The beauty song – 佳人曲

The movie ‘House of Flying Daggers (十面埋伏)’ contains a song sung by Zhang Ziyi (章子怡) called ‘The Beauty Song (佳人曲)’.

北方有佳人,绝世而独立。
一顾倾人城,在顾倾人国。
宁不知倾城与倾国。
佳人难再得。

Which translates to something like the following:

In the north there is a beauty: Surpassing the world, she stands alone.
A glance from her will overthrow a city; A second glance will overthrow the State.
Don’t I know she can overthrow the city and the State?
But such a beauty cannot be found again!

This is a poem by the Han Dynasty poet Li Yannian (李延年).

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