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The song 梦向何处寻 by 邓丽君 contains the following lyrics:

陽光照樹梢 春來花正好
啊我歌我徘徊 啊處處聞啼鳥

昨夜夢魂飛 心事知多少
啊夢向何處尋 啊處處聞啼鳥

Clearly it owes something to the poem 春晓!

Baidu says the word 心事 could mean what you are thinking of, dreams/goals, or worries. All of these seem to fit somewhat with the rest of the lyrics.

What is the best way to understand 心事 in the context of this song?

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  • Most likely, it's when a woman begins to miss her man.
    – ejacky
    Commented May 22 at 2:34
  • 心事 means "things in one's mind"
    – Tang Ho
    Commented May 22 at 2:56

4 Answers 4

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心事 is usually used to refer to private thoughts or feelings that are kept hidden from others, especially from one's secret love.

The antonym of 心事, depending on the specific context is, generally speaking, 表白 (Biǎo Bái) - to openly confess one's feelings or thoughts, especially to someone one loves.

Quote:- "Clearly it owes something to the poem 春晓!"

In my view, 春晓, is one of an external impression / expression of the mysterious works, good or bad, of Nature; while, 梦向何处寻 is one of an internal reflection of one's inner thoughts or feelings when contemplating the beauty and wonders of Nature.

Quote:- "What is the best way to understand 心事 in the context of this song?"

You are asking for a lot, ain't you"?

Well, someone has to fall in, why not me? :)

Thankfully, the song is rather short.

Here goes.

陽光照樹梢 春來花正好

The Sun shines on treetop line,

Spring flowers come just in time;

啊我歌我徘徊 啊處處聞啼鳥

Ah, singing I wandered here and there,

Ah, hearing songs of birds everywhere;

昨夜夢魂飛 心事知多少

Last night dreamt my soul took flight,

Matters of my heart knows but a mite;

啊夢向何處尋 啊處處聞啼鳥

Oh, where can my dreams be found?

Oh, songs of birds the only sound.

End.

So, "...the best way to understand 心事 in the context of this song?"

First, there is a contrasting of emotions between the beginning part of the poem with the latter part. The beginning part is one of carefree, joyful wandering, admiring sunshine glinting off treetops, the timely arrival of Spring flowers, singing songs and hearing songs of birds, as if in reply.

The latter part of the poem takes a sudden, almost melancholic turn in:-

昨夜夢魂飛 心事知多少

Here is found the real point / message of the poem.

Namely, in spite of all the happy, positive emotions at the beginning of the poem, a sad realization suddenly dawns on the author, that is, all these joyful wanderings, admiring sunshine glinting off treetops, the timely arrival of Spring flowers, singing songs and hearing songs of birds, becomes irrelevant, almost a travesty when in fact:-

心事知多少....啊處處聞啼鳥 is but a comedic drama characterized by ironic satire of overt joy and happiness contrasted with covert dark inner thoughts and feelings of melancholy brought about by the catalytic "昨夜夢魂飛"

Catalytic because it was through this 昨夜夢魂飛 that brought about the realization of 心事知多少.

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  • I'm understanding from you and from the other answers that the key meaning of 心事 here is that it's private, the sorts of thoughts and feelings that are not shown to others, but kept in your 心 Commented May 22 at 23:15
  • Another parallel with 春晓 is that both appear to start on a happy, even joyful note but contrast that with something darker. Commented May 22 at 23:17
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心事 means "Things (feeling and concern) in one's mind"

心事重重 = a lot to think about in mind

有心事 = Have something in mind ( but would not disclose it)

We know these 事 (things) are not expressed when you see the word 心(in the heart) in front of it

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心事 = [heart] [thing]

hence, meaning "something on one's mind."

The actual meaning of 心事 is more nuanced. It typically implies something one is anxious or worried about (the "thing" is a source of concern or preoccupation). It also suggests that this concern is something the person is keeping to themselves and not sharing with others.

For example: "你最近有什么心事吗?" -> "Do you have anything on your mind recently?"

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(对于我的)心事(你)知(道)多少(呢?)
What do you know about my secrets?

陽光照樹梢
Sunlight on the treetops

春來花正好
Spring comes with flowers, just in time

啊我歌我徘徊
  Ah I sing and wander

啊處處聞啼鳥
Ah everywhere is birdsong

昨夜夢魂飛
  Last night in dreams my soul flew

心事知多少
What do you know about me?

啊夢向何處尋
  Ah where to search for dreams

啊處處聞啼鳥
Ah everywhere is birdsong

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  • I like your beautiful translation. Commented May 22 at 23:09

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