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Chinese Children’s Songs: Trishaw / Strange or not 三輪車

三輪車 Shan Lun Che

A chinese nursery rhyme with many different variants, some comical.

The first verse of this song is about an old woman who takes a ride on a trishaw/cycle rickshaw/pedicab/becha. Click here/wikipedia to find out more about this curious mode of transportation. The trishaw driver asks for 50 cents fare, but she gives a dollar. In the song, it asks “奇怪不奇怪”/”qí guài bù qí guài”/”Isn’t that strange?” As a child, I loved riding in a trishaw. It was my favorite thing to do around Pulau Pinang Island, as you can see with the little singers in the videos below.

The second verse tells about a hungry monkey who is so hungry, he squeaks unceasingly. However, when given a “香蕉”/”xiangjiāo”/banana, he refuses it. The song asks “Don’t you think that is funny?”

The third verse is usually changed by naughty school kids into funny rhymes. The last words “敲一敲”/”qiāo yi qiāo”knock knock knock (on the city gate) is popularly changed into “滑一跤”/”huá yi jiāo”/slip and fall.

三輪車
三輪車跑得快 上面坐個老太太
要五毛 給一塊 你說奇怪不奇怪

小猴子吱吱叫 肚子餓得不能跳
給香蕉還不要 你說好笑不好笑

城門城門 雞蛋糕 三十六把刀
騎白馬 帶把刀 走進城門敲一敲

Trishaw/Strange or Not
The trishaw, it runs so fast…an old lady sits on top
Costs 50 cents, she pays a dollar… Do you think its strange or not

Little monkey squeak squeak squeak…. He’s so hungry he can barely speak
I gave him a banana he does not want it… Do you think that’s funny or not

City gate city gate egg custard… thirty six swords
I ride a white horse, I wield a big sword I walk into the city gate and knock knock knock

Hanyu Pinyin for first verse
sān lún chē, pǎo dé kuài
shàngmiàn zuò gè lǎo tàitai
yào wǔ máo, gěi yī kuài
nǐ shuō qí guài bù qí guài

三轮车 Simplified Chinese version, first verse
三轮车 跑得快
上面坐个老太太
要五毛 给一块
你说奇怪不奇怪

Click on the widget to hear or to download the version from award-winning CD 幼福-世界童謠精粹:

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你說奇怪不奇怪? Nishuo qiguai bu qiguai?/ Don’t you think that is strange?

16th century, Giuseppe Arcimboldo painted witty, surreal portraits of people composed of fruit, vegetables, animals, and everyday objects. 你說奇怪不奇怪? Nishuo qiguai bu qiguai?/ Don’t you think that is strange?

 

The Four Golden Princess (sic). I love trishaws! They are so much fun to ride on. I believe this scene was shot in Malaysia.

乖宝宝Guai Bao Bao Another good view of a trishaw. The little ones tend to sing out of tune, but very enthusiastic and sweet regardless.

A table that walks! 你說奇怪不奇怪? Do you think that is unusual?

A table that grows big and shrinks! 你說奇怪不奇怪?

Schwartz Table. Manufactured by DB Fletcher Furniture Design @ http://www.dbfletcher.com/capstan/

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2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Excellent post. I was checking continuously this blog and I’m impressed! Very useful info specifically the last part :) Thanks and best of luck.

    November 1, 2011
  2. The video of the first Four Golden Princesses is filmed in Red Square, Malacca exactly at the Stadt House (former Dutch government offices). Yes, it is in peninsular Malaysia.

    March 6, 2015

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