Zheng Lücheng: Thoroughly into Factories and the Countryside

Much of the following is based on CCP folklore and, and therefore not necessarily accurate. Links within blockquotes added during translation – JR.

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Main Link: 中国人民解放军军歌作曲者郑律成

Zheng Lücheng, famous composer. Born in Korea’s South Jeolla Province, Guangju, Yanglin Village in 1914, into a poverty-stricken family. Original name Zheng Fu’en, later, for his passion for music, changed into Lücheng. His father was a patriot, his three older brothers all gave their lives for the cause of Chinese and Korean revolution. In spring 1933, Zheng Lücheng and a group of Korean patriots came to China, entered the Korean anti-Japan resistance organization[s] in China, and ran the Nanjing “Korean Revolutionary Cadres’ School”. After graduation, he was active in resisting Japan in Nanjing, Shanghai, and other places, and in his spare time, he studied music.

郑律成,著名作曲家。1914年出生在朝鲜全罗南道光州杨林町一个贫苦家庭。原名郑富恩,后因酷爱音乐,改名律成。他的父亲是个爱国者,他的3个哥哥先后为朝鲜和中国的革命事业献出了生命。1933年春,郑律成和一批朝鲜爱国青年来到中国,进入朝鲜在华抗日团体开办的南京“朝鲜革命干部学校”。毕业后,他一边在南京、上海等地从事抗日救亡活动,一边利用业余时间学习音乐。

After the outbreak of the National Anti-Japanese War, Zheng Lücheng whole-heartedly went to Yan’an in October 1937, joined the Shaanbei Public School [for training cadres] and studied at the Lu Xun Academy of Art and Literature. At the beginning of 1938, he became the Anti-Japan-Resistance University of Military Administration’s musical director and vocal-music instructor at the Lu Xun Academy of Art and Literature. In January 1939, he joined the Chinese Communist Party. In May 1942, Zheng Lücheng took part in the Yan’an Arts Work Conference and attentively listened to Chairman Mao Zedong’s teachings. In August 1942, Zheng Lücheng was sent to the headquarters of the Eighth Army at the Taihang Mountains, as education director of the North China “Korean Revolution Military Administration School”. In January 1944, he returned to Yan’an.

全国抗日战争爆发后,郑律成怀着满腔热情,于1937年10月奔赴延安,先后入陕北公学、鲁迅艺术学院音乐系学习。1938年起任中国人民抗日军政大学音乐指导、鲁迅艺术学院声乐教员。1939年1月加入中国共产党。1942年5月,郑律成参加了延安文艺工作座谈会,聆听了毛泽东主席的教导。1942年8月,郑律成被派往太行山八路军总部工作,任华北“朝鲜革命军政学校”教育长。1944年1月回延安。

Zheng Lücheng frequently joined the anti-Japanese front and created a great number of musical works that reflected the soldiers’ battles against the Japanese. In April 1938, he wrote the “Ode to Yan’an” which spread from Yan’an to the whole country right after it came out, and inspired many progressive young people to hurry to Yan’an and to throw themselves into the revolution. In 1993, the “Ode to Yan’an” was included into the twenty Chinese Classics of the 20th Century, to enter the Chinese annals of music forever. In fall 1939, he completed the “Eighth Route Army Choruses” together with Gong Mu, among these, the “March of the Eighth Route Army Song” and “Eighth Route Army Anthem” which became military songs being sung in many places. During the liberation war, the “March of the Eighth Route Army Song” was changed into the “Military Anthem of the People’s Liberation Army”, with some changes to the text.

郑律成经常深入抗日前线,创作了大量反映抗日军民斗争生活的音乐作品。1938年4月间,他创作的歌曲《延安颂》一经问世,就由延安迅速传遍全国,对许多进步青年奔赴延安投身革命起了直接的鼓动作用。1993年,《延安颂》被评为20世纪华人音乐经典,永载中国音乐史册。1939年秋,他同公木合作完成了《八路军大合唱》,其中的《八路军进行曲》和《八路军军歌》成为广为传唱的人民军队战歌。解放战争时期,《八路军进行曲》更名为《中国人民解放军进行曲》,歌词略有改动。

After the victory in the Japanese War, Zheng Lücheng returned to North Korea and served successively as the Korean Workers Party Kangwon Province Committee’s propaganda director, North Korean People’s Army club director, the North Korean People’s Army Orchestra director, the Korean National Music University’s composing department director, etc.. During this time, he wrote songs in praise of Korean people’s struggles and Sino-Korean friendship, “Korean People’s Army March”, “Sino-Korean Friendship” and many other works. In 1950, he returned to China and took Chinese citizenship, settling in Beijing. He worked at the Beijing People’s Theater and Ensemble. He went thoroughly into factories, the countryside, and borderposts, left his footprints in many places, seeking for material for new works, and wrote a great number of musical works for workers, peasants and soldiers.

抗日战争胜利后,郑律成返回朝鲜工作,历任朝鲜劳动党黄海道委宣传部部长、朝鲜人民军俱乐部部长、朝鲜人民军协奏团团长、朝鲜国立音乐大学作曲部部长等职。在此期间,他谱写了歌颂朝鲜人民斗争和中朝友谊的《朝鲜人民军进行曲》《中朝友谊》等许多作品。1950年回到中国,随即加入中国国籍,定居北京,先后在北京人民艺术剧院和中央歌舞团从事音乐工作。他深入工厂、农村、边防,足迹踏遍了中国大地,到处寻找新的创作原料,为工农兵创作,谱写了大量的音乐作品。

Within several decades, Zheng Lücheng wrote more than 360 songs of different forms and genres, which won universal acclaim. Among them, the “Military Anthem of the People’s Liberation Army”, by its simple and succinct language, its sonorous rhythm, solemn and heroic melody, created a deep impression of the People’s troops’ image, the overwhelming way it pressed forward with an indomitable will, advancing fanfare, following the route of the army’s growth and its victory, and became part of the People’s Liberation Army’s combat effectiveness and political work. On July 25, 1988, the Military Central Commission officially made the song the People’s Liberation Army’s military anthem.

数十年间,郑律成谱写了360余首(部)不同形式、体裁的脍炙人口的音乐作品。其中《中国人民解放军进行曲》以淳朴简练的语言、铿锵有力的节奏、庄严豪迈的曲调,深刻地刻画了人民军队的形象,表现了人民军队一往无前的战斗风格和排山倒海的气势,如进军的号角,伴随着人民军队成长壮大和人民战争胜利的历程,成为中国人民解放军战斗力量和政治工作的一个组成部分。1988年7月25日被中共中央军委正式定为中国人民解放军军歌。

Zheng Lücheng passed away in Beijing, on December 7, 1976.

1976年12月7日,郑律成于北京逝世。

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Main Link: 郑律成 (baike.baidu)

Note: Ding Xuesong (丁雪松), born in Sichuan Province in 1918, was a cadre in Yan’an and married Zheng Lücheng there. She was a Chinese citizen; Zheng took Chinese citizenship around 1950.

On the eve of the birth of New China, Ding Xuesong was appointed to build Xinhua’s Pyongyang branch office as the office’s director. In October, one week after the branch office’s establishment, China and Korea announced the establishment of diplomatic relations. On June 25, 1950, the Korean War suddenly broke out. With the tensions on the Korean peninsula and domestic decisions on their mind, it was decided to immediately establish an embassy in Pyongyang. Its main task was to maintain contacts between the two parties and armies, and to get aware of changes on the battlefield without delay. With Ding Xuesong as the Xinhua branch office director and a member of the embassy, Zheng Lücheng’s situation became more difficult, and each of them having separate things of their own to do, their feelings for each other were [still] too deep to part with each other. So the only way was for Zheng Lücheng and Ding Xuesong to return to China. Ding Xuesong, with help by a letter written by the ambassador to Chief State Councillor Zhou Enlai, asked for both her and Zheng’s return to China, plus requesting a renewal of Zheng’s party membership, and Chinese citizenship for Zheng. Even though Zhou Enlai was very busy, he quickly approved the requests, and Mao Zedong obtained Kim Il-sung’s agreement. Kim Il-sung was very generous, saying “Zheng Lücheng wants to return to China? That’s alright. The Chinese Communist Party developed so many cadres for us, and if you want a Zheng Lücheng now, that’s no problem.”

新中国诞生前夕的9月中旬,丁雪松受命筹建新华社平壤分社并任社长。10月,新中国成立后一星期,中朝宣布建立外交关系。1950年6月25日,朝鲜战争突然爆发。考虑到朝鲜半岛的紧张局势,国内决定立即在平壤筹建大使馆。主要任务是保持两党、两军之间的联系,并及时了解战场的变化。丁雪松如留任使馆官员或新华社平壤分社社长,郑律成的处境将更加困难;或者从此分离,各自东西,可是两人感情非常深厚,不能割舍。那么,就只有是郑律成和丁雪松一道返回中国。丁雪松通过使馆给周恩来总理写信,要求回国,同时提出郑律成和她一起回去,转回郑律成的党籍并加入中国国籍的要求。周总理百忙中很快批复,并亲笔致函征得了金日成首相的同意。金日成同志十分大度,说:“调郑律成回国?可以嘛,中国共产党给我们培养了那么多干部,现在你们要一个郑律成,不成问题”。

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He [Zheng] and Ding Xuesong were both persecuted during the Cultural Revolution, and he fell into a deep depression. Tragically, when he heard of the fall of the Gang of Four, which signaled the end of the Cultural Revolution, he suffered a stroke and died.
From 1979 to 1984, Ding Xuesong represented the PRC as ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to the Netherlands and later to Denmark.

Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Women, Lily Xiao Hong Lee (ed), New York, 2003, page 145.

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Related

» Wen and Jang: Joint Efforts, Aug 17, 2012
» The People’s Heroic Models, CCTV, Sep 26, 2009

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Update/Related

» Zheng Lvcheng, CRI/Soundcloud, Aug 4, 2012
[Update, Dec 23, 2012: now removed, but if you want the soundfile, contact me by email or comment.]

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