The Sword March
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|The Sword March|
|Literal meaning||The Big-Knife March|
"The Sword March" is a Chinese patriotic song first sung in the Republic of China during the Second Sino-Japanese War (World War II) after the Japanese invasion of 1937. It is also known in Chinese by its first line, Dàdāo xiàng guǐzi de tóu shàng kǎn qù: "Our dadaos raised o'er the devils' heads! Hack them off!"
Mai Xin wrote the song in 1937 specifically to honour the valour of the 29th Army during the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, where their standard weapons were only a rifle and a sword known in Chinese as a dadao. Originally an agricultural tool, the long-hilted Dadao with its powerful chopping blade was a favourite weapon of peasant militias. As this name literally means "big knife", the song was also known as "The Big Sword March". Guizi—literally, "the hateful one(s)"—was a racial epithet formerly used against the Western powers during the failed Boxer Rebellion; the anthem helped popularise its use in reference to the Japanese, which remains current in modern China.
The lyrics were later changed to broaden its appeal from just the 29th to the "entire nation's" armed forces. This song became the de facto army marching cadence in the Chinese National Revolutionary Army. The Chinese television series known in English as Chop! in fact used the song's opening line as its title. It also appears in the films Lust, Caution and The Children of Huang Shi.
|Simplified Chinese||Traditional Chinese||Pinyin||English Translation|
Dàdāo xiàng guǐzi men de tóu shàng kǎn qù!
Our swords raised over the devils' heads, hack 'em off!
- Lei, Bryant. "New Songs of the Battlefield": Songs and Memories of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, p. 85. University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh), 2004.