Vietnamese Culture
                        Copyright 1998 Tran Thong

Issue 33. Vietnamese folk song: tha(`ng bo+`m

Please direct all questions to trant@alumni.princeton.edu
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Issue #1:  Tet 1971 in Vietnam! by Phu Si, VB710118
Issue #2:  The Unicorn dance at Tet, by Minh Tam, VB710118.
Issue #3:  The origin of Tao Quan, the three kitchen gods, by
           George F. Schultz, VB710118.
Issue #4:  1971 - The year of the Pig, by Van Ngan, VB710118.
Issue #5   The Joy of "first writing of the new year", by Thuy Ngoc,
           VB710208.
Issue #6:  Traditional Vietnamese male attire, by Van Ngan, VB710208
Issue #7:  The legend of Princess Lieu Hanh, George F. Schultz, VB710215 
Issue #8:  The dialogue on Mount Na-Son, George F. Schultz, VB710222
Issue #9:  The secret housewife, George F. Schultz, VB710301
Issue #10: The golden axe, George F. Schultz, VB710308
Issue #11: Golden age of Viet Nam under the Hung Kings, Pham Tung, 
           TAS720506.
Issue #12: The legend of Chu Van Dich, George F Schutlz, VB701221
Issue #13: The sandalwood maiden, George F. Schultz, VB7010??
Issue #14: Legend about Emperor Ly Thai-To, George F Schultz, VB7010??
Issue #15. Chu Dong-Tu and Princess Tien Dung, George F. Schultz,
           VB701005
Issue #16. The husband's most difficult task: teaching his wife, 
           Van Ngan, VB 691216
Issue #17: Superstition in Viet Nam, Van Ngan, VB6911?? - May 8, 1996.
Issue #18: Hair: VN style, VB7007?? - May 15, 1996
Issue #19: Funeral rites in Viet-Nam, Van Ngan, VB7006?? - May 22, 1996.
Issue #20: "Non Bai Tho" or the "Poetical Leaf", ???, VB7011??.
Issue #21: The different systems of writings in Viet-Nam, ???, VB710201.
Issue #22: Vietnamese literature in "Chu Nom", ???, VB710201.
Issue #23: The boat of illusion, Nguyet Cam, Heritage Sept/Oct 1995.
Issue #24: Tran Hung Dao's proclamation to his officers, 
           George F. Schultz, VB 710201.
Issue #25: The refined pleasure of tea-drinking, Tuong Minh, The 
           Saigon Times Weekly, No. 238.
Issue #26: The hero of Phu Dong, ADT
Issue #27: The genie of Ta?n Vie^n, ADT
Issue #28: The magic crossbow, ADT
Issue #29: The legend of tra^`u cau, ADT
Issue #30: Tu+` Thu+'c and Gia'ng Hu+o+ng , ADT
Issue #31: Tru+o+ng's wife, ADT
Issue #32: The legend of ba'nh chu+ng, ba'nh da^`y and the watermelon.
Issue #33: Vietnamese folk songs: tha(`ng bo+`m, ???, VB710201.
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                Tha(`ng Bo+`m
Tha(`ng bo+`m co' ca'i qua.t mo
Phu' o^ng xin ddo^?i ba bo` chi'n tra^u
Bo+`m ra(`ng: bo+`m cha(?ng la^'y tra^u
Phu' o^ng xin ddo^?i ao sa^u ca' me`
Bo+`m ra(`ng bo+`m cha(?ng la^'y me`
Phu' o^ng xin ddo^?i mo^.t be` go^? lim
Bo+`m ra(`ng bo+`m cha(?ng la^'y lim,
Phu' o^ng xin ddo^?i con chim ddo^`i mo^`i
Bo+`m ra(`ng bo+`m cha(?ng la^'y mo^`i
Phu' o^ng xin ddo^?i na('m xo^i. Bo+`m cu+o+`i

Little Bom has a fan made of a palm of an areca nut tree
A rich man asks him to trade it for three oxen and nine water buffaloes
Little Bom replies: I don't want either oxen or buffaloes
The rich man offers a pond of fish
Little Bom says: I don't want any fish
The rich man offers a raft of ironwood
Little Bom says: I don't want any ironwood
The rich man offers a bird made from turtle scale
Litle Bom says: I don't want any scale
The rich man offers a handful of sticky rice
Little Bom smiles

TT: I remember in high school having to write an essay on this folk song. 
We had long discussions on Little Bom's behavior that range from a qua^n 
tu+? not after material stuff to being a stupid boy. The one that I 
believe to be the best is that he is a realistic boy. What are his chances of 
getting all these fancy stuff for a fan? A handful of sticky rice in the 
stomach is probably better than fancy promises!

Bo+`m refers to the mane on the boy's head. In the country side, young 
boys used to have their heads shaved with just a small patch left to 
grow.
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Send me an e-mail at trant@alumini.princeton.edu