Today Mr Gwon recommends two songs from Ahn Jae-wook.
This song is called Forever.
When we listen to the beginning of this song we feel like we are almost trembling. This song was from TV drama (Wish Upon a Star), Ahn Jaw-wook played a singer in the drama. This song and the character was so popular. Because we remember the scene from the drama, and he was a really cool guy – so he was a sensation at that time. I think I was a middle high school student at that time. Everyone wanted to have hair like that and styled their hair like that way. We want to be like him. The song is about loving someone forever and when we listen to the song, we can feel the sorrow. He can sing so emotionally and people can feel the emotion in the song. In the drama, he can’t get the girl but he knows he will always love her. But in the end he finally got the girl.
So even though the song was 10 years ago, when we listen to this song it reminds us of that time in our lives. It’s funny looking back now, how we wanted to be like him. We wanted to be cool like that. I want to share this song with other people because it’s one of my favourite songs.
This song is called Friend.
When we listen to this song or sing it, we are reminded about our friendships. We think about our friends and the time we spent together. When a friend has a bad or sad situation we comforted them and when we have good news, we were happy together. Every time we hang out and drink, when we go to noraebang, we always sing this song when drunk and hug each other. We think aobut how important our friendship is. Actually I lost two of my friends… they died. One in highschool and one about 4 or 5 year ago. So this song makes me remember our good memories. I even remember singing this song with one of my friends before he died. I think other people who have good friends, they might like this song, if they know the lyrics, so I want to recommend this song. I recommend songs like this because I like them, not because they were the best song ever or the top of charts, I like it so I think someone else will like this song as well.
I think it’s probably obvious what is different in the picture this time. Let me in Mr Gwon!
Today Mr Gwon recommends a song called ‘The Private’s Letter’. All South Korean men have to do about 2 years of military service. This song is older and doesn’t have an proper video so here are two versions of it:
An original version with a video someone has made:
And a version Junsu did:
Here are the song lyrics:
집 떠나와 열차 타고 훈련소로 가는 날
Leaving on a train, reporting for duty
부모님께 큰 절하고 대문 밖을 나설때
As I walk out the door, parting with the parents
가슴 속엔 무엇인가 아쉬움이 남지만
In my heart remains a sentiment I cannot describe
풀한포기, 친구얼굴, 모든것이 새롭다.
A fistful of grass, a friend’s face, everything feels different
이제 다시 시작이다. 젊은 날의 생이여
It’s a new start, the days of my youth
친구들아 군대가면 편지 꼭 해다오
Friends, do write me in the army
그대들과 즐거웠던 날들을 잊지않게
So that I’ll remember our times together
열차시간 다가올때 두손잡던 뜨거움
Warmth, holding hands as the train nears
기적소리 멀어지면 작아지는 모습들
You grow smaller as the whistles fade
이제다시 시작이다 젊은날의 꿈이여
It’s a new start, the dreams of my youth
짧게잘린 내머리가 처음에는 우습다가
My shortened hair, silly at first
거울속에 비친 내모습이 굳어진다 마음까지
My reflection in the mirror, hardens with my mind
뒷동산에 올라서면 우리마을 보일런지
Atop that hill, would I see home
나팔소리 고요하게 밤하늘에 퍼지면
As the horn spreads quietly in the night
이등병의 편지 한장 고의접어 보내오
Writing a private’s letter and sending it
이제다시 시작이다 젊은날의 꿈이여
It’s a new start, the dreams of my youth
Mr Gwon says:
This song is a really sad song and almost all Korean guys have done military service so will understand what I’m going to talk about.
When people are going to do their military service they go to karaoke with friends and drink and they sing this song. Some people cry and they are really serious. Before I did my military service it was really sad. People don’t want to go to military service because they know it’s really hard and Korean guys sacrifice 2 years of their life for our country, every Korean guy. If they want to live in Korea they have to do military service.
The song is about the man who is going to do his military service and talking about when, thinking about his friends and family and how important they are but now he has new life in the military without family and friends. It made the person get stronger. It’s quite sad because if we didn’t have the Korean War, we are still united and we wouldn’t have to do military service, we would be one country. But because of that, we have national duty. We have to do this but it’s really sad.
I’m in Australia now, but I can’t see my friends in Korea, I can’t see my family. I finished my national duty already but when I listen to this song I’m thinking about my family and friends and thinking about when I was in the Navy and before I went to military service. I listen to this song and feel sad, it’s not bad sad, it’s also good memories too.
And when I was in the Navy, I worked in a Navy hospital and Korean marines, they come to our hospital to do their health check, and they are sitting on the ground and waiting for their turn. So I put the song over the speakers because I was working at reception and everyone could listen to it. And when I saw their faces, they looked so sad and wanted to go home. I played it because I was sentimental.
I recommend this song, it’s an old song. The guy who originally sang this song committed suicide but we don’t know why.
Korean military service is quite different from being in Australian military. It’s not our job, it’s our duty. We are not really paid. I was paid $10 or $20 a month and we have to always obey our seniors, if we don’t, they beat us. It’s really hard, physically and mentally. So many Korean guys, one of their worst dreams is going back to military service. I’ve had that dream before, and when I wake up I realise I’ve already finished and feel relieved and safe. Korean guys who have a rich family, they don’t want to go to military service, that’s why they try to go to another country and get citizenship. If you live in Korea and you are a man you have to do it. But there are many problems in Korea because when we finish our service and we come back to university, lots of our female friends have finished university and have got a job, we are still a university student but our age is quite old.
A lot of guys form really strong friendships with those the guys they did military service with and are still friends even when they are out of the military. When there is a Korean guy that didn’t do his military service they don’t understand what all the other guys are talking about, because they didn’t go through it.
Some people complain, and I also complain, but when I was in the military, I had many experiences, I got three certificates (licenses). When we get higher we have time to learn things and get certificates. I lost almost 20 kilos when I did my military service. I feel like I was a better person after I did my service.
Today Mr Gwon recommends H.O.T’s “Warrior’s Descendant” and “Candy”.
This song is H.O.T’s first song and it was really popular when it was released because it was one of the first idol bands in Korea. Also what made them different was that there were 5 members (more than other bands) and they danced really well. The song was really cool, it’s about bullying in the school, so people could identify with it.
So many people liked this song so people copy the type of clothes they are wearing. That time we used cassette tape and we write down all the lyrics and sang the song in the school. I was a really big fan of H.O.T so in my room there was H.OT. posters all over the walls. I bought the same type of clothes like that- baggy clothes and the hat and everything.
Everyone thought the members looked really cool, the song, the clothes….everything. Everyone really liked the English rapping, there had been English rapping in songs before but not as long or as cool as this. We wrote down the English, but in Korean, and we would sing it. We recorded all H.O.T’s performances or appearances on TV shows and we would swap the tapes with friends and watch again and again. We bought the photo albums and the magazines they were in. H.O.T were our heroes.
Candy is their second single. They are wearing cute clothes and gloves and hat and the dance is really cute so every time we went to the karaoke we dance like them. Lots of people know how to dance Candy. It was winter and we bought the same type of gloves and cute clothes. Now when I look at the clothes they are wearing it’s embarrassing, but back then they were the coolest items ever. Also we like H.O.T because they were not from a wealthy background so we feel they are like one of us.
Back then SM Entertainment was really good, the lyrics were really good, we could identify with them and they had more meaning. These days I feel like SM Entertainment became too conservative and don’t want to have anything too controversial. They also don’t seem to care about the quality of the lyrics or English these days. Back then SM Entertainment was only a new company and H.O.T. made them a bigger company. I’m not professional music critic but that’s how I feel about it, that when music companies get a lot bigger they can lose some of their original values.
Beginning of song the lyric is a bit funny because eating Jajangmyeon (black noodle) but it’s actually a really sad story. Lots of people had similar problem in the school because they were poor. It happens a lot, we have meal together in the school, many times lots of students just have kimchi, and some vegetables but when someone has meat type of thing for their lunch box they bully the other students, “Oh why you only have kimchi!”
One time my mother cooked for us and there was no meat on the table so I complained to mum “What should I eat? There is nothing I can eat!” and now I realise I was a rude and stupid kid.
Lots of people, they cried when they listen to the end of this song because the guy didn’t say ‘I love you’ to his mother but she died. It’s really hard to say ‘I love you’, I don’t know about these days, but when I was growing up, it was really hard to say I love you to your parents. I didn’t say ‘I love you’ to my parents for 25 years and when I was in Australia I called my mother and I said ‘I love you’ on Korean Parents Day and they cried. And now we say ‘I love you’ to each other very often.
Every time people listen to this song it reminds us how important our mother is. I’m pretty sure there are many families that… their mother died and they never said I love you to their mother. It’s really sad.
So everyone should call their mother and say ‘I love you’, and thank you. I’m going to call my mother now…
(On a lighter note, what is different about the picture this week?)
This is a new section where once a week my husband (Mr Gwon) will recommend a Korean music video, usually an older one.
This week he recommends Jo Sung Mo “To Heaven”.
I think it was when I was… middle school student. There are many other music videos but this music video was different from other music videos. This music video has story, it’s really cool. We copy the music video and when the killer tried to hide from police and kiss to woman we do it in the school – to other guys – not girls, it was funny, because it was so cool. Every time we went to karaoke everyone wanted to sing that song. The guy is sad that he lost his girl but he is going to see the lady in the heaven so it’s quite sad but one day they will be together. After this song people use the name for PC Bang, karaoke and hotel- “To Heaven” or “투헤븐”. This song make people cry to remember ex girlfriend or boyfriend.
Instead of getting him to write something out I just type exactly what he says about it.
Also, you can probably see that I drew a certain meme in the picture too. Every week there will be something new in the picture.