Song: Yo Nepali Sir Uchali – Prem Dhoj Pradhan, Tara Devi

INTRODUCTION

A great way to learn Nepali and its culture is through songs. There are a lot of old patriotic Nepali songs that almost every Nepali person knows; while most songs praised the erstwhile kings in some way, a few simply celebrated the glory of the Nepalese. One such song is यो नेपाली शिर उचाली (yo nepālī śir ucālī) written by Bhupi Sherchan, and commonly transliterated into ‘Yo Nepali Sir Uchali’ or ‘Yo Nepali Shir Uchali’.

There are many renditions of the song sung by various artists. The original recording was by Prem Dhoj Pradhan and Tara Devi (1955), while newer recordings like the one by Prakash Shrestha and Lochan Bhattarai are quite popular, too.

यो नेपाली शिर उचाली (yo nepālī śir ucālī) roughly means, ‘This Nepali (by) raising (their) head’.

LISTEN

Original recording | YouTube | Spotify

Newer recording | YouTube | Spotify

LYRICS

Note | Some words in the transliteration retain the schwa even though the schwa is not usually retained in everyday speech. The reason why is because retaining the schwa allows the song to be more melodious, or lets the words flow more easily.

Nepali

यो नेपाली शिर उचाली संसारमा लम्किन्छ
जुन्किरी झैँ ज्योति बाली अन्धकारमा चम्किन्छ

यो नेपाली शिर उचाली संसारमा लम्किन्छ

चाहे झुकोस् निलो आकाश, यो नेपाली झुक्दैन ×2
चाहे रुकोस् चिसो बतास, यो नेपाली रुक्दैन ×2
जुन्किरी झैँ ज्योति बाली अन्धकारमा चम्किन्छ

यो नेपाली शिर उचाली संसारमा लम्किन्छ

एकातिर तराईको चार कोशे झाडी छ ×2
अर्कोतिर उच्च शिर ठुलठुला पहाडी छ ×2
जुन्किरी झैँ ज्योति बाली अन्धकारमा चम्किन्छ

यो नेपाली शिर उचाली संसारमा लम्किन्छ

जन्मे यहीँ गौतम बुद्ध, शान्तिका अग्रदूत ×2
सगरमाथा विजयी गर्ने यही देशका हुन् सपुत ×2
जुन्किरी झैँ ज्योति बाली अन्धकारमा चम्किन्छ

यो नेपाली शिर उचाली संसारमा लम्किन्छ ×5

Romanized

yo nepālī śir ucālī saṃsāra-mā lamkincha
junkirī jhai~ jyoti bālī andhakār-mā camkincha

yo nepālī śir ucālī saṃsāra-mā lamkincha

cāhe jhukos nilo ākāś, yo nepālī jhukdaina ×2
cāhe rukos ciso batās, yo nepālī rukdaina ×2
junkirī jhai~ jyoti bālī andhakār-mā camkincha

yo nepālī śir ucālī saṃsāra-mā lamkincha

ekātira tarāī-ko cār kośe jhāḍī cha ×2
arkotira ucca śira ṭhulṭhulā pahāḍī cha ×2
junkirī jhai~ jyoti bālī andhakār-mā camkincha

yo nepālī śir ucālī saṃsāra-mā lamkincha

janme yahī~ gautam buddha, śānti-kā agradūta ×2
sagarmāthā vijayī garne yahī deś-kā hun saputa ×2
junkirī jhai~ jyoti bālī andhakār-mā camkincha

yo nepālī śir ucālī saṃsāra-mā lamkincha ×5

ANALYSIS

NepaliTransliterationLiteral TranslationFigurative Translation
यो नेपाली शिर उचाली संसारमा लम्किन्छyo nepālī śir ucālī saṃsāra-mā lamkinchaThis Nepali strides (after) raising head on worldA Nepali person strides across the world with their head held high
जुन्किरी झैँ ज्योति बाली अन्धकारमा चम्किन्छjunkirī jhai~ jyoti bālī andhakār-mā camkinchaLighting light like firefly (they) shine in darknessThey shine in the darkness by lighting a light like a firefly
चाहे झुकोस् निलो आकाश, यो नेपाली झुक्दैनcāhe jhukos nilo ākāś, yo nepālī jhukdainaWhether blue sky may bow down, this Nepali doesn’t bow downEven if the blue sky bows down, a Nepali won’t bow down
चाहे रुकोस् चिसो बतास, यो नेपाली रुक्दैनcāhe rukos ciso batās, yo nepālī rukdainaWhether cold wind may stop, this Nepali doesn’t stopEven if the cold wind may stop moving, a Nepali won’t stop moving
एकातिर तराईको चार कोशे झाडी छekātira tarāī-ko cār kośe jhāḍī chaTowards one side (there) is Char Kose Jhadi of TeraiTowards one end there is the Charkose Jhadi in Terai
अर्कोतिर उच्च शिर ठुलठुला पहाडी छarkotira ucca śira ṭhulṭhulā pahāḍī chaTowards other side high head, (there) is big-big summitsAt the other end there are high summits, with really large mountains
जन्मे यहीँ गौतम बुद्ध, शान्तिका अग्रदूतjanme yahī~ gautam buddha, śānti-kā agradūtaGautam Buddha (was) born here[emp.], harbinger of peaceBuddha was born here, he was a herald of peace
सगरमाथा विजयी गर्ने यही देशका हुन् सपुतsagarmāthā vijayī garne yahī deś-kā hun saputaMt. Everest victorious-doer is good son of this[emp.] countryThe one who conquered Mountain Everest is (one of) the good son(s) of this country

VOCABULARY

शिर (śir)Head
उचाली (ucālī)ī-participle of उचाल्नु (ucālnu) | to raise > having raised
संसार (saṃsār)World
लम्किन्छ (lamkincha)Conjugation of लम्किनु (lamkinu) | to stride
झैँ (jhai~)Like
ज्योति (jyoti)Light
झुकोस् (jhukos)Conjugation of झुक्नु (jhuknu) | to bow down; to bend > may (it) bow down [optative mood]
रुकोस् (rukos)Conjugation of रुक्नु (ruknu) | to stop > may (it) stop [optative mood] | dialectal form of रोक्नु (roknu)
एकातिर (ekātira)Towards one side
चार कोशे झाडी (cār kośe jhāḍī)Charkose Forest, a forest in Nepal
यहीँ (yahī~)Here[emp.]
शान्ति (śānti)Peace
अग्रदूत (agradūt)Harbinger; Herald
विजयी (vijayī)Victorious
यही (yahī)This[emp.]
सपुत (saput)Good son; Virtuous son