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Truong Vu – Rung La Thap

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Composer: Tran Thien Thanh
English Title: Jungle of Low-Hanging Leaves
Translated By: Gigi

The jungle of green, green leaves, trees drape over its path.
What kind of dreams does the city behind me hold?
I am a soldier in the middle of a long-lasting war.
That's why I could hear my first dreams sinking deeply.

From the radio, the girl would sing:
"I will love you forever, the worn-out soldier who's away from home."
In the middle of the jungle, her voice would rise.
But I don't see anything in the middle of this jungle.

Why not sing for the soldiers battling enemies on the bridge?
With muddy boots, still wearing their green uniforms.
Amidst gunsmoke at the camp, and tired eyes from lack of sleep.
After a night of combat, all we need is a word of appreciation.

Why not sing for those who are still busy fighting?
All we see are trees hiding the road back to the bustling city.
Why not sing for the mothers who miss their sons every night?
Why not sing for those who recently fell last night?

A worn path snakes its way through the dense, green jungle.
A soldier is accustomed to the hardships of each army mission.
I've heard the nonstop sound of gunshots since the day I was born.
So now I'm fighting a long war to bring peace to my country.

Please let your words touch people's hearts forever.
Do not sing like the birds atop the dense jungle.
Please be sincere about what you are singing.
Just like how a soldier loves the jungle's low-hanging leaves.

Translator's Notes
This song basically talks about the thoughts of a soldier during a war, in this case, the Vietnam War. This is one of the many, many songs about the Vietnam War. A teacher once told me that in order to learn about a country's culture, you must look at its music. Because there are so many songs dedicated to the Vietnam War in Vietnamese music, it just goes to show the huge impact the war has placed on Vietnamese people.

Comments (3) Trackbacks (0)
  1. I am very appreciated and admired your work. It is nice to see a young person try to learn about her language.
    Your translating is perfect just a small mistake. May I adjust to complete this song?
    I think the sentence you translate “Across many clear autumns” is can replay is
    ” From the radio ” as the meaning from original ” tu may thu thanh.”
    In Vietnamese language “may thu thanh ” is mean ” radio”
    Thank you so much and hope to see more song was translated to English by you.

  2. Thanks for the correction. I was translating the song from posted lyrics and must have mistaken the “ma’y” for the word “ma^’y” meaning many, a lot, etc. so I just translated the next two words as is (“thu” = autumn and “thanh” = blue/clear). I fixed the lyrics. 🙂

  3. This song Nhat Truon Tran Thien Thanh wrote after hearing the news that his best friend Marine Lieutenant VÅ© Mạnh Hùng killed in action on Bình Lợi bridge battle. That’s why he wrote “Sao không hát cho những người giết giặt trên cầu”. Má»™ng chìm sâu means a lost dream, unaccomplished dream of your life. You should double check your translation by posting the english translation in some websites where there are vietnamese who are in great profiency both in english and vietnamse. No offense at all but I think your Vietnamese is limited.

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