Moon Represents My Heart by Teresa Teng – Lyrics and Meaning

Yue Liang Dai Biao Wo De Xin (月亮代表我的心)

There’s this song that I love called (translated): The Moon Represents My Heart or Yue Liang Dai Biao Wo De Xin (Hanyu pinyin). It was sung and popularised by the late Teresa Teng.

The Moon in the Chinese Context

Taken out of context, the moon is a moon, and is generally not considered anything special. However, in the Chinese culture the moon is much more than just “a moon”. The moon in the Chinese culture is something like the sun in the Western culture. Not the same in the literal sense, but rather, in terms of its importance and value, it’s really pretty close — e.g. Western culture uses the Sun to tell time, while the Chinese use the moon (without which there will be no Lunar New Year). And time, arguably, is of great importance to man.

Moon Represents My Heart?

But putting these cultural differences aside, was there any significance as to why the moon was used in this way to represent the heart? I’ve been looking for resources on this over the internet, but commentary on this song in English (I don’t know about Chinese) has been non-existent. That’s why I have decided to give some commentary of my own.

The Moon as a Metaphor

The very reason why I took an interest in finding out the meaning of this song was because firstly, the language used is simple — mostly words we use in everyday conversations — and therefore the lyrics are accessible for just about anyone versed in even a little bit of the Chinese language.

Secondly, I was thinking about the fleeting feelings I had for the subjects of my romantic fancy. I’ve been infatuated with girls before, only for the infatuation to steal away for a while, and return with a vengeance. At that time I thought that I was perhaps just being childish and fickle for not holding on to that feeling (of love) forever.

Then one day while thinking about the fickleness of love, this song came to mind: “the moon represents my heart.” Wait a minute… the moon?? “that’s a weird representation of a muscle,” I thought to myself.

I went out to take a look at the moon, hmm… it was a moonless night! Sheesh, some love song. On a moonless night it would be a stupid song for a lover. Then it struck me. On a moonless night, one cannot see the moon, and yet one knows the moon is there — somewhere out there, but out there somewhere. Gosh, there was more to this metaphor than meets the eye.

Night-time’s a Romantic Time

Suddenly it dawned on me why the moon was a great metaphor for love. Firstly, the moon brings to mind night, and all the associations that come with it. Some of these associations include romantic feelings from candle-light meals, feelings when one settles onto the same bed as one’s partner, or when one goes out together with a loved one for slow walks by the sea. With its connotations of night, the moon is inherently romantic.

Then comes the moon as an indicator of love. The feeling of love does not last unwaveringly day in, day out. It comes and goes, and it’s when it goes that determines who the successful couples are. The moon changes all the time, from the full-moon, to the half-moon, to the crescent moon, followed by several moonless nights — then magically, the crescent moon comes back into being, and grows to the half-moon, and finally becomes full again!

The Love Cycle

Like magic, love appears is replenished through time. And like magic, the moon appears to change through time. Bit does the moon really change over time? It’s always the same moon, it’s only how it is viewed that makes it seem different. From certain angles, the moon reflects light in a certain way, from other angles, it reflects light in other ways.

And yet love, though seemingly different, never changes. Underneath the veil of a half-moon, or crescent moon or moonlessness, there is a full moon just waiting to appear. Add to all this the significance of the moon in Chinese culture, and you get a great song.

The Moon Festival

According to a reader of mine, Angela, this song is sung on the moon festival…or autumn festival….and on that night the moon is the fullest in teh whole year [sic]. The festival mentioned here is the mid-autumn festival, or as many Chinese fondly call it, the moon-cake festival (for we all love them! and it is only during this time that they are wildly sold).

If this is so, it would provide another (and possibly originally intended) explanation. Interpret it as you will: for the purposes of practicality, you might want to use the meaning I put forth on this page. But if you do somehow manage to recall this song during the festival, then you can use that meaning instead!

To conclude, the moon metaphor is how I would represent my own feelings for someone. It isn’t that I love or don’t love you, because I do; it’s only that at some times my love is more obvious than at others.

English and Hanyu Pinyin Lyrics of The Moon Represents My Heart

English Translation

You ask me how deep my love for you is,
How much I really love you…
My affection is real.
My love is real.
The moon represents my heart.

You ask me how deep my love for you is,
How much I really love you…
My affection does not waver,
My love will not change.
The moon represents my heart.

* Just one soft kiss
is enough to move my heart.
A period of time when our affection was deep,
Has made me miss you until now.

* You ask me how deep my love for you is,
How much I really love you.

* ** Go think about it.
Go and have a look [at the moon],
The moon represents my heart.

Repeat *

Repeat **

Hanyu Pinyin

ni wen wo ai ni you duo shen
wo ai ni you ji fen
wo de qing ye zhen
wo de ai ye zhen
yue liang dai biao wo de xin

ni wen wo ai ni you duo shen
wo ai ni you ji fen
wo de qing bu yi
wo de ai bu bian
yue liang dai biao wo de xin

* qing qing de yi ge wen
yi jin da dong wo de xin
shen shen de yi duan qing
jiao wo si nian dao ru jin

* ni wen wo ai ni you duo shen
wo ai ni you ji fen

* ** ni qu xiang yi xiang
ni qu kan yi kan
yue liang dai biao wo de xin

Repeat *

Repeat **

Simplified Chinese

Due to the lack of support in many browsers for Chinese characters (including mine!), I have put up the lyrics in Simplified Chinese in an image file:

The moon represents my heart simplified Chinese

The moon represents my heart simplified Chinese

213 thoughts on “Moon Represents My Heart by Teresa Teng – Lyrics and Meaning”

  1. This is awesome! I’ve been trying to look for the lyrics for so long n it’s been my all time fav song :) Even though I’m an Indian origin but whenever I hear someone sings this song, I’m so touched. After so many years, I’m able to know what’s the meaning of this song. Teresa Teng is just great, wonderful singer and her beautiful voice touches the soul… Thanks Donn! U hv done such a wonderful job :)

  2. Hi Donn.
    Been searching for very long time. Wanted this song but difficult keywords; clicked “wo ai ni”, others came up. Until yesterday I heard the song sung near my ear: “ni wen wo ai ni….”, I wrote it. And TARAAA, I found you! I mean your article! Awesome! (actually my heart went so warm to find this). I really really thank you for providing this title, lyrics, hanyu-pinyin, and translation plus interpretation. YOU DID THIS BEAUTIFULLY, SO WELL!
    By the way, the moon is so special. Lunar new year that came from the moon is made sense. Moon-cake (yumm i love it); Chang’er and Hou Yi.

    Have you any IDEA about the moon: writing, poem, video, scientific review of the moon? Actually the moon has 10 unbelieveable facts?

  3. Hi Don

    Teresa Teng’s songs are very popular in Indonesia. Teresa Teng was also singing a few songs in Indonesian. I know this song (Yue Liang Dai Biao Wo De Xin) while still a child in the late 1970s and to this day the song still occupies the position as the number one mandarin song of the most famous in Indonesia.

    Thank You

    Lutfi from Jakarta

  4. I’m amazed by your efforts to interpretate this song. To tell you the truth I’m not her (Teresa Teng) huge fan, but since my mom, and my dad her huge fan, I can’t help to being her huge fan too. This song sounds sad, yet romantic. Even my mom, and my dad dance together when they play this song, I’m really envy them!!! Thanks for Teresa Teng for her lovely song, and for Mr. Donn for your efforts to enlight me.

    Sincerely,
    Ricky from Indonesia

    P.S. : Sorry my english was bad ><

  5. Hi Donn, I have read some of the comments and it is quite amazing how your efforts here and the song and the great Teresa Tang have touch the hearts of so many, including mine.

    I have been a big fan of Teresa Tang and this song for many years and reading your translation has made me tear up. I have been married to a loving and loyal wife for 14 years and I have not always shown the love she deserves. I have felt very guilty for this. This song will remind me to show her more love.

    BTW, my 1 year old daughter loves this song as well. Kim Chiu’s version (on youtube) is what I mostly play for her.

    Thank you!

    Ty Lim from Chicago, IL

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    DAN GURU SAYA MENUGASKAN SAYA UNTUK MENCARI TAU SESUATU DIBALIK LAGU INI. TERIMA KASIH KEPADA PEMILIK BLOG KARENA TELAH MEMBANTU TUGAS SAYA :)

  8. Hi Donn,

    Thanks for your beautiful translation. I’m sharing this with my friends! Hope that’s ok since it’s only among my peers. I love this song- I found out about it and Teresa on TV. She has such a magical voice. <3 Thanks again!

  9. Thank you, Donn!
    I’m a singer who just arrived in China and of couse, I have to learn a Chinese song. The people I’m working with pointed that song- I loved the melody ever since I’ve heared it. I was hoping to find what’s the meaning of the lyrics and CHARAAAM- I crushed on your analysis! GREAT and helpful for a foreigner who’s willing to get closer to the Chinese soul!
    Once again- thanks.

  10. i love this post. Thank you for writing it with such enthusiasm. This song is going to be sung in my inter cultural play Our Man in Beijing showing at the famous indie company La Mama theatre in Melb, Aust. I was just browsing for the lyrics for this song for our female lead and stumble upon your website. What a lucky find. Then i noticed it was set up in 2003. If you read this Donn Lee, please get in touch with me. I am the artistic director of the Australasian Chinese Theatre in Aust and really would love to talk to you. Your post is simply awesome showing passion, attention to detail and above all, your depth of feeling. I am wondering what you end up doing as a career.

  11. Hi, may I know if you have the compilation cd – 月亮代表我的心 經典轉? It’s a 3-in-1 cd collection. Looking forward to your reply. Thanks.

    1. Hi Benson, sorry, I don’t have the compliation CD. Youmight want to try Chinatown though, I’ve seen quite a number of shops selling her CDs (but then again, it’s been a while since I’ve been there…)

Let me know what you think