Friends (朋友), by Emil Chau (周华健). This song is a staple at karaoke bars across China. When I look at the lists of the most popular songs, this one is always on the list. I learned it because I heard it so many times at karaoke that I ended up picking it up.
Emil Chau is a singer from Hong Kong. He was originally a producer before he became a singer, but after he made the switch, he became popular all over the Chinese speaking world. This song is probably his most famous. It’s about the enduring nature of friendship and the pain of leaving others behind.
Here are the lyrics in Pinyin, simplified characters and the English translation:
zhèxiē nián yīgè rén fēng yě guò yǔ yě zǒu
All these years, alone. The wind has passed, the rain has gone.
yǒu guò lèi yǒu guòcuò hái jìde jiānchí shénme
There have been tears, there have been mistakes. I still remember what we have been through.
zhēn ài guò cái huì dǒng huì jìmò huì huíshǒu
If you have truly loved somebody, then you will know.
There is loneliness, there are goodbyes
zhōng yǒu mèng zhōng yǒu nǐ zài xīnzhōng
There are always dreams. You are always in my heart.
péngyǒu yīshēng yīqǐ zǒu nàxiē rìzi bù zài yǒu
朋友一生一起走 那些日子 不再有
Friends walk this life together. Those days will not return.
yījù huà yībèizi __yīshēng qíng yībēi jiǔ
一句话 一辈子 一生情 一杯酒
One word, one lifetime, friendship for life, a cup of alcohol.
péngyǒu bùcéng gūdān guò yīshēng péngyǒu nǐ huì dǒng
朋友不曾 孤单过 一声朋友你会懂
With friends you won’t be lonely. If I just say friends, you’ll understand
hái yǒu shāng hái yǒu tòng hái yào zǒu hái yǒu wǒ
There are wounds, there is pain. We have to separate, I’m still here.