Revolution radio contains some of the major songs of the period,
including the Cultural Revolution "anthem," Sailing the
Seas Depends on the Helmsman, a Mao poem put to music. The radio
also includes Mao quotation songs (yulu ge), folk songs, and
Let's Study the Sixteen
The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution
is Indeed Good
We Are Chairman Mao's Red Guards
When We Die for the People, It is
a Worthy Death (Mao essay set to music)
It's Right to Rebel (Mao
quotation set to music)
The Force at the Core Leading
Our Cause Forward (Mao quotation set to music)
I am Filled with Courage and Strength
(from the revolutionary opera, The Red Lantern)
Revolutionary Story Time
Atop the Golden Mountain in Beijing
Militia Women - Inscription on a
Photograph (from a Mao poem, Feb. 1961)
A brief history of radio in China, from "Broadcasting and Politics: Chinese Television in the Mao Era, 1958-1976," by Yu Huangxu.
How the "Red
Guards' Battle Song" Was Born, China Reconstructs,
Vivian Wagner, "Songs
of the Red Guards: Keywords Set to Music," Indiana East
Asian Working Paper Series on Language and Politics in Modern China
2 (Winter 1996).
"The Cultural Revolution in
music did not begin abruptly with some arbitrary political event, such
as Beijing University's posters of May 1966. The explosion, when it
came, reflected tensions that had long been building within musical
circles. The musical fanfare which opened the Cultural Revolution, however,
was certainly The East Is Red, an old revolutionary song which
became the movement's anthem... The song's zealous words and stately
melody were the perfect musical accompaniment to the new Mao cult."
From Pianos and Politics in China, Middle-Class Ambitions
and the Struggle over Western Music, by Richard
Curt Kraus (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989). Read more from
Pianos and Politics.
Listen to The East is Red: 1950's
version | 1960's version
For more on The East is Red, including scenes
from the stageshow epic, see the East is
Red section of this site.
Hung Chang-Tai, War and Popular Culture: Resistance
in Modern China, 1937-1945 (Berkeley: University of California
David Johnson, Andrew Nathan, and Evelyn S. Rawski,
Popular Culture in Late Imperial China (Berkeley: University
of California Press, 1985).
Liang Mingyue, Music of the Billion: An Introduction
to Chinese Musical Culture (New York: Heinrichshofen Edition,
Arnold Perris, Music as Propaganda: Art to
Persuade and to Control (Westport: Greenwood, 1983).
Elizabeth J. Perry and Li Xun, "Revolutionary
Rudeness: The Language of Red Guards and Rebel Workers in China's Cultural
Revolution," Indiana East Asian Working Paper Series on Language
and Politics in Modern China 2 (Summer 1993): 7.
Michael Schoenhals, "Talk
about a Revolution: Red Guards, Government Cadres, and the Language
of Political Discourse," Indiana East Asian Working Paper Series
on Language and Politics in Modern China 1 (Spring 1993): 39.
Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom and Elizabeth J. Perry, eds.,
Protest and Political Culture in Modern China [on The
Gate of Heavenly Peace website] (Boulder: Westview Press, 1994).
Isabel K.F. Wong, "Geming Gequ: Songs for the Education
of the Masses," in Popular Chinese Literature and Performing
Arts in the People’s Republic of China 1949-1979, ed.
Bonnie S. McDougall (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984),