I want to translate lyrics for 步步惊心 intro song. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vj8kElvozBY)

一眼之念 一念执着 - My Chinese friend told me that meaning is "I fall in love with you from first look"

一眼之念 - 1 look - I am missing. This is clear.

Can you explain second part? Are there some grammar rule for this sentence?

2 Answers 2


一眼之念 is an imitation of the structure 一A之B. The structure usually works in the way of noun(B) of a noun(A):

一面之缘 Fate of an encounter
一饭之恩 Kindness of a meal-offering
一国之君 King of a nation

Personally I don't think 一眼之念 is a particularly good imitation. Because it would be interpreted as Longing of one look, and like the English expression I've used, it is similarly unidiomatic and ambiguous. However, it's pointless to blame a pop song for being ungrammatical, and it's easily understood if we put it into context.

一念执着 is a shortened way of saying 一种执着的念想. In English it would be An obsessed longing or we could use a coma and write A longing, obsessed. In Chinese it could also be 执着一念. You asked about grammar, but in fact you can do all sorts of word play and ignore most of the grammatical restrictions in Chinese poems.

So to sum up:

一眼之念 A longing, result of one look

一念执着 A longing, obsessed

Not as beautiful as @NS.X.'s interpretation, but it might be closer to the original meaning.


执着 means 'be attached to; stubbornly pursuit'. In the context of love affections it can be understood as 'obsession' or 'complex'.

一眼之念 It's just one look but I started longing.

一念执着 It's just one time of longing but it has become my obsession.

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