Um Po Cheh

(1st Version in Hokkien)

Um Po Cheh

Khow Lay Lay

Khow Snia Tai

Khow Beh Keh

Keh Toe Loke

Keh Ow Piak Kow

Ow Piak Kow Chow Huay Hoon

Keh Hor Cheong Koon

Cheong Koon Bay Leik Tow

Keh Hor O

O Beh Thye

Keh Hor Siew Chye

Siew Chye Beh Tiong Ki

Keh Hor Niow Chu

Niow Chu Beh Chng Lai Khang

Keh Hor Tio Hu Ang

Tio Hu Ang Beh Tio Hu

Keh Hor Chan Chu

Charn Chu Beh Thai Hair

Keh Hor Chooi Thang

Chooi Thang Beh Kun Chooi

Keh Hor Sau Chiu

Sau Chiu Beh Sau Tay

Keh Hor Beh Chap Huay

Beh Chap Huay Beh Lelong

Keh Hor Sai Kong

Sai Kong Beh Liam Keng

Keh Hor Leng

Leng Beh Choot

Keh Hor Nui

Nui Beh Tok

Keh Hor Gulu Lok Su

Gulu Lok Su Beh Sio Tu

Keh Hor Bey Bar Chee Hu

.

(1st Version in English)

Cicada is grieving

Why are you grieving?

Grieving to be married?

Married to who?

Married to the back drain?

But the drain smells burnt

Why not the general then?

General buys some mung beans

Why not the oyster then?

But the oyster needs to be cooked

Why not the scholar then?

But the scholar needs to sit for his exams

Why not the rat then?

But the rats needs to burrow

Why not the fisherman then?

But the fisherman needs to go out to sea

Why not the bull frogs then?

But the bull frog needs to prepare the prawns

Why not the beer barrel then?

But the beer barrel is for brewing

Why not the broom then?

But the broom needs to sweep

Why not the grocer then?

But the grocery shop is now having a sale

Why not the medium then?

But the medium needs to perform his prayers

Why not the breast then?

But the breast needs to be suckled

Why not the eggs then?

But the eggs need to be sliced

Why not the pig cage then?

But the pig cage strangles the pigs

Why not your brother-in-law who is a butcher then!

.

(2nd Version in Hokkien)

Um Po Cheh

Khow Ai Ai

Khow Snia Tai

Khow Beh Keh

Keh Hor Chui Chui

Keh Chiew Buay

Chiew Buay Beh Eo Hong

Keh Hor Sai Kong

Sai Kong Buek Liam Keng

Keh Hor Leng

Leng Buek Tnui

Keh Hor Nui

Nui Buek Tok

Keh Hor Chek

Chek Buek Thak

Keh Hor Bak

Bak Buek Buar

Keh Hor Chua

Chua Buek Liak

Keh Hor Khar Khiak

Khar Khiak Buek Cheng

Keh Hor Cheng

Cheng Boh Ean..

.

(2ndVersion in English)

Cicada is grieving

Why are you grieving?

Grieving to be married?

Married to who?

How about the inflorescence then?

But the inflorescence needs to sway to the wind

Why not the medium then?

But the medium needs to perform his prayers

Why not the milk then?

But the milk needs to be weened

Why not the egg then?

But the eggs need to be sliced

Why not the book then?

But the book needs to study

Why not the ink then?

But the inkstone needs to be grounded

Why not the snake then?

But the snake needs to be caught

Why not the clogs then?

But the clogs needs to be worn

Why not the gun then?

But there is no smoke emitting from the gun..

.

(3rd Version in Hokkien)

Um Po Cheh

Khow Ai Ai

Khow Snia Tai

Buek Chiak Chai

Chai Boh Heok

Khoon Phua Chiok

Chiok Oo Kharng

Chiak Bi Pharng

Bi Pharng Kau

Chiak Thor Tau

Thor Tau Teng

Koay Hor Teng

Hor Teng Kuan

Chiak Sng Uan

Sng Uan Layng

Phuay Geng Geng

.

(3rd Version in English)

Cicada sadly grieving

Why do you grieve?

Craving for vegetables

But the vegetables has no leaves

Sleeping on a soiled mat

But the mat has a hole

Eat the rice crackers then

But the rice cracker is thick

Eat the groundnuts then

But the groundnuts are hard

So I crossed over the threshold

But the threshold is high

So I sucked on ice balls

But the ice balls are cold

So I eat it with longans..

.

About this rhyme:~

“Um Po Cheh” literally mean “Cicada” is one rhyme that explains the triviality of finding the right marriage partner.

The author/owner has compiled for record, a collection of early Hokkien sayings, proverbs, rhymes and ditties to capture the essence and spirit of his hoi polloi, a community originating from the southern province of Fujian, China where individuals climbed aboard bum boats, crossing the South China Sea to settle in faraway lands to escape the brewing civil unrest and a way out from hardship carrying along with them in their journey, nothing except their trademark ponytails and their beliefs, very much rooted in Confucianism. These ditties retell their story and their lifestyle way back then so that the younger generation can gain an insight and foothold to their origin..

.

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