잠자리의 집

House of the Dragonfly

린 ~ 20세기 캐럴

LYn, “20th Century Carol”

 

Don’t let the title fool you – this song (and especially its video) are not just 20th century. They are also very specifically 2016. This “carol” is an overt commentary on Korea’s current political situation, and while the lyrics can still be read as a simple Christmassy excursion shared by two lovers, that’s obviously not the focus.

I don’t know when this song was written or produced, but it was  published on YouTube just days after President Park Geun Hye was officially impeached. The whole situation harkens back to President Park Chung Hee’s assassination and the Gwangju Uprising that followed (hence the 20th century thing). If that president’s name sounds familiar, it’s not just because Park is the third most common surname in Korea; Park Chung-hee is Park Geun Hye’s father, a dictator who suppressed movement toward democracy during his time as a leader. The Gwangju Uprising helped nudge Korea back onto the path toward democracy, and yet the government has perpetually struggled with corruption to this very day. That’s the point LYn is making when she says, “History is repeating itself, we’re back where we started.”

 

한국어:

첫사랑 막막하던 그날 밤

우린 어디로 가나

거리엔 가득한 사람들 물결

함께 떠내려가볼까

 

주머니속 차가왔던 너의 손

맘은 얼어오지만 내일은 없다

고요한밤 눈 쏟아진다

우리는 젊었다 사랑하고 있다

오늘밤은 거룩하다

 

복잡한 명동 종로 벗어난다

광화문 앞을 걸어본다

여기저기 보초서는 군인들

 

없던 내일이 다가온다

기억나지 않는 어제과 함께

시간은 돌고돌아 다시 그 자리에

 

또 다시 그 자리에 서있다

우린 어디로 가나

거리엔 가득한 사람들 물결

함께 떠내려 갈까

우린 아직 젊다

오늘밤은 자유다

 

복잡한 강남역 2호선 전철타고

시청앞 광화문을 걸어본다

여기저기 고함치는 사람들

 

잊었던 어제가 다가온다

없던 내일도 함께

시간은 돌고돌아 다시 그 자리에

 

줄을 선다 앞은 보이지 않아도

어찌 되겠지 내일은

세상이 어디 그리 만만하더냐

 

그래도 우린 젊다

사랑하고 있다

거룩한 밤 눈 쏟아져라

 

우린 아직 젊다

사랑하고 있다

오늘 밤은 자유다

 

English:

That night, our first love was gloomy

Are we going anywhere?

The streets are filled with the tide of people

Shall we be swept away with them?

 

Your hands in your pocket are cold

Your heart is frozen but there’s no tomorrow

Snow spills (from the sky) on this silent night [1]

We are young and in love

Tonight is holy

 

We stray from the crowded Myeong-dong Bell Street

We walk to Gwanghwamun [2]

Soldiers stand guard here and there

 

The tomorrow that didn’t exist is approaching,

along with the yesterday we’ve forgotten

History is repeating itself, we’re back where we started

 

We’re standing in the same place again

Are we going anywhere?

The streets are filled with the tide of people

Shall we be swept away with them?

We are still young

Tonight we are free

 

We take the crowded No. 2 subway line at Gangnam Station

We walk to Gwanghwamun in front of City Hall

People are yelling here and there

 

The yesterday we’ve forgotten is approaching,

along with the tomorrow we thought would never come

History is repeating itself, we’re back where we started

 

A line forms, even though we can’t see ahead

Tomorrow will come, regardless

Is there anywhere in the world that is this restless?

 

But still, we’re young

We are in love

Snow spills (from the sky) on this holy night

 

We are still young

We are in love

Tonight, we are free

 

 

[1] Yes, the words used here are the same for the traditional Christmas carol, “Silent Night,” although Koreans call the song, “Silent Night, Holy Night” (…like the original German).

[2 In front of Gwanghwamun is Gwanghwamun Plaza, with its iconic statue of King Sejong. As far as I know, rallies and demonstrations are technically illegal in Gwanghwamun Plaza, but that didn’t stop hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of protesters who gathered to object to President Park Geun Hye’s scandal.

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