Eversky.org A Dose of Asian Pop Culture & Entertainment

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).

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