Eversky.org A Dose of Asian Pop Culture & Entertainment

23Sep/100

Quoc Khanh – Bai Khong Ten Cuoi Cung

Composer: Vu Thanh An
English Title: The Last Untitled Song
Translated By: Gigi

I miss you so much but I never told you
Even if I told you, nothing would change
Oh, the pain is already growing so immensely
If I said any more, I would feel depressed more
What's there to promise anymore?

Countless times you have promised
Countless promises that you then forgot about
I don't know who to believe anymore
Days still continue to pass, I'm still here
What's there to wait to me?

Oh, my dear
The road that you decided to walk on,
The road that you eventually followed,
Where will it eventually lead you?
If rain was to pass when you're beside your husband
Would it cause you to cry? Would it cause you to miss
All of time we spent together?

Oh, my dear
The road that you decided to walk on
The road that you eventually followed
Is it the right one for you, my dear?
We're so far apart now
Even Heaven has to let its angels
Spread their wings and fly away
All that remains is the pain of a fool still in love

For the rest of my life, who will be beside me?
Please continue to love, my dearest one
I give to you one word of farewell
One word of yearning, one word of love
For the very last time.

Translator's Notes: Vu Thanh An wrote a series of untitled songs (about 50 total) and although this song is called The Last Untitled Song, it is actually #10 of the series. He wrote another song after this called Bai Khong Ten Cuoi Cung Tro Lai (translated as: The Return of the Last Untitled Song) as a sequel to this song where he added more verses but the music composition remains unchanged.

2Jan/100

Thanh Tuyen – Nhat Ky Doi Toi

Composer: Thanh Son
English Title: Diary of My Life
Translated By: Gigi

Heading backwards in time, returning to the past, towards a bittersweet moment
So many memories, so much love, nothing's left but the figure zero
Who was it that loved? Who was it that forgot?
Within the span of a lifetime, the answer lies in the future

That one year, we observed the cherry blossoms falling during Spring
Worried about my fate, fearing that this love would become like a flower
Budded too early only to wither at night, who hasn't experienced this once?
Encountered each other, loved each other, and then we parted ways

So that's it, there's nothing more, the past is like poetry
Poetry accompanied by music, a love song is born
So that's it, there's nothing more
Hopes and dreams are bountiful presently
When can one love again in this lifetime?

We never finished saying our words of goodbye the day we parted
Five years of separation, five years of waiting, until love withered away
Sorrow fills every time it's mentioned, that love divided into two roads
Diary of my life now inscribes another memory of love and loss.

25Dec/090

Nguyen Khang – Bai Khong Ten So 4

Composer: Vu Thanh An
English Title: Untitled Song #4
Translated by: Gigi

She's crying to wash away the corporal punishment
She's speaking to forget all the crime and guilt
A maiden's life must also contain her past
But she only has the future to rely on

If these tears have dried in the near future
When we leave this life, only the children will suffer
Of a million acquaintances, how many are actually friends?
When we part from this world, who will bid farewell then?

Will tears wash away those bitter memories for her?
Those heartfelt words from the past... will they come back?

I'm counting those minutes of warmth and passion for her
I'm holding onto those slender strands of hair for her
The words I whispered to her will remain forever
Any talk of the future, please accept it from my hands

4Jun/092

Khanh Ly- Ha Trang

Composer: Trinh Cong Song
English Title: White Summer
Translated By: Mikki

Call forth sunlight!
On your slim shoulder
A shirt flutters on a distant road

Sunlight passed by sorrowful eyes
The soul filled with intoxicated happiness
The path where you return
Enclosed by cloudless sky
The traveled road through seasons
Illuminated by sunlight

Call forth sunlight!

To fill the evening's dream
With fluttering white flowers
So your arms will be elongated
Further soften tomorrow's sun
Your returned footsteps
Which I failed to notice
Call the sunlight's name so that
It will fade on the long river

No more, will I plead for life's favors
In this illusion
Call autumn to arrive
I escorted you to return
Your feet lightly stepped
Melancholy sky, high winds

I asked for us to be together
For always
Sunlight will not call on sadness
Even if the familiar shirt wrinkles
I ask that in our old age
We'll continue to call each other's name

Call forth sunlight!
To pin your hair
With the falling light flowers

Sunlight escorted you home
To the high region; gushing winds
Now, your shirt is
Blurred at a far distance
I will always call your name
For the rest of this dream...

Translator's Note: This is one of the harder to translate from Vietnamese to English songs of Trinh Cong Son since it has many symbolism and metaphors that only the composer himself would truly understand. Thus, instead of focusing most of my time translating the lyrics words for words I focused on trying to deliver the overall message of this song. Overall, this song is about a man who still hold feelings for his past love.

13May/090

Thien Kim – Chuyen Tinh Khong Suy Tu

Note: Only the first half of the video is the song featured here. The second half is the song "Pho Dem," which has already been translated.

Composer: Tam Anh
English Title: Story of a Thoughtless Love
Translated By: Gigi

Love had just budded yesterday
Yet today eyes are already filled with bitterness
Tears obscuring my faith in love
Tears washing away this dream-like state

My beloved, you're so far away
Robbing from me these feelings of love
Who am I crying for today?
Who will cry for me tomorrow?

My beloved, I'm crying over a foolish love
Dried tears bruising my eyes and lips
Overflowing tears washing away your love
Overflowing tears, thoughts brought them back

My beloved, I'm now so frail
Without any love left
Who am I crying for today?
Who will cry for me tomorrow?

So I'll just leave, so I'll just leave
Even though you're often quite heartless
Because I'm still.. still lingering over it
I'm away from you, I'm away from you
What's left, what's left now?
Where I can find the face of my beloved?

Why is love filled with lingering thoughts?
My beloved is now happy in a distant place
My beloved is away from my arms
My beloved has left me

My dear, what's left to love now?
My innocence has been killed
Who am I crying for today?
Who will cry for me tomorrow?

17Feb/092

Quang Dung & Thanh Ha – Co Ua

Composer: Lam Phuong
English Title: Withered Grass
Translated By: Gigi

If you still remember my name, please recall it within your dreams
If there's any bit of love left, please let it echo throughout
Am I still in love because there are times I reminisce on the past?
I'm truly forgetting everything, yet why is my heart still waiting?

Ever since you left me, I drown my miseries and sorrows with wine
A white cloth hung across my bedroom, as if I'm in mourning (1)
Turbulent storms collided the day you returned to that place
While I'm here still drunk on my sorrow every lonely night

One evening, you recited a poem on a hill
Even the grasses felt lovesick as they withered into a golden color
I weaved my own dreams with every sound of my guitar next to my loved one
That's when I realized that I had fallen in love

Oh, my "friend", this fairy tale of ours has diminished
Our love is like dust, I only hope for us to be together
I buried my head in my shoulders so I could hear my life shatter
I shouldn't hold onto the past; it'll only make me feel miserable.

Translator's Note:
Lam Phuong was one of the famous Vietnamese composer pre-Vietnam War. He wrote a lot of songs pre-war and sold them for lots of money. However, post-war he fled overseas and lost everything he had. During this time that he was poor, his wife hastily left him. He wrote this song during this incident along with another famous song called "Lam" (Mistake) with a verse that read "Anh da lam dua em sang day" (I was mistaken when I brought you over here).

(1) In Vietnamese culture, during a funeral ceremony, family members of the deceased would wear white and tie a piece of white cloth around their head. White can mean purity and innocence, but it is also a color associated with death. What this verse in the song means is that every since his wife left him, it's as if she had passed away because she is no longer beside him. He is heartbroken and is mourning his loss so to speak.

11Oct/080

Khanh Ly – Bien Nho

Composer: Trinh Cong Son
English Title: A Sea's Yearning
Translated By: Gigi

Tomorrow you will depart
The sea will be howling your name, beckoning you to return
However, only the trailing willow trees will listen
And only the empty banks of sand will respond

Tomorrow you will depart
The hills will lean slightly, and wait
Pebbles will anticipate for you every hour
As the sound of each of your desolate footsteps echoes

Tomorrow you will depart
The sea will beckon you to return to your roots
Calling forth ocean and winds, submerging your soul
My hands will shield you from the sprinkling of cold rain

Tomorrow you will depart
A city at midnight with amber lights
A lone soul, shoulders hunched back, calling forth sadness
Strong waves crashing outside, my sadness deepens

Someday you will return
My hands will extend toward the open pathway
Melodies will resound into a musical concert
Loneliness will be no more

Tomorrow you will depart
The sea will be howling your name, beckoning you to return
Drops of dew soak the dreamscape
An infinite sky clings to the towering mountains

Tomorrow you will depart
Moss-grown dunes droops down in the sadness
Streetlights grieve amidst cold rain
As clouds completely cover the sky outside

Tomorrow you will depart
Will the sea whisper your name, dazed in grief?
Through rainy days and dried months, I still mourn
My hands long for letters containing news of you

Tomorrow you will depart
A city at midnight with amber lights
Spring's shadow has already passed halfway, hesitantly
Lamenting at the whistling of the rising wind.

28Aug/080

Tinna Tinh- Hoa Lai Mau Xanh

31May/080

Giao Linh- Chuyen Do Vi Tuyen

Composer: Lam Phuong
English Title: The Ferry Boat Ride at the Parallel
Translator: Gigi

The moon is so bright tonight, my dear
Why must we separate because of the river that's divided into two colors?
Floating along the waves of the infinitely vast water
I wait to meet your figure for many cold and lonely nights
Overcoming forests and mountains, I arrive at the entrance of your village
My ferry boat will accompany you across the parallel in the quiet night
In the South, we are currently living in peace
A sweet love spreads its ardent fragrance beside the golden rice fields
Oh, the mystifying river is very beautiful
My dear, who could have the heart to divide these shores...
Causing such longing for the days and months to come
You and I will build a bridge connecting both regions
So the Southern army can reach Thang Long in the near future
They will bring peace to warm a million hearts
The night's mist drop upon my eyes, wetting my eyelashes
My heart feels cold and lonely like those evenings at the border during winter
Who could cause such sorrowful songs?
As though they're recalling the memories of our separation within my broken heart
On the verge of tears, I look towards the distance that's a thousand miles away
Right now you are suffering in your homeland that's sinking deeply
Many nights I sob underneath the ivory-colored moon
My soul eagerly waits for the day of your return to warm both of our hearts.

Translator's Notes:
The parallel that the narrator mentions is the 17th parallel that separates the North from the South, just in case anyone didn't catch that. The river that the narrator mentions is the Ben Hai river that just happens to lie on the 17th parallel line, which means the river was basically divided, too. There was a bridge across the river known as the Hien Luong Bridge (also known as the "Peace Bridge"). At the time of the partitioning, the northern portion of the bridge was painted red and southern portion painted yellow, which is why the narrator mentions the river being divided into two colors. Then the bridge that the narrator later mentions that she and her lover would build is a metaphor for her hopes of both sides being united, with the South winning the war and bringing peace to Thang Long (another name for Ha Noi).

14May/080

Asia Hop Ca – Dap Loi Song Nui

Composer: Truc Ho
English Title: Let's Volunteer for Our Country (1)
Translated by: Gigi

Let's volunteer for our country. Let's volunteer for the sake of our country.
Our country is in danger, so we'll join together and dedicate our entire being.
Let's volunteer for our country. Let's volunteer for the sake of our country.
Determined to defend our country, we would rather die for our homeland.

Here lies an infinite number of hearts. Here lies an infinite number of minds.
We all share the same bloodline known as Viet Nam.
Here lies Hung Dao Vuong. Here lie the Ly, Le, and Tran dynasties. (2)
Four thousand years, not once did we yield to foreign invasion.

Let's volunteer for our country. Let's volunteer for the sake of our country.
Our country is in danger, so we'll join together and dedicate our entire being.
Let's volunteer for our country. Let's volunteer for the sake of our country.
Determined to defend our country, we would rather die for our homeland.

We're determined to defend our country: every piece of land, every grass and tree
Every street and district, every road, every sea shore of our homeland.

Let's volunteer for our country. Let's volunteer for the sake of our country.
Our country is in danger, so we'll join together and dedicate our entire being.
Let's volunteer for our country. Let's volunteer for the sake of our country.
Determined to defend our country, we would rather die for our homeland.

Here lies an infinite number of hearts. Here lies an infinite number of minds.
We all share the same bloodline known as Viet Nam.
Here lies the Trung sisters. Here lie the Ly, Le, and Tran dynasties. (3)
Four thousand years, not once did we yield to foreign invasion.

Let's volunteer for our country. Let's volunteer for the sake of our country.
Our country is in danger, so we'll join together and dedicate our entire being.
Let's volunteer for our country. Let's volunteer for the sake of our country.
Determined to defend our country, we would rather die for our homeland.

Viet Nam, Viet Nam, Viet Nam...

Translator's Notes:
(1) The title is "Dap Loi Song Nui" where "dap loi" is the verb that means to voluntary join the military draft. I just want to note that that's what I meant when I translated it as "volunteer." As for the two remaining words, "song nui" basically means rivers and mountains, and it is another meaning for "country."

(2) Hung Dao Vuong (also known as Tran Hung Dao) is a Vietnamese military Grand Commander of the Tran Dynasty. He controlled the Dai Viet armies whom repelled two major Mongol invasions in the 13th century.

The golden era of Vietnam is when the Ly and Tran dynasties were in command under the name Dai Viet, and they repelled three Mongol invasions. After these two dynasties, there was a brief time in which the Ming Dynasty of China invaded, but Vietnam's independence was restored by Le Loi, the founder of the Le Dynasty. That's why these three dynasties were mentioned in the song.

(3) The Trung sisters (Hai Ba Trung) were two 1st century women leaders who successfully repelled Chinese invasions for three years, and are regarded as national heroines of Vietnam.