Eversky.org A Dose of Asian Pop Culture & Entertainment


Khanh Ly – Diem Xua

Composer: Trinh Cong Son
English Title: Diem of the Past
Translated By: Gigi

The rain still falls on the ancient temple
Your slender long arms, your pale eyes
Autumn leaves fall, the sound of soft footsteps
My eyes look to the distance, straining to see

The rain still falls on the piles of small leaves
In the afternoon I sit and gaze at the passing rain
Leaves silently fall upon your footsteps
Coldness suddenly invades my soul, leaving me shivering

The evening rain still falls, so why don't you come?
Memories in the midst of a buried pain
How can we have each other, marks of pain appear
I beg you to return soon

The rain still falls, life's like a boisterous sea
How do you remember the traces the migrating birds left behind?
Please let the rain pass over this vast region
So the wanderer can forget he's wandering

The rain still falls, life's like a boisterous sea
How do you know that a gravestone feels no pain?
Please let the rain pass over this vast region
Even the stones will need each other for the days to come.

Translator's Notes: Khanh Ly first sang this song in 1967 when she was 23 years old.


Khanh Ly – Nhu Canh Vac Bay

Composer: Trinh Cong Son
English Title: Like the Wings of a Flying Crane
Translated By: Gigi

Is the sun as crimson as your lips?
Is the rain as sorrowful as your eyes?
Your hair of tiny strands
Falling upon this world to form ripples

The wind will rejoice at your hair swaying
Causing the soft clouds to rest upon your shoulders
Your shoulders so thin and slender
Like the wings of a crane flying towards the distance

Is the sun still jealous of your lips?
Is the rain still sad within your crystal eyes?
Ever since I accompanied you home
I knew we would be apart forever

The spring greets each of your passing steps
Leaves serenade from your fragrant hands
Leaves wither because they're waiting
Just like life is forever gloomy

Is the day joyful where you're returning to?
Is the sky blue where you're returning to?
I listen to the sound of a thousand tears
Falling, transforming into a luminous lake.

Translator's Note: At the beginning of the video, Khanh Ly discussed about her meeting with Trinh Cong Son in 1967 where he showed her the song "Nhu Canh Vac Bay." He told her of a beautiful memory he had while he was in Da Lat. He and another young lady, her identity unknown, were taking a walk in the forest and stopped by a small spring. He rested by a tree and he watched her walk beside the spring. He continued to watch her as the golden sunlight shone on her slender hair and across her entire body. The wind was blowing causing her hair and her dress to flutter aimlessly in the wind. He cherished that beautiful memory and thus, wrote the song "Nhu Canh Vac Bay."


Khanh Ly – Nhu Mot Loi Chia Tay

Composer: Trinh Cong Song
English Title: Like Words of Farewell
Translated By: Gigi

All my rendezvous now ended
I'm as light as a cloud
A speck of sunlight has just hurried off
Closing each joyful night

Familiar streets wait from morning to evening
For footsteps from the olden days that pass uncertain
How can you know each private life
Just to love more and with more passion?

A rose from the past falls again
Beside my life
A bit of love leaves like a swift breeze
I suddenly recognize myself

I want one moment to thank life
That's given me some passion
At times I lie down and hear laughter
But it was just a dream

Love's like light that dissipates at sunset
Love's not far but not really near
Love's like a rock full of endless longing
Love's indefinite, so why am I sad and worried?

I remember the whispering each night
Seems like it was only drunkenness now
Delicate golden flowers at the edge of the sky
Like words of farewell.


Trinh Cong Son – Mot Coi Di Ve

Composer: Trinh Cong Son
English Title: A Place to Leave from and Return to
Translated By: Gigi

For many years I have wandered
Going around in circles, growing weary
On my shoulders the sun and the moon
Lighting a lifetime, a place to leave from and return to

What words are from trees, what words are from the grass
One afternoon of pleasure, one life that is light
A day passes
First spring decays, then summer withers as well
One early autumn, one hears horses returning
To a place far away

Clouds cover overhead and the sun hangs on shoulders
My footsteps walk away, the river stays behind
From the spirit of love comes a sudden calling
Within myself a human shadow appears

This rain I'm hearing reminds me of the rain long ago
It falls within me, one small drop after another
Years without end and never a reunion
One doesn't know which place is home

Roads twist around a circle of misery and sadness
On one side is budding grass, on the other dreams
Of the past
Each sunset's call is also from the grave
In the river stream one hears the call
Of the ocean

While I return I remember myself leaving
I climb the high mountains, cross the wide-open sea
My arms have not yet covered the span of the world
In the spring of life a desolate wind blows

Today I drink for life and stay up late
Tomorrow I regret the springtime I have lost.


Khanh Ly – Dem Thay Ta La Thac Do

Composer: Trinh Cong Son
English Title: At Night I Feel Like a Waterfall
Translated By: Gigi

One night, footsteps return to the small gates
Rosa flowers suddenly came to mind
Hands that clutched the flower from the cities
Already forgetting the garden from which it came
Walking past a strange city one fine day
The city has left for its afternoon nap
Sometimes my existence is similar to grasses and leaves
Sitting and singing freely without worry
Often I'm like a youth who misses home
From other towns I return
Days of spring brought forth your quiet footsteps
When did spring suddenly come to an end?
Many nights I envision myself like a waterfall
Even wide awake, I can still feel it sometimes

One day, footsteps return to the marketplace
I suddenly feel happy like an innocent child
My existence is sometimes like a blaze of fire
That gather within the garden at midnight
A flower has just bloomed in this midnight garden
Who was it that walked into my life?
Often I see a hundred thousand grave-mounds
Beside the crystal-clear lake I've often rested
My existence no longer contributes anything new
I have lived my life in such an indifferent way
There are times my heart closes its doors
And beside a wound I kneel down
Because you have given me your words of prayer
Then left me behind standing on this world.

Translator's Note: Trinh Cong Son's songs are metaphysical and only the composer himself will truly understand the meaning of his songs. I hope that I've managed to capture, somewhat, the meaning of the song with the translation.