This rhyme is based on a Chinese novel from the 16th century called "Journey to the West".

Xuanzang was a Buddhist Monk and translator from the Tang dynasty who travelled to India to bring back some Buddhist scriptures (sutras). He's a real person, yet the novel is a folk tale account of his journey. In the novel, Xuanzang is given three protectors to accompany him on his journey - the monkey Sun Wukong, the pig Zhu Bajie and Monk Sha (Sandy).

西游记 - Chinese Children's Songs - China - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image

Notes

Pronunciation:

tángsēng qímǎ dōng nàgè dōng,
hòumiàn gēnzhe gè sūnwùkōng.
Sūnwùkōng, pǎo dé kuài,
hòumiàn gēnzhe gè zhūbājiè.
Zhūbājiè, bízi zhǎng,
hòumiàn gēnzhe gè shā héshàng.
Shā héshàng, tiāozhe luó,
hòumiàn láile gè lǎo yāopó.
Lǎo yāopó, xīn zuì dú,
piànguò tángsēng hé lǎo zhū.
Tángsēng lǎo zhū zhēn hútú,
shì rén shì yāo fēn bù qīng.
Fēn bù qīng, shàng liǎo dàng,
duōkuī sūnwùkōng yǎnjīng liàng.
Yǎnjīng liàng, mào jīnguāng,
gāo gāo jǔ qǐ jīn gū bàng.
Jīn gū bàng, yǒu lìliàng,
yāomóguǐguài xiāomiè guāng.

西游记 - Chinese Children's Songs - China - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Comment After Song Image
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Thanks to Yi Lin for reciting this rhyme for us!

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You can see the story of the rhyme unfold in the animation below.
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Thanks and Acknowledgements

Translated by Lisa.

Images: Photograph of painting depicting a scene from the Chinese classic Journey to the West. The painting shows the four heros of the story, left to right: Sun Wukong, Xuanzang, Zhu Wuneng, and Sha Wujing. The painting is a decoration on the Long Corridor in the Summer Palace in Beijing, China. The photograph was taken by Rolf Müller on April 17, 2005 and is cc. The first photo is a detail of the 2nd one.

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