Jiashan field song
Singers of the Jiashan field song. [Photo/jiaxing.gov.cn]
A field song, a type of folk song sung in the fields during or after work, is popular in Jiashan in Zhejiang province, Wujiang in Jiangsu province, and Qingpu in Shanghai.
The Jiashan field song is one type of Chinese field song and is a descendant of the Wu song, which dates from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
The lyrics of Jiashan field songs usually use slang from the local dialect and homophonic puns to reflect rural life in the county. They are usually written by ordinary people.
During the Ming and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties and the early period of the Republic of China (1912—1949), field singers in Jiashan often organized competitions among farmers in surrounding villages.
The songs were usually performed by a single farmer or a band of three, five, seven, or nine.
In 2008, the Jiashan field song was recognized as a national intangible cultural heritage item and its main inheritors, Gu Youzhen and Gu Xiuzhen from Yaozhuang town, have been shortlisted as provincial and national inheritors of an intangible cultural heritage item.
Thanks to training programs and competitions organized by the local government, more young people in Jiashan have been becoming familiar with the Jiashan field song in recent years.