For a taste of Pekingese colloquial and a slice of traditional life in Beijing, I offer this 4 minutes and 24 seconds rap video entitled "běi jīng tǔ zhù 北京土著 (Beijing Natives)":
Here follow a transcription and translation of the entire song. One thing that will be immediately evident is the fondness of Beijingers for adding final retroflex -r to the end of many words. There seems, however, to be some disagreement among individual speakers on when to -r, as it were, and when not to -r. Our transcription distinguishes three categories of -r: bold for when the singer adds an -r that is not in the original lyrics, italics for when he fails to -r but we think he should, and regular -r when the original lyrics have an -r. Sometimes the -r is subtle and sometimes it is very obvious; given the complexities of the phenomenon, we cannot guarantee that we've recorded all of them to the satisfaction of Pekingese aficionados.
Please also note that some of the tones and occasionally the vowel quality differ from what we would normally expect in Modern Standard Mandarin. The fact that it's a song also means that the contours of the melody sometimes are at odds with the tones.
Finally, the singer uses a few English expressions, so those appear both in the column with the Chinese lyrics and in the column with the translation. And there's at least one Pekingese morpheme (DER) in the lyrics for which there's no known character.
qiē yí piànr xīgua sì-wǔ liǎng
|Slice me a piece of watermelon, about four or five liangi|
zhēnzhèng de bó pí cuì shārángr
|Only the truly thin-skin watermelon comes with this crisp and grainy texture|
dāng sìhéyuànr de cháfáng piāozhe mòlìhuār xiāng
|When the scent of jasmine wafts in the tea room of the siheyuanii|
xiàtiān de yánrè quánbù bèi yíwàng diào
|One forgets all the heat of the summer|
zhuó yì bēi jiāniàng piāo yuǎnfāng
|Pour a glass of fine wine as your thoughts wander afar|
hútòngr lǐ jǐuxiāng zuì rén cháng
|The senses are drunk with the fragrance of the wine steeped within the hutong alleys|
dāng lǎo chéngjiǎor de xīyáng huídàng bōlànggǔr xiǎng
|As the sun sets at the corner of the old city wall that echoes with the beat of the toy rattle-drum|
Běijīng de tǔzhù yǒu yìdiǎndiǎn gǎn-shāng
|This native Beijinger feels a little sad|
wǒ yí gè rénr dūn zài qiánggēnr méi rén der
|Squatting alone at the corner of the wall, receiving not even a passing glance|
yǎnjīng lèngzhe shénr xīnzhōng nàzhe menr
|With eyes unseeing and confusion in my heart|
zěnme jīntiān de wǒ zhème méiyǒu jīngqì shénr you
|Why do I feel so weary today?|
hǎoxiàng xiě gēcír xiědiūle húnr you
|Feels like I lost my soul while writing my lyrics|
dàqīngzǎo lùbiānr de húndùntānr
|A wonton stall by the roadside in the early morning|
yí ge bǎnrnong qízhe bǎnrchē lāzhe bǎnrzhuān shàngbānr
|A farmer rides a three-wheeled handcart as he pulls his load of bricks to work|
dòufùnǎor yí kuài qián yì wǎnr
|A bowl of jellied beancurd costs a dollar|
fēngshēng zhōng piāozhe Jīngyùn dàgǔ de xiǎoduànr
|The music of a Pekingese big drum storyteller rings in the air|
hē yì wǎn dòuzhīr jiù yí gè jiāoquānr
|Drink a bowl of sour soy juice with a fried ring of doughiii|
qīnghuār cíguànr gǔnzhe màiyárxiāng de yóuzhār
|Dregs of oil scented with malt heave in porcelain jars with floral design|
hútòngkǒur de xiǎofànr chuānzhe bīngtáng húlùchùanr
|A hawker at the entrance of a hutong alley is stringing candied haws,|
pángbiānr de cháguǎnr bǎizhe yì zhāng Mǎ Sānlì de xiàngpiānr
|There's a photo of Ma Sanliiv displayed at the teahouse nearby|
gāng bǐ pénr shēn, pénr bǐ wǎnr shēn, wǎnr bǐ diézi shēn
|The vats are deeper than the basins, the basins are deeper than the bowls, the bowls are deeper than the plates|
|Waiting for your consideration||Waiting for your consideration|
yí fàng hǎoduō nián tā háishì zhème gén na
|After being left there for so many years, they're still so funny…|
|北京的土著 pay attention……
Běijīng de tǔzhù
|Native Beijingers, pay attention|
zhànlèile dūnzhe, dūnlèile zuòzhe
|Squat when you're tired of standing, sit when you're tired from squatting|
zuòlèile tǎngzhe, tǎnglèile pāzhe
|Lie down when you're tired of sitting, lie prone when you're tired from lying down|
pālèile shùizhe, shùibùzháo mīzhe
|Sleep when you're tired of lying prone, nap when you're unable to sleep|
yǎng yì zhī bāgēr shì bèir yǒu miànzi
|Keeping a myna brings special prestige|
zuòrén yào hòudào yào zhīdào lǐmào
|Be kind and generous and courteous too|
jiàn rén yào wènhǎo, qiānwàn bú yào chídào
|Greet others kindly and never, ever be late|
jīnjīn jìjiào zhǐ huì zìxún fánnǎo
|Keeping score only means making trouble for yourself|
bùrú wēixiào shìjiè wúxiàn měihǎo
|Better to smile and the world turns, infinitely beautiful|
gōngyuán lǐ lǎotóur qiānzhe tā de lǎobànr
|There's an old man in the park, hand in hand with his old wife|
qī-bā shí suì zǒuqǐ lù lái háishì nàme yǒu fànr
|About eighty years old and he still looks so suave|
hén yì gēn bīnggùnr chuān yì jiànr bèixīnr
|Sucking on a popsicle and wearing a vest|
Zhōukǒudiàn de xuětǒng shì fēicháng de chúnzhèng
|Bloodlines run pure at the home of Peking Manv|
jiù zài nà Yòu-Yòu-Yòu-Yòu’ānmén de pángbiānr
|At the side of the Right-Right-Right-Right Gate of Peace|
yǒu yì jiā Gǒu-Gǒu-Gǒu-Gǒubùlǐ de bāozir
|There's a shop selling Dog-Dog-Dog-Dog Wouldn’t-Noticevi buns|
qiē-qiē-qiē-qiēgāo mǎile bàn jīnr
|Buy half a jinvii of sliced-sliced-sliced-sliced glutinous cakeviii|
guàng yí ge Tiānqiáo hǎosì shénxiān
|Spend a day free from worries at the Heavenly Bridge,ix just like an immortal|
Lu Zhao, a true Beijinger of Manchu heritage, and Yilise Lin, a cosmopolitan Singaporean, helped with the transcription and the translation.
i A liǎng is the equivalent of 50 grams.
ii A traditional form of Beijing residential architecture with four buildings surrounding a central courtyard.
iii A jiāoquān 焦圈儿is a circular fried piece of dough. It is a characteristic snack of Beijing.
iv Ma Sanli (1914-2003) was a famous crosstalk performer born in Beijing.
v Zhōukǒudiàn 周口店 is the place where the bones of Peking Man were discovered.
vi Gǒubùlǐ狗不理 buns are a famous brand of steamed stuffed buns originally from Tianjin, but later marketed throughout China.
vii A jīn is the equivalent of 500 grams.
viii A qiēgāo切糕 is a cake made of glutinous rice and sold in sliced pieces, a famous snack of Beijing.
ix Heavenly Bridge (Tiānqiáo 天桥) was an area of old Beijing where street artists congregated and entertainment could be found. It has now been reopened for tourism.