This is a translation of the original Chinese poem that inspired the movie, which had been sung for generations during the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534) before it was finally transcribed in the 6th century. I've taken some poetic liberties in order to render it in a Western ballad style, but it should follow quite closely with the content of the original. It was a challenge, but I hope the spirit of the loyal and courageous Mulan lives through this work.

The sound of weaving, woman's chore,
Mulan weaves on before the door.
But now the shuttle's noise is drowned
By Daughter Mulan's sighing sound.

"Who, my girl, is in your thought?
What memory has your mind caught?"
"No one is in Mulan's thought,
No memory has Mulan caught.

The night before, I saw the post
The Khan sent out to build his host.
In scrolls of twelve did they proclaim
The characters of Father's name.

But Father has no eldest son,
And Brother's not the eldest one.
So I shall buy a saddled horse
To take his place among the force."

Now to the East for valiant steed!
Now to the West for saddle's need!
Now to the South to take the reins!
Now to the North, the whip remains!

At dawn she bids her kin farewell,
At night she camps by Yellow swells.
No cries from family find her ears,
The Yellow River's flow is all she hears.

At dawn she leaves the Yellow waves,
At night those mounts of black she braves.
No cries from family find her ears,
The neigh of foreign horse is all she hears.

Ten thousand miles, a war machine:
Through mountain pass she flies between.
In northern wind, a warring sound,
In cold light, iron armor crowned.

Hundred battles, generals slain:
The decade's strong return again.
The Son of Heaven greets them well,
The Son who in his palace dwells.

Her deeds are writ in scrolls of twelve,
The masses now in her hands held.
The Khan asks her for her desire:
"Mulan has no need to become a sire.
Please grant a camel for the journey long,
For home is where my heart belongs."

Her parents hear her coming soon,
And wait outside, though in a swoon.
Her older sister at the news
Faces the door with cheeks red rouged.
And Little Brother? Now a man,
For her he quickly butchers swine and lamb.

"The eastern room I open wide,
My bed's made on the western side.
Now I strip my uniform
And into woman I transform."
By window side, her cloudlike hair.
By mirror side, her makeup fair.

She steps out, and her comrades see
Not what they thought—how could it be
That through the travel of ten years,
How could her hidden girlhood not appear?

"The rabbit male runs here and there,
The female rabbit's eyes hold fear,
Two rabbits swiftly go:
How could you ever male or female know?"