Chinese Children’s Song: “捕鱼歌”“Buyu Ge” (Fishing Song)

By Ling-Ling Lisa Shih

“捕鱼歌”“Bu Yu Ge” (Fishing Song) is a popular classical aboriginal Taiwanese song. This song is often played while people do the Zhugan Dance “竹竿舞” (Chinese bamboo Dance).  I hope my students from the 9th graders will learn how to sing this song and perform the dance for the 2016 Chinese New Year Celebration. We will try to perform the dance in the second video because it’s easier and we can also involve the audience to join the dance. We can learn the song and dance easily.


捕鱼歌 – Fishing song with lyrics, pinyin, English translation

捕鱼歌 儿童歌曲

捕鱼歌 clip

Bu Yu Ge with Lyrics and a Drawing

[In both Simplified Chinese and Pinyin]


bái làng tāo tāo

chēng duò ér wǎng qián huá

wǎng xià shuǐ dào jiā ā

tiáo xiào

hāi hēng hāi

hāi hēng hāi

hāi hēng hāi

hāi hēng hāi

[In Simplified Chinese Characters]e







[In Traditional Chinese Characters]



[In English Translation]

The Fisherman’s  Song
White waves are crashing, but I am not afraid,
Holding the rudder steadily, I row straight ahead
Cast the net into the water to the fishes’ lair
(I) Caught a big fish, ha ha ha! Hai Yo Yi Yo Yi Yo En Hai Yo! (x4)

Musical Notes for Bu Yu Ge

ID Chinese Trad. Pinyin English Definition
1 捕鱼 捕魚 to catch fish; to fish
2 song; Classifiers: ; to sing; variant of
3 白浪 bái làng  white waves
4 滔滔 tāo tāo torrential
5 I; me; my
6 不怕 fearless; not worried (by setbacks or difficulties)
7 chēng to support; to prop up; to push or move with a pole; to maintain; to open or unfurl; to fill to bursting point; brace; stay; support
8 to rise; to raise; to get up; to set out; to start; to appear; to launch; to initiate (action); verb suffix, to start; (before place or time) starting from; classifier for occurrences or unpredictable events: case, instance; classifier for groups: batch, group
9 duò helm; rudder
10 ér retroflex final
11 往前 wǎngqián to move forwards
12 huá to row; to paddle; profitable; worth (the effort); it pays (to do sth); to cut; to slash; to scratch (cut into the surface of sth); to strike (a match)
13 撒网 撒網 wǎng to throw a net
14 下水 xià shuǐ downstream; to go into the water; to put into water; to launch (a ship);
15 dào to (a place); until (a time); up to; to go; to arrive; (verb complement denoting completion or result of an action)
16 fisherman; to fish
17 jiā home; family;  Classifiers:
18 ā interjection of surprise; Ah!; Oh!
19 to catch; to seize; to capture
20 tiáo strip; item; article; clause (of law or treaty); classifier for long thin things (ribbon, river, road, trousers etc)
21 big; huge; large; major; great; wide; deep; older (than); oldest; eldest; greatly; very much; (dialect) father; father’s elder or younger brother
22 surname Yu; fish; Classifiers:
23 笑哈哈 xiào to laugh heartily
24 hāi oh alas; hey!; hi!
25 Oh! (interjection indicating slight surprise)
26 one; 1; single; a (article); as soon as; entire; whole; all; throughout; “one” radical in Chinese characters (Kangxi radical 1); also pr. for greater clarity when spelling out numbers digit by digit
27 hēng to groan; to snort; to hum; to croon; humph!

Downloadable documents and Worksheets for Buyu Ge 捕鱼歌:


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