Deathsong: Cuiqiao’s Ballad as Ghostsinging (Appendix)

Below is the typo-filled text of the full ballad Cuiqiao is overheard singing, for the last time as she drowns by her own will.

I have appended the 5 reprises of the Daughter’s Lament that spread the song across the sound track, since they are the lyrical leitmotifs that both frame and pre/re tell the ancient story: compelled silence, strangled real love (desire), coldness of contract, and self-silencing to escape the unbearable pain of love denied. This proto-story or armature has so many centuries of enforcement behind it (hardly just in China) that it became a distinct genre, called kujiage, or lamenting unwanted marriage (entailing losing a home, childhood friends, and a lover), to a degree paralleling the swansong arias (almost always female) familiar in “Romantic” Western opera.

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