Eversky.org A Dose of Asian Pop Culture & Entertainment

20Feb/101

Khanh Ly – Dem Thay Ta La Thac Do

Composer: Trinh Cong Son
English Title: At Night I Feel Like a Waterfall
Translated By: Gigi

One night, footsteps return to the small gates
Rosa flowers suddenly came to mind
Hands that clutched the flower from the cities
Already forgetting the garden from which it came
Walking past a strange city one fine day
The city has left for its afternoon nap
Sometimes my existence is similar to grasses and leaves
Sitting and singing freely without worry
Often I'm like a youth who misses home
From other towns I return
Days of spring brought forth your quiet footsteps
When did spring suddenly come to an end?
Many nights I envision myself like a waterfall
Even wide awake, I can still feel it sometimes

One day, footsteps return to the marketplace
I suddenly feel happy like an innocent child
My existence is sometimes like a blaze of fire
That gather within the garden at midnight
A flower has just bloomed in this midnight garden
Who was it that walked into my life?
Often I see a hundred thousand grave-mounds
Beside the crystal-clear lake I've often rested
My existence no longer contributes anything new
I have lived my life in such an indifferent way
There are times my heart closes its doors
And beside a wound I kneel down
Because you have given me your words of prayer
Then left me behind standing on this world.

Translator's Note: Trinh Cong Son's songs are metaphysical and only the composer himself will truly understand the meaning of his songs. I hope that I've managed to capture, somewhat, the meaning of the song with the translation.

2Jan/100

Quang Linh – Mua Thu Con Do

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Composer: Chau Ky
English Title: Autumn Still Lives On
Traslated By: Gigi

Oh, Autumn! I heard that you have passed on
Oh, Autumn! Are you still alive, or have you passed away?
Are you still alive? Are you still alive? Or have you died?
Autumn, please speak, please speak, just a few words
That Autumn lives on forever across the rivers and mountains
Autumn's lake, where the moon gazes at the water, still shines
Please don't say, please don't say that Autumn is dead!
No, Autumn lives on, you live on, forever and ever
Lost within Autumn's garden, where golden leaves scatter about
Lost within Autumn's forest, where the deers look on with grief
Autumn's figure of the past still hasn't faded, still hasn't faded
How can words express, how can words express
This grief, this misery, of waiting, when will it end?
Oh, Autumn, I loved your figure during that memorable year
Even if Autumn departs, the moon will continue to wait for you
Please don't say, please don't say that Autumn is dead!
No, Autumn lives on to continue casting her shadow on this world.

Translator's Notes: This song contains a pun that isn't very obvious in the English traslation. The word "thu" means "autumn" and it is also a common first name for women. So the author is referring to the autumn season but also to this woman named Thu.

2Jan/100

Thanh Tuyen – Nhat Ky Doi Toi

Composer: Thanh Son
English Title: Diary of My Life
Translated By: Gigi

Heading backwards in time, returning to the past, towards a bittersweet moment
So many memories, so much love, nothing's left but the figure zero
Who was it that loved? Who was it that forgot?
Within the span of a lifetime, the answer lies in the future

That one year, we observed the cherry blossoms falling during Spring
Worried about my fate, fearing that this love would become like a flower
Budded too early only to wither at night, who hasn't experienced this once?
Encountered each other, loved each other, and then we parted ways

So that's it, there's nothing more, the past is like poetry
Poetry accompanied by music, a love song is born
So that's it, there's nothing more
Hopes and dreams are bountiful presently
When can one love again in this lifetime?

We never finished saying our words of goodbye the day we parted
Five years of separation, five years of waiting, until love withered away
Sorrow fills every time it's mentioned, that love divided into two roads
Diary of my life now inscribes another memory of love and loss.

30Dec/090

Nhu Quynh – Chuyen Hoa Tigon

Composer: Anh Bang
Poet: T.T.Kh
English Title: Story of the Tigon Flower
Translated By: Gigi

One autumn evening just before twilight arrived
Still innocent, I gathered all the fallen flowers
Basked in the moonlight, my hair dyed into its color
I waited for the figure of my lover to appear with all his love

He often ran his fingers across strands of my hair
Often sighed every time a smile reached my lips
He once said, "Those flowers are like a shattered heart.
I'm worried that would be the future of our relationship."

I remembered the words he once said to me
Ever since that autumn evening from long ago
Now that I finally understood the meaning of those words
Our relationship had been destroyed by my hands

If he knew that I had already married another
Would sadness reach his heart, shattering it, or not?
Would he think of those shattered flowers from long ago?
Flowers that resemble a broken heart dyed in crimson blood.

Translator's Notes: Anh Bang took 4 verses from a famous poem "Hai Sac Hoa Tigon" (Two Colors of Tigon Flower) by T.T.Kh and composed this song. The poem itself is actually 11 verses long with 4 lines per verse and is based on the poet's own tragic love story. To this day, the poet's identity was never revealed.

29Dec/093

Nhu Quynh – Chuyen Tinh Hoa Trang

Requested by Helena. We hope you like the translation.

Composer: Anh Bang
Poet: Kien Giang
English Title: The Love Story of a White Flower
Translated By: Gigi

It's been so long since I visited the neighborhood
Ever since the fires of war engulfed our homeland
Smoke from bombs envelope the ends of the familiar sky
Veiling over my beloved and the roof of the church

Ever since the war spread to this neighborhood
He emerged as a soldier to protect our country
To protect the violet dress imprinted with a white flower
To protect the school buildings and churches

Enemies occupied the bell tower to build their weapon base
Their weapons roared demolishing the bricks of the church
He gathered the shattered pieces and rebuilt the destroyed wall
Reclaiming the bell tower at the top of the church

But then that heroic man from the war
Died a proud death beside the shadow of his country's flag
The bell from long ago rang during his last moments
Bidding him farewell from the gates of the church

A white flower no longer adorned on a violet dress
But instead adorned on the cover of his coffin
A white flower no longer adorned on a violet dress
Oh, the immense sorrow from memories long ago

The funeral car has already disappeared from here
The bell of the church cried its final tears of farewell
That violet dress is alone this evening
Tenderly missing the white flower that now resides beside his grave.

27Dec/091

Khanh Ly – Cat Bui

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Composer: Trinh Cong Son
English Title: Sand and Dust
Translated by: Gigi

Which speck of dust transformed into my figure?
So that this body can rise up tomorrow
Oh, the brilliant grains of sand and dust
Rays of sunlight illuminate upon this wandering life

Which speck of dust transformed into my figure?
So that I can return and become like dust one day
Oh, the weary particles of sand and dust
What was that drumming sound that ceases to subside?

The many years I've lived as a human being
Until one evening my hair dyed gray like lime
Leaves withered on branches, dropping to the ground
After a hundred years of living we die in one day

Which rays of sunlight shone within my heart?
Causing the love I built to chisel into a piece of pebble
Allow me to cover my face while I'm on the verge of tears
Every dreary day passes by while I await good news

Which grove of forests contain ragged trees and leaves?
From the abyss I hear a voice awakening me from my slumber
Oh, the grains of sand and dust of this lifetime
Which mark of ink can disappear without a trace...?

25Dec/090

Nguyen Khang – Bai Khong Ten So 4

Composer: Vu Thanh An
English Title: Untitled Song #4
Translated by: Gigi

She's crying to wash away the corporal punishment
She's speaking to forget all the crime and guilt
A maiden's life must also contain her past
But she only has the future to rely on

If these tears have dried in the near future
When we leave this life, only the children will suffer
Of a million acquaintances, how many are actually friends?
When we part from this world, who will bid farewell then?

Will tears wash away those bitter memories for her?
Those heartfelt words from the past... will they come back?

I'm counting those minutes of warmth and passion for her
I'm holding onto those slender strands of hair for her
The words I whispered to her will remain forever
Any talk of the future, please accept it from my hands

5Sep/090

Quang Le & Nhu Quynh – Ao Hoa

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Composer: Tran Quang Loc
English Title: Floral Dresses
Translated by: Gigi
Note: I did not translate the part at the beginning. I only translated the song.

I remember the first time we met
The turquoise dress that you wore looked so heavenly
Your figure radiated like you just stepped out of a painting
Love sparkled in those eyes, love sparkled in those eyes
A love that we both gave to each other

The next day, you wore a golden dress
Within your dress, a golden chrysanthemum just bloomed
'Twas as elegant as the music from a folk song
That we listened to someone sing about our eternal promise

I returned to pick a flower bud off of a Benjamin Fig
To carry that fragrance with me on the road back
Even if life is full of complexities, I will always love you
I will always adore all of your floral dresses

Today you wore a rose-colored dress
Yet it's still you because I could picture heaven in you
I hope that you will gladly wait for me
What are you dreaming of in those lovely eyes of yours?

6Aug/090

Khanh Ha- Mong Sau

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Composer: Tram Tu Thien
English Title: Melancholy Dream
Translated By: Mikki

Our love right now is like rain upon a river
Rain at the beginning to the end of a river
Our love right now is like a gust of winter wind
The wind blows at the first to the last of winter

Our love right now is like morning dew
After sunrise, the dew quickly evaporated
Our love right now is like a life in the winter
A life of sadness, a life in the blue winter

Love then built a grave
The lover then became indifferent
Love dissipated in trials and tribulations
And changed into daring footsteps
Crushing each other's life

After love ceased, I'm in deep pains
Holding on a dream; walking in the middle of the sky
After love ceased, your life is like those of flowers
The flower withers; the flower reaches its end season

Our love right now hurts like a beating stick
Lashing on the heart, black and blue marks
Our love right now is like birds with tired wings
The bird encounters a storm; the bird encounters rain.

4Jun/092

Khanh Ly- Ha Trang

Composer: Trinh Cong Song
English Title: White Summer
Translated By: Mikki

Call forth sunlight!
On your slim shoulder
A shirt flutters on a distant road

Sunlight passed by sorrowful eyes
The soul filled with intoxicated happiness
The path where you return
Enclosed by cloudless sky
The traveled road through seasons
Illuminated by sunlight

Call forth sunlight!

To fill the evening's dream
With fluttering white flowers
So your arms will be elongated
Further soften tomorrow's sun
Your returned footsteps
Which I failed to notice
Call the sunlight's name so that
It will fade on the long river

No more, will I plead for life's favors
In this illusion
Call autumn to arrive
I escorted you to return
Your feet lightly stepped
Melancholy sky, high winds

I asked for us to be together
For always
Sunlight will not call on sadness
Even if the familiar shirt wrinkles
I ask that in our old age
We'll continue to call each other's name

Call forth sunlight!
To pin your hair
With the falling light flowers

Sunlight escorted you home
To the high region; gushing winds
Now, your shirt is
Blurred at a far distance
I will always call your name
For the rest of this dream...

Translator's Note: This is one of the harder to translate from Vietnamese to English songs of Trinh Cong Son since it has many symbolism and metaphors that only the composer himself would truly understand. Thus, instead of focusing most of my time translating the lyrics words for words I focused on trying to deliver the overall message of this song. Overall, this song is about a man who still hold feelings for his past love.