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15Oct/080

Khanh Ly – Bai Ca Danh Cho Nhung Xac Nguoi

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In remembrance of the victims of the Hue Massacre - 1968
"Because of who that children mourn over their parents while wives mourn over their husbands?"

Composer: Trinh Cong Son
English Title: A Ballad for the Dead
Translated By: Gigi

Dead bodies float along the river
They lie in the rice fields, soaked in sunlight
On the rooftops of the city
On the winding, tortuous streets

Dead bodies lying around aimlessly
Beneath the verandas of pagodas
Within the churches of the city
At the doorstep of deserted houses

Oh, Spring, the corpses deliver a scent to the rice paddies
Oh, Vietnam, the corpses breathe life into tomorrow's soil
The path forward, though full of treacherous obstacles
Because humans have already resided here

Dead bodies lying around here
Beneath the cold, pattering rain
Beside the dead bodies of the old and weak
Lie the dead bodies of the young and innocent

Which body is the body of my sibling?
Within this dark cave
Within the scorched areas
Beside the maize and sweet potato fields.

Translator's Note: The Hue Massacre was committed by the North Vietnamese Communists in 1968. The Viet Cong invaded the city on the night marking the new lunar year, and after this offensive, it is estimated that 5800 Hue civilians were killed. Trinh Cong Son, a native of Hue, wrote this song in remembrance of the victims.

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