Composer: Tran Thien Thanh
English Title: Salty Sea
Translated by: Gigi
As high as Truong Son, (1)
Nurturing love and care, the water exits from its source.
Searching for the Eastern Sea,
love becomes the waves of the Pacific Ocean.
And every misty night, the waves' claps return,
lulling the homeland to sleep.
But the homeland hasn't slept, not when bombs and bullets
everywhere are humiliating in the crops in the water.
I awake every tender night,
yet I can hear the salt mingling in my heart.
Mother is the Mother Ocean,
crying out from the front bank to the back waterfall.
The years pass by quickly (2), the wind of the salty sea
nourished me into a wise person.
Then at the age of twenty-one, I joined the army,
but my heart hasn't loved anybody yet.
My lover, I only recently met her.
When the army made a stop in a region that was welcoming autumn.
The desolate region, shadows of the coconut, the vast shore of sand.
Wind rises every golden evening; she let loose her hair on the blue ocean.
My lover used to always cry during the evening rain,
when the blue color of the salty sea chiseled into colors of clouds.
She said, "Because I love you, I want our story to be blue like
the color of the sea of love in a really, really pretty morning sky."
I came and left.
Away from my life is the long-lasting war.
Devoted to this life as a young man,
overcoming the vast moor hiding and sheltering the blue sea.
A beauty that's similar to what's inside a painting,
the mud-covered heels helped the rice paddies grow greener.
In every countless army missions, I passed by a dried region.
My sweat becomes the salty sea on my lips.
(1) What I don't understand is whether or not the composer said the mountain (Truong Son) is really high or that the water is as high as the mountain. I went with the second meaning.
(2) The original Vietnamese phrase is "tui troi qua mau" in which "tui troi" means "age of Heaven (or sky)" and "qua mau" meaning "pass by quickly." It's a poetic phrase with "tui troi" acting as a metaphor for the years of a person's life.