Translation: Song Commemorates Coronavirus Martyr Dr. Li Wenliang

Wuhan Central Hospital ophthalmologist Dr. Li Wenliang was punished for warning about a mysterious “SARS-like virus” before the Wuhan government or Beijing had acknowledged an emerging viral epidemic. Days later, while working on the initial frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, Li contracted the virus. As censors worked to contain public criticism of early government response efforts—which prioritized propaganda and information control over public health–—they ordered a story on the ailing Dr. Li offline. While in the hospital, Li accepted interviews with domestic and foreign media, where he shared his opinion that “there should be more than one voice in a healthy society,” and stressed the need for “more openness and transparency.” On February 7, Dr. Li passed away. As censors “controlled the temperature” of news and commentary, web-users launched a series of  campaigns demanding free speech, condemning the treatment of Li, and mourning him as a fallen warrior in the fight for free expression. In the following months, as COVID-19 continued to take a fatal toll in China and across the globe, Li has been revered as a martyr by many Chinese netizens who have found hope in his memory during a highly troubled time, and has been officially honored by the Party that earlier disciplined him for his transparency. Li’s Weibo account became a nexus an “internet Wailing Wall (互联网哭墙), a place for people to place kindness”

This week, the WeChat public account of poet and folk singer Zhou Yunpeng’s studio this week published a song by artist Dafang, written in remembrance of Dr. Li Wenliang. The original post, still available on WeChat, included an English-language translation of the lyrics, digital artifact that inspired them, and artist’s explanation. The English is posted below as originally published. For the full song credits and the original Chinese, see either the original or CDT Chinese’s archived copy.

A Healthy Society

Should Not Just Have One Voice.

—Li Wen Liang


Wen Liang, Wen Liang, the world needs different voices

Wen Liang

Lyrics/ Music: Dafang


You liked cherries

You liked fried chicken

And you watched Xu Da-sao cooking

You longed for a sequel to Qing Yu-nian


You liked cars and phones

You worried about your wife and your little daughter

The lightest drizzle

and the gentlest wind

scattered fallen leaves everywhere


Thank you, Wen Liang

You are me

I am you

Thank you, Wen Liang

The world needs different voices


Wen Liang, Wen Liang

I have not forgotten you

Wen Liang, Wen Liang

The world needs different voices


Thank you, Wen Liang

You are me

I am you

Thank you, Wen Liang

The world needs different voices

Wen Liang, Wen Liang

I could not forget you

Wen Liang, Wen Liang

The world needs different voices


11 Mar,2020


Blog of Dr. Li Wenliang, 12OCT, 2019

Today is another busy day, and I could not help being impatient as I am getting more patients. Thanks to all of the patients for their understanding. The massage at noon made me feel much better, and the cervical spondylosis that has been troubling me for many days is finally gone .

The fall in Wuhan has a tenderness that is neither hot nor cold. In this season, you can find the lightest drizzle and the gentlest wind, and you will feel the beauty and rhythm of the crackling sound when you step on the fallen leaves.

I had fried chicken for dinner after thinking about it for the whole day, Zhengxin lost badly to jiaoji this time, I feel like it’s still not as delicious as the one cooked by Xu Da-sao .

In this new year I hope to be a simpler person who has a clear understanding of the complicated world, but does not leave a trace of it in their soul, and who maintains enough normalcy.

About This Song

This year, was hard for everyone.

After Dr. Li Wen-liang passed away in the line of duty, I sometimes read his blog. In a early morning in March, I felt very depressed about Dr. Li and cried out: “The world needs different voices.” That night, I finished this song.

I sat by the bed of my mother, who was seriously ill then , and sang to her; she teared up.

In June, my mother passed away. Her death was somehow due to the unconvinence in treatment caused by COVID-19. Before then, I was a person with happiness in heart, but after, my heart was always filled with sadness.

In July, I asked Zhou Yun-peng whether I should record this song or not, he replied: “this song is very great, go to record it.”

The living have to go further, and as for the departed, I do not want to forget them.

During the planning of recording and recording, I bothered and got suggestion from many friends, thanks alot: Xiao Mu, Zhou Tian, Zhang Wei, Yang Zi Wen Qi, Tan Li-bo, Zhang Quan, Liu Dong-ming, Li Zhi, Anais Martane, Zhang Wei-wei, Xiao He, Tang La-la, Peng Yu, Wang Xiao-shan, Qiu Lei.

Thanks to producer Li Qiang.

Thanks to Zhou Yun-peng and Guo Long, your openness and warm voices increased the strength of the song.

Thanks to my niece Grace Yutong Wang for helping me polish the English translation and design the cover of the song.

Thanks to Beijing Yi Xing Yu Asterism Studio, Dali Narrow Gate Studio help recording.

At last, specially thanks to Zuo Xiao Zu Zhou for helping with producing.


24 Aug, 2020




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