Dramas, Song Translation

Translation with Notes of The Untamed Main Theme

I have been super late to watching The Untamed, but recently received a request to translate the theme song (even though I know there are some translations out there). I personally have different interpretations from some of the other translations out there, so I decided to try it out. The lyrics to all the character songs are so beautifully written–I hope to translate all at some point, but it will take time. 

Although there are versions where Yibo and Xiao Zhan sing the whole thing themselves, I feel as if the lyrics are pretty deliberate in the way it is ordered, and have translated/interpreted the lyrics in such a way. The literal and lyrical is sometimes the same, but I have occasionally made adjustments and have noted where I have done so. 

For a lyrical translation only version, click here. You can listen to the song from the official TengXun MV here.


无羁 – The Untamed

无羁 (wú jī) literally means untamed/unrestrained, and is usually the word used to describe Wei Wuxian, who is “the untamed one.” Another interpretation is that because this song was originally named “忘羡 -Wang Xian” in the novel, which is a combination of Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian‘s names, Wu Ji is a different way of combining Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji’s names together, even though the “ji” character is different.

闻笛声 独惆怅

Literal: The sound of the flute is heard, alone in feelings of sorrow and melancholy

Lyrical: The notes of a flute are heard, lamenting alone in sorrow

This meaning of this is relatively literal–the sound of the flute reminds Lan Zhan of Wei Ying, yet now he is alone and cannot do anything but lament over the old times and feel sorrow for what is no longer here.

云深夜未央

Literal: The nights are long in the Cloud Recesses

Lyrical: The night is still young in the Cloud Recesses

This is implying that the nights feel so long in the Cloud Recesses (Yunshen) because of Lan Zhan’s longingness for Wei Ying to come back. The night has only begun, and it feels even longer as he thinks about Wei Ying.

是与非 都过往

Literal: Right and wrong, are all of the past

Lyrical: Let go of what is defined to be right and wrong

 

Lan Zhan says this to his uncle–how do you define what is right and what is wrong? To him, it is wrong to say that what Wei Ying did was wrong, it only depends on your definition of what is wrong and what is right. The literal says that right and wrong are all of the past, but I think more importantly, especially to Lan Zhan, he doesn’t want to be bound to the definition of right and wrong anymore since he no longer believes in these definitions. 

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Despite his uncle’s wishes, Lan Zhan goes to visit Wei Ying. He is no longer bound to what is viewed to be right and wrong, and this is even more prevalent later on. 

醒来了 怎能当梦一场

Literal: Since you have awakened, how can one act as if it were just a dream 

Lyrical: Once awakened, it is more than just a dream

This part is sung by Wang Yibo, and matches the lyrics later on in the song. Because of this, it can be interpreted that it is Lan Zhan’s unwillingness to allow Wei Ying to just accept all of the burdens and crimes (bad name) that have been put upon him.

红尘中 毁誉得失如何去量

Literal: In the mortal realm, fame and disgrace, how can it be measured? 

Lyrical: In this world, how can you measure the slander and praise endured? 

Xiao Zhan sings this part, and what is implied in the lyrics is different from this same line later on, when Yibo sings it. Wei Ying’s life has been filled with slander and praise, fame and disgrace, and there is no way to go about measuring or balancing the fairness/unfairness of what has happened to him. The world is unfair, and there is no way to avoid this or measure it. There is nothing that Wei Ying could do to change the attitudes others had towards him. Within this line, you almost feel a hint of resignation. 

萧萧血热刀锋凉

Literal: No matter how cold the blade, blood will forever run warm

Lyrical: The blade is ice cold, yet blood forever runs warm 

I almost see this to show that no matter how cold Lan Zhan seems, his blood still runs warm, and becomes even more so when Wei Ying returns. To Wei Ying, no matter how many blades point at him, his blood still runs warm, he stays loyal to his own beliefs, and in the end, he comes back. It also shows that the blade and people’s weapons are cold, and humans are the ones who have hearts. They are the ones in control of their actions. The heart will not become cold, even despite the injustice and violence in the world. 

山高水远

Literal: The mountains are tall, and the waters are far. 

Lyrical: Mountains grow, and waters flow 

This implies that time continues to pass since the mountains will stay tall and the rivers are far, but nothing changes their friendship. 

又闻琴响

Literal: The sound of a qin is heard once again

Lyrical: The qin sounds again

I interpret this as Wei Ying celebrating his ability to hear Lan Zhan’s qin once again, and Lan Zhan once again plays his qin because Wei Ying is back. Lan Zhan played his qin for 13 (16) years in hopes of a response from Wei Ying, and now he has finally returned. 

陈情未绝 卧荻花月如霜

Literal: Past love and feelings have never ended, the moonlight reflects like frost in the silver grass

Lyrical: Endless feelings linger, just as silver grass continually reflects the frosty moonlight

This represents the feelings Lan Zhan has for Wei Ying, but also represents that Wei Ying is still here with him. Chenqing (陈情) is Wei Ying’s flute, but it also means the reminiscing of feelings from the past. I almost translated “linger” to persist instead, but chose the word “linger” because it seems more descriptive of their relationship. It lingers there consistently, but it is something that is kept in the bottoms of their hearts–forever there, but more so kept to themselves than open to others. The second part could be interpreted in two ways: the moon reflects in the sleeping silver grass, or that the silver grass is “sleeping” and the moon is silver like frost. I like to go with the first interpretation since silver grass symbolizes purity, nobility, and love. The whole point is the moon will always be reflected in the silver grass, just like Wei Ying will always be in Lan Zhan’s heart. Almost perfect for Lan Zhan.

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Wei Ying is back with his flute Chenqing, and their feelings towards one another have never changed.

煮一壶生死悲欢 祭少年郎 

Lit: Boiling a pot of life and death, joy and sorrow, in memory of the bright young man

Lyrical: Remembering his life and death through a collection of joy and sorrow

Before his death, Wei Ying’s life was filled with both joys and sorrows, and he himself remembers this, and Lan Zhan remembers this as well. The direct translation with “boiling a pot” points towards the idea of Lan Zhan drinking Emperor’s Smile Wine in Yunshen in remembrance of Wei Ying as well. However, I think the meaning is not directly pointed at the idea of boiling wine, but just the overall entwinement of the joys and sorrows, life and death that he has endured throughout his life. Lan Zhan remembers Wei Ying and all that he had to go through while he is alive, and even more so after he dies.

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As time passes, Wei Ying is no longer the same carefree young man as he once was.

明月依旧何来怅惘

Literal: All remains the same, and the moon is still shining as always, so what is there to be mourned? 

Literal: All is as familiar as the bright moon in the sky, so there is no need to mourn

Nothing has changed, the moon is still shining, so there is no need to mourn. Wei Ying is back, and it is almost as if nothing has ever changed. 

不如潇潇洒洒 历遍风和浪

Lit: Better to live carefree and endure through the winds and waves

Lyrical: Better to traverse the winds and waves with a carefree heart

After Wei Ying returns, it seems that Lan Zhan becomes more carefree and you can see them traveling and encountering different difficulties together, with one another at their sides. Just like they had wished together. Wang Yibo sings this part, and it is slightly different to the similar line Xiao Zhan sings later. 

天涯一曲共悠扬

Literal: Playing a song together at the ends of the world

Lyrical: Sharing a melody at the ends of the world

This is Lan Zhan and Wei Ying playing their respective instruments (probably playing Wang Xian!!) at the ends of the world. I almost translated the lyrical version into “sharing a melody at the earth’s horizon” since the horizon carries a meaning that it is the ends of the world, as it doesn’t really exist, but I think it doesn’t really feel the same. I think their journey together is endless, and earth’s horizon doesn’t carry that meaning nearly as well as “the ends of the world”

穿万水 过千山路尽人茫茫

Literal:  Passing through hundreds of mountains and crossing thousands of rivers, even at the ends of the world/road, there are still people 

Lyrical: Through countless mountains and endless rivers, there are still people wandering the vast lands

Almost as if after Lan Zhan travels to the ends of the world, there are still people there, just not Wei Ying. 茫茫 is difficult as it means a variety of different things in different contexts. By itself, it can mean emptiness, but 茫茫人海 means “a sea of people.” So in this context, it could potentially be translated into the opposite–that at the ends of the world, there are no people. Although I think that also makes sense, I think it is more fitting that there are people–just not the one Lan Zhan is looking for.

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The years without Wei Ying, Lan Zhan spent them constantly looking for and thinking about him. 

是与非 都过往 醒来了 就当它梦一场

Literal: Since I’ve awakened, let it pass as if it were just a dream 

Lyrical: Once awakened, let it remain a dream 

Yibo sings this the first time when these similar lyrics appear earlier–Xiao Zhan sings this. The difference is that Wei Ying wants to let it go as a dream, and Lan Zhan didn’t. This is Wei Ying’s willingness to let all that has happened to him in his young years go, his willingness to accept what has happened and pretend it was all a dream. I interpret this in that part of him wishes it was all a dream as well. This contrasts to the beginning, where Lan Zhan thinks it is unfair to allow it to pass as if it were just a dream. 

红尘中 毁誉得失如何去量

Literal: In the mortal realm, fame and disgrace, how can it be measured? 

Lyrical: In this world, how can you measure the slander and praise endured? 

In the first part, Xiao Zhan sings this, but in this second part, Wang Yibo sings it. This part is more of Lan Zhan hoping to find justice for the slander that Wei Ying had endured, despite the fact that he knows it cannot be measured. 

萧萧血热刀锋凉

Literal: No matter how cold the blade, blood will forever run warm

Lyrical: The blade is ice cold, yet blood forever runs warm 

山高水远

Literal: The mountains are tall, and the waters are far. 

Lyrical: Mountains grow, and waters flow 

又闻琴响

Literal: The sound of a qin is heard once again

Lyrical: The qin sounds again

陈情未绝 笑世事多无常

Literal: Past love and feelings have never ended, laughing at the continually changing people and happenings of this world

Lyrical: Endless feelings linger, navigating the uncertainty of the world with a laugh

世事无常 means uncertainty of the world, but I’ve always seen this to mean two things: 

  1. In life, things often do not turn out the way you expect or hope
  2. The ever-changing and easily swayed attitudes the people in the society have toward Wei Ying is so laughable and the resignation, sadness, and disgust at this 

The first part is “reflecting silvergrass” where they are thinking of one another, but this part is different. Now they are together, and Wei Ying reminisces over the past with Lan Zhan, brushing away all that has happened with a laugh, because no matter what, they have one another now.

煮一壶生死悲欢 祭少年郎 

Lit: Boiling a pot of life and death, joy and sorrow, in memory of the bright young man

Lyrical: Remembering his life and death through a collection of joy and sorrow

明月依旧何来怅惘

Literal: All remains the same, and the moon is still shining as always, so what is there to be mourned? 

Literal: All is as familiar as the bright moon in the sky, so there is no need to mourn

不如坦坦荡荡 历遍风和浪

Lit: Better to live magnanimously and endure through the winds and waves

Lyrical: Better to traverse the winds and waves with a magnanimous heart

*Magnanimous is defined as: generous in forgiving an insult or injury; free from petty resentfulness or vindictiveness*

I’ve seen this line translated the same as the one in the first part, but I think that 潇洒 and 坦荡 carry different meanings even though they seem to be the same. 潇洒 is carefree, but 坦荡 carries a stronger meaning of acceptance and forgiveness. It means carefree, but also being open and accepting of what has happened, which is exactly the attitude I think Wei Ying carries when he returns. He is no longer quite as hung up about what had happened, and in the snow scene with Lan Zhan, he says something along the lines of “just let it all go.” Wang Yibo sang this line earlier, and Xiao Zhan sings this one. This demonstrates the difference in their attitudes as well. Lan Zhan is carefree with Wei Ying by his side, and Wei Ying can be carefree and accept what has happened because he has Lan Zhan with him. 

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Regardless of what needs to be endured, they have one another at their sides. 

天涯一曲共悠扬

Literal: Playing a song together at the ends of the world

Lyrical: Sharing a melody at the ends of the world

煮一壶生死悲欢 祭少年郎 

Lit: Boiling a pot of life and death, joy and sorrow, in memory of the bright young man

Lyrical: Remembering his life and death through a collection of joy and sorrow

明月依旧何来怅惘

Literal: All remains the same, and the moon is still shining as always, so what is there to be mourned? 

Literal: All is as familiar as the bright moon in the sky, so there is no need to mourn

不如坦坦荡荡 历遍风和浪

Lit: Better to live magnanimously and endure through the winds and waves

Lyrical: Better to traverse the winds and waves with a magnanimous heart

天涯一曲共悠扬

Literal: Playing a song together at the ends of the world

Lyrical: Sharing a melody at the ends of the world

天涯一曲共悠扬

Literal: Playing a song together at the ends of the world

Lyrical: Sharing a melody at the ends of the world

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Lan Zhan and Wei Ying, sharing a melody together at the ends of the world 🙂

 


All credits to:

Lyrics:Cheng Yi/Ming Huang

Composer:Lin Hai 

Arranger:Lin Hai

Producer:Lin Hai 

Background Vocalist:Xiao Shan

Mixing:Guo Wei

Production and publisher:NewStyle Media Lin Hai 

Please do not reuse this translation without crediting this source, thank you!

Photo Source

6 thoughts on “Translation with Notes of The Untamed Main Theme”

  1. reading this right after i finished watching the show just made everything more emotional and meaningful 🥺 thank you for helping us understand and interpret the song

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you. Just listening to the song or reading the translated subtitles didn’t seem to be enough. I wanted to understand the deeper meaning of the song that explained all the two had to say to each other. Thank you so much for this effort. Much appreciated.

    Like

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