A tongue-twister for the household Daoist

57 shengguan trio

Yang Ying (right) and Li Bin (left) accompanyWu Mei before the coffin, 2011.

A popular dep in Li Manshan’s band is Yang Ying, who studied briefly with Li Qing not long before his stroke in 1996, but as boss of a busy shawm band has to juggle his ritual work (my book pp.319–21).

Since household Daoists like this are known here as yinyang, and since (like the “non-national” Euripides, to cite Myles yet again) Yang is partial to “smoking substances”, one day while we were all relaxing in the scripture hall I composed a suitable epithet for him, on a par with my headline for Švejk and Saint-Saëns:

Yinyang Yang Ying yin yangyan

The yinyang Yang Ying smokes foreign tobacco with a water-pipe.


Note: 饮 “drinks” is a little obscure (“eats” chi  is more idiomatic, but that doesn’t work, of course), but evidently refers to a water-pipe. We’re always joking about “foreign tobacco“, which has long suggested opium.

8 thoughts on “A tongue-twister for the household Daoist

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