Actually this song dated all the way to my schooling days… just that i have been listening to my friends story.. the happenings in her story reminded me of the exact words of this song.

Personally, this song also reminded me how helpless and not in control I am of the situation around me right now… so to a certain extent, i feel like chess piece that has no control over its movement.

I like that metaphor that was used in the song. And during translation, there are a few facts about chinese chess that will help user understand why the lyrics are translated in this manner

1. 将 = The “General or Commander” in the chinese chess set. It is equivalent to the king on international chess, if the general is killed, the player lose the game.

2. 兵 = “the foot soldier” each side in chinese chess has 5 of such foot soldiers, they are equivalent to Pawn, in international chess, except they do not transform if they are in the last row. Most players willingly sacrifice their foot soldiers in order to kill any other pieces with a higher value. They are found in the front line, closest to the river in Chinese chess. A foot soldier like the pawn, are not allowed to retreat backwards. But they are allowed to move left, right or advance once he cross the river. (or Realms)

3. 举手无回 = It is a rule in chinese chess, that if the player takes his hands off the chess piece, it means that the move is final, and they are not allowed to revert their moves anymore. Usually, a player will take longer time if the move involves a piece of higher value (I guess this is the same in chinese or international chess). But players tend not to think too much when moving a pawn or soldier compared to a rook, knight, or chariot.

If a soldier were to pass the river ( the central line indicating  area of control of each commander) he will end up attacking the enemy territory.  A interesting fact is that the central line contains the following words “Chu River, Han Border” Indicating that the chess set is modeled after the Chu-Han Contention, and some people reckon that Chinese chess was invented to prevent further bloodshed between the kings of Chu and Han. Xiang Yu and Liu Bang.

In chess, players will often try to set up snares (or traps) to trick the opponent move his piece to a “designated spot”.. this often led to the death of the oppenents chess piece.  

This song was sang by Faye Wong, and is one of her earlier songs.

Title: 棋子 : Chess
Artist: Faye Wong

(*)
想走出你控制的领域
xiǎng​ zǒu ​chū nǐ kòng ​zhì​ de​ lǐng ​yù​
却走近你安排的战局
què zǒu jìn​ nǐ​ ān​ pái​ de​ zhàn jú​
我没有坚强的防备
wǒ méi ​yǒu jiān ​qiáng de​ fáng ​bèi​
也没有后路可以退
Yě​ méi ​yǒu hòu ​lù​ kě​ yǐ​ tuì

想逃离你布下的陷阱
xiǎng​ táo ​lí​ nǐ bù​ xià de​ xiàn​ jǐng​
却陷入了另一个困境
què xiàn ​rù le​ lìng ​yī gè kùn ​jìng​
我没有决定输赢的勇气
wǒ méi ​yǒu jué​ dìng shū yíng de​ yǒng ​qì​
也没有逃脱的幸运
Yě​ méi ​yǒu táo ​tuō de​ xìng ​yùn​

我像是一颗棋
wǒ xiàng shì yī kē​ qí​
进退任由你决定
jìn ​tuì rèn ​yóu nǐ​ jué ​dìng​
我不是你眼中唯一将领
wǒ bù​ shì​ nǐ yǎn ​zhōng wéi ​yī jiàng​ lǐng​
却是不起眼的小兵
què shì bù​ qǐ ​yǎn de​ xiǎo bīng​

我像是一颗棋子
wǒ xiàng shì yī kē​ qí ​zǐ
​来去全不由自己
lái​ qù​ quán​ bù​ yóu zì​ jǐ​
举手无回你从不曾犹豫
jǔ ​shǒu wú​ huí​ nǐ​ zòng​ bù ​céng yóu ​yù​
我却受控在你手里
wǒ què shòu kòng zài nǐ​ shǒu ​lǐ​

(Repeat * for second stanza)

我像是一颗棋子
wǒ xiàng shì yī kē​ qí ​zǐ
​来去全不由自己
lái​ qù​ quán​ bù​ yóu zì​ jǐ​
举手无回你从不曾犹豫
jǔ ​shǒu wú​ huí​ nǐ​ zòng​ bù ​céng yóu ​yù​
我却受控在你手里
wǒ què shòu kòng zài nǐ​ shǒu ​lǐ​
我却受控在你手里
wǒ què shòu kòng zài nǐ​ shǒu ​lǐ​
我却受控在你手里
wǒ què shòu kòng zài nǐ​ shǒu ​lǐ​

Translation
Wanted to escape from your realm of control,
but entered right into your battle formation
I do not have strong defense,
and without a retreat route for safety.

Wanted to escape that snare laid by you
but found myself in another predicament.
I do not have the courage to decide the outcome of the battle
and am not fortunate to be given a chance of escape.

I am like your chess piece
You decide my advance and retreat.
In your eyes, I am not your only commander,
I’m just an  insignificant soldier.

I am just like a little pawn on your chess board
I have no control of my movement or fate
You never hesitated controlling my movement  even if your orders can never be reverted
Yet i am under the control of you hand.
(Repeat *)

I am just like a little pawn on your chess board
I have no control of my movement or fate
You never hesitated though moves can never be reverted
Yet i am still under the control of you hand.
Yet i am still under the control of you hand.
Yet i am still under the control of you hand.

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