Composer: Anh Bang
Poet/Lyricist: Yen Thao
English Title: Story of the Telosma Flower
Translated By: Gigi
I stand on this side of the river, on the other side are smoke and flames.
Here is my village, after many years of a devastating war,
Even sorrow inflicts upon each bamboo stem.
I have a loving wife, beautiful like the 16th moon, (1)
We married, but reluctantly have to be apart from one another.
I miss her soft lips, as beautiful as the color of sunlight.
Her rosy cheeks glistened with the scent of budding rice fields.
Who does not dread the idea of leaving one's home?
To leave the person one loves, who can easily feel the least bit happy?
She watched me with her eyes drowned in tears.
I walked away heavily but I can hear my soul weep.
Hey, soldier of war, my comrade in artillery,
My mother, with mist-colored hair, hears the sound of war each night.
Be careful of where you aim, or it might accidentally land on my home (2)
My house is located at the bottom of the hills,
That's where Telosma grows, and where the person I love lives.
(1)In the song, "trang muoi sau" (16th moon) means a round moon. The moon is a perfect circle on the 16th, which is the most beautiful shape. Therefore, the author emphasized how beautiful his wife is. Just like the moon when it is in its best shape. Other meaning of the 16th moon normally describes a girl in the teen. Typically when she is 16 years old. Or they can say "trang tron le mot" meaning round moon and one. That would describes a girl who is 17. Thank you Hoang Minh Dung his input.
(2) This part here uses what can be considered a "common language" between South Vietnamese soldiers, especially those in artillery. It uses the verb "rot" (to pour) but it actually means "to aim." And what might "accidentally land on my home?" That is the shot, shell, bullet, though it's not mentioned but it's assumed that the listener knows what 'it' is. This part is the part that gets 'lost in translation.' It sounds much nicer in Vietnamese, has a nice feeling to it, and it is something former S. Vietnamese soldiers can relate to. The English translation actually loses that feeling but I want to mention it so non-Vietnamese speakers can have a feel for it.