conquered with optimism and a smile (there's also this expression 红尘笑)

Here's some clarification of difficult parts in the song:

沧海笑江湖 = 人/英雄在沧海笑 man/warrior should walk through life boldly & with a smile, i.e. the way to live is smile back at life's vicissitudes (oceans and seas are seen as 'immortal', humans are not) The same applies to:

苍天笑 blue skies

江山笑 rivers and hills

清风笑 winds

滔滔两岸潮 = 江湖是非滔滔不絕 the vicissitudes of warrior's life are endless

纷纷世上潮 carried on the tidal wave of life

谁负谁胜出天知晓 who suffers who wins, only heaven can tell

涛浪淘尽红尘俗事知多少 who can tell how many dreams have been swept away by the vanity of mortal world (transient/elusive 'hongchen')

豪情仍在痴痴笑笑 I understand as:lofty/noble feelings are an eternal illusion (豪情 is short for 豪情壮志 = lofty sentiments & high aspirations, vain ambitions of humans) & 痴笑 here is not to be interpreted literally as 'silly giggle'

豪情还剩了一襟晚照 of lofty feelings nothing is left but a misty evening glow or better: lofty feelings fade away into evening glow, or something...

By the way, you got this right:

2. 浮沉随浪记今朝 - Drifting along with the waves, I only remember today

I like it :)

Now, we'll just wait for a poet to translate the song into good English 8)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really appreciate your big post and profound explanation of the lyrics leeyah.

So because 沧海 is a shortened form of 沧海桑田 and the song is the main theme of 2 笑傲江湖's adaptations how should I understand 沧海笑 滔滔两岸潮? As 'I laugh at the tremendous changes of the word, the vicissitudes of life are endless', or as 'The tremendous changes of the world are transitory, the vicissitudes of life are endless'?

Then because 江山笑 is interpreted in the same way as 沧海笑, how should I interpret 烟雨遥 to make sense of the whole line?

Lastly, what is the meaning and grammatical role of 在 in 仍在痴痴笑笑?

Sorry for asking too many questions :mrgreen:.

Edited by nowhere
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It was a pleasure to remember the song again & you're welcome :)

Well, before verbs 在 is the same as 正在 & here in 仍在 can be seen as = still doing something i.e. keep ...ing, endlessly ...ing

沧海桑田 means 世事变化很大, so I'd go for 'transiency'

since 遥 is short for 遥远, I'd (dare to poetically) interpret 烟雨遥 as: misty rains are all gone now, I left them all behind (and am moving on) something like that

Link to comment
Share on other sites

you can understand the lyrics very well only when you know some traditional chinese culture. because the lyrics is only depicting an abstract mood. so it's hard to translate it into another kind of language, because it's always have something to do with the culture. In traditional chinese culture, people highly praise the hero who doesn't care about fame and fortune. and this song also express that kind of values. i really don't know how to put this in english. but i would like to express my feeling about this song in chinese as belows:

如果你是土生土长的中国人,如果你是一个看武侠小说或武侠影视剧作长大的人.那么,当你听到这首歌的时候,你的头脑里会浮现出这样一副场景: 斜阳,悬崖,凉亭,滔天江水,一壶酒,两个人,一个扶剑长叹,一个已经倒下.活着的一挥衣袖,大踏步的走去.斜阳照在他带着血迹的衣襟上.








Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you ought to have this picture: a man ,who is the famous person in this world, but he has a few friend, he wish to do something for his country or be the top of the world, but he lost ,so he stand in front of the sea, and the wave come to him. He find that, tomorrow is another day.

1. 沧海笑滔滔两岸潮 - He stand there, and listen, the sea is laughing, and the wave come to every place

2. 浮沉随浪只记今朝 - he decide to forget all the past, nomatter is happy or sad or angry,he just wish to do what he can do now, let the destiny take him to any place.(浮沉随浪,mean let the things be ,not try to change )

3. 苍天笑纷纷世上潮 - (The wind come) ,it sound like the god is laughing(苍天笑,苍天,in this place means the god, which can control the destiny). The world is always change(纷纷世上潮,it means sometimes you'll win ,sometimes you lost....such as the earth is a round ball)

4. 谁负谁胜出天知晓 - Who will win, who will lose, only Heaven knows

5. 江山笑烟雨遥 - (all these) the world is laughing(江山笑), the rain is very little, like the fog, and it can't touth the man.(烟雨遥)

(江山 means the world ,in another song, a king said 朕知江山美如画——I know that my country is very beauty, like the picture),

(烟雨遥 it's to say that this man is alone, though the rain can make all the person wet, the rain can't touth him.)

6. 涛浪淘尽红尘俗事知多少 - the Seculars is washed by this wave ,but no one know what the things really be

(涛浪=浪涛, Cantonese mean the same thing, 淘尽, wash....such as , wash a dirty thing and then ,you can see what it really is. 红尘俗世 the world we live , of course there are some happy things ,but it have some ugly things ,too. It not like the world in the heaven, which is pure. SO, no matter how the wave try to make this world clearn, it still have many things we don't know, such as Conspiracy)

7. 清风笑竟惹寂寥 - The pure wind is laughing, IT make( the man) feel lonely.

(清风,the wind is clean , it different from the dirty world, 红尘俗世)

8. 豪情还剩了一襟晚照 - The man wish to be a hero a few days ago, but now, he lost his impuls, he was a lone, just a sunset beside him, and the sunset make a red color on his cloth(一襟晚照).

(豪情,the ideal to be a famous person, 还剩,is gone off, just one thing stay.晚照,sunset means something Decline)

9. 苍生笑不再寂寥 - The common people are laughing, no more loneliness(this time , the man find out that not just himself interest in his ideal, these make him happy)

10. 豪情仍在痴痴笑笑 - SO,he says, his ideal is still in this world ( 豪情仍在),he is laughing about this


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...