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Chinese poem illustration: 上邪 Father Above by Anonymous

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Father Above(上邪) is a Song used as an oath. Normally it is believed to be an oath for love or marriage by a couple. It was collected by the official Musical Department(乐府) of Han dynasty, thus we could have this oath words till today.

There is a saying this oath is between males for friendship, brotherhood, and I do believe this is the real case. It is most probably the oath among band of brothers in military troops.

An analysis on the above saying is also based on dialect of Shaanxi(秦腔), which could be the direct descendant of the official language of Han dynasty. Pointing to the sky and speak out the oath (指天发誓) is very typical in chinese tradition, and Father Above(上邪) is the first word and the party to make the oath.

With some other evidences as well , I do firmly believe this song is for brotherhood, not for love between male and female, which almost every Chinese take it for granted today.

Either way, can you feel the spirit and masculinity ?

上邪
佚名

上邪!我欲与君相知,长命无绝衰。

山无陵,
江水为竭,
冬雷震震,
夏雨雪,
天地合,
乃敢与君绝。

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