A Song from the Brothel

(Qing lou ge)

Volume 1 of 1

This is an adaptation of a story from the art of Nan Yin (the "Sound of the South"). Nan Yin is a popular music form. It uses Cantonese dialects and local stories based on the melodies of the Mu Yu (wooden fish) and Dragon Boat styles. The most common subjects are related to folktales and love stories, particularly stories related to courtesans and brothels. They share similiar storylines and usually end in tragedy.

This is a story about a young courtesan who meets her lover on a boat. Together, they make a plan to escape the brothel. In the end, they are unsuccessful, and the courtesan must remain in the brothel under heavy security. A similar synopsis can be found in the story A Hopeless Sigh from the Brothel at Midnight, also found in this collection.