Turn Down the Drink

Yvette’s Notes: “Rang Jiu(让酒)”, or “turn down a drink” is a song tailored to the drama “Sand Sea” and I’m sure many of you have listened to it before. Although it’s dedicated to Li Cu, you can find Wu Xie everywhere in the lyrics. I found all kinds of translations online but many of them didn’t elucidate the meaning behind it. “Rang Jiu” is definitely deeper than just an ordinary drama OST and the lyrics have been adapted in various other situations outside of the DMBJ world. I tried my best to translate the lyrics as coherently as possible for you so that you can understand the connections between each phrase and stanza. It’s often up to the listeners how they want to interpret lyrics, but I still translated some of the general implications accepted by all fans. You can find more analyses here by Rice if you’re interested (depending on your web browser, just right-click and translate it into English). “Rang Jiu” is also one of Liu Yuning’s signature songs from his early career which helped him succeed in the drama/movie OST field.

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Youtube link here.

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Turn Down the Drink

I clinked your small hip flask with gratitude for benefiting from your glory.
I lied again today, so my head hurt and my throat felt itchy.
It shouldn’t be a big deal if I slack off for a day, though,
Because whoever weaved the net would be responsible for wrapping it up in the end anyway.

I threw all my youth into the sea, but all I could hear was an echo.(1)
There were no heroes in this game, only people covered in dirt and fear.
I breathed out a handful of sand from my lungs while feeling a little tipsy and collapsed on the ground.

I used to be an untamed young man who didn’t believe in ghosts, gods, or people,(2)
But after receiving all the grace in the world, I returned everything and lived in exile.
We parted here but where would we meet again?
I grasped onto the spoonful of sweetness in life desperately
Just for the sake of seeing you once again.(3)

Because you had young-looking skin and were frivolous and impetuous,
You were downright hooked into this conspiracy where you struggled fiercely.
Although you were stubborn, reckless, and inconsiderate,
Every single step you took would affect the entire Sand Sea web.

There was no time for you to be emotional at such a young age;
all that you should’ve had was an ambition that would never die out.
You didn’t expect that you would have someone to count on because nobody could take you back home.(4)
The innocent and keen look on your face looked so familiar;
the way you unintentionally caused trouble and wasted your kindness was a bit like me.

But time will eventually make a young man grow strong, so don’t fritter away your energy or panic.
I had been on the same path; the only difference was that my hair had already turned grey like frost.
This decade was different from the past decade.
Although I was exhausted, I had survived my fate.
All I wanted now was to see them once again.

Was I gentle, violent, passionate, or heartless?
It didn’t matter because I put a different mask on every day.
Wrath, grief, sorrow, ecstasy?
The emotion was but a mere word of mouth.

I used to be an untamed young man who didn’t believe in ghosts, gods, or people,
But after receiving all grace from the world, I returned everything and lived in exile.
We said farewell here but would we ever meet again?
I grasped onto the spoonful of sweetness in life desperately
Just for the sake of seeing you once again.

But time will eventually make a young man grow strong, so don’t fritter away your energy or panic.
I had been on the same path; the only difference was that my hair had already turned grey like frost.
This decade was different from the past decade.
I had fought insanely with my fate and was exhausted(5)
I really just wanted to see them again.

All I wanted now was to see them once again.

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Some General Implications

(1) Wu Xie is the one who got thrown into the sea, Li Cu is the echo that reflected back

(2) One of DMBJ’s most famous quotes 

(3) The one whom Wu Xie wanted to see again isn’t necessarily only Poker-Face, but also Uncle Three, Pan Zi, and A Ning. Li Cu also wants to see his father and the real Shen Qiong again.

(4) Li Cu is on his own and he shouldn’t rely on Wu Xie. Similarly, Wu Xie is on his own and he can’t rely on Poker-Face.

(5) A parallel to “Although I was exhausted, I had survived my fate” from Chorus 2. Wu Xie doesn’t survive his fate, he fights for it.

<Table of Contents><“Restart: Sound of the Providence” OST Lyrics>

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Translated by: Yvette

One thought on “Turn Down the Drink

  1. One more well-known insight –>

    [He once suffered setbacks, but regardless of death or immortality,
    He wouldn’t turn it down anymore,
    Because the faith/god he believed in had the most familiar face
    And the look of his blood brother.]

    The above stanza from “Not Turning it Down” is written in response to [I used to be an untamed young man who didn’t believe in ghosts, gods, or people] from “Turn Down the Drink”. After experiencing all the weird things in the world, WX simply decides to treat Zhang Qiling (or Iron Triangle) as his faith, god(s), and the only person(s) he trusts.

    Liked by 3 people

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