Category Archives: songs

“How to fight loneliness” by Wilco and Choi Seung-ja’s “In order not to be lonely”

I serendipitously discovered two poems about dealing with loneliness. One is a song by Wilco, an American alternative rock band from Chicago. I translated the English lyrics of the song into Korean in case anyone out there was thirsting for a translation.  The other is a Korean poem by Choi Seung-ja, which is translated below.

 

How to fight loneliness – Wilco (click to listen)

*

How to fight loneliness
Smile all the time
Shine your teeth ’til meaningless
Sharpen them with lies

And whatever’s going down
Will follow you around
That’s how you fight loneliness
You laugh at every joke
Drag your blanket blindly
Fill your heart with smoke
And the first thing that you want
Will be the last thing you ever need
That’s how you fight it

Just smile all the time
Just smile all the time
Just smile all the time
Just smile all the time

 

외로움을 싸우는 법
항상 웃어
의미 없을 때까지 이를 빛나게 해
거짓으로 이를 날카롭게 갈아

그리고 뭐가 일어나던지
그게 널 따라다닐 거야
그렇게 외로움을 싸워
모든 농담에 웃고
네 담요를 장님처럼 끌고
네 마음을 연기로 가득 채우고
그리고 네가 원하는 첫 번째는
네가 필요하지 않을 것인 거야
그렇게 외로움을 싸워

그냥 항상 웃어
그냥 항상 웃어
그냥 항상 웃어
그냥 항상 웃어

 

In order not to be lonely by Choi Seung-ja

*

In order not to be lonely
I eat a lot
In order not to suffer
I drink a bit of alcohol
In order not to dream
I swallow a sleeping pill.
Lastly, I turn off the switch
to my brain

*

Then all night long only the sound of the clock
walks around the empty room
However, listen carefully
Saddened by the careless absence
my shoes fall to the side and weep

 

poem in Korean

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“Let Us Forget” as sung by Song Chang-sik

(translated from the Korean by geul)

Listen to the song here.

Lightly, nimbly, let us forget

The sad dream we dreamt in the night

Like darkness that fades in the morning rays

Let us forget

Let’s pretend it never was

The fire we made together

The sand castle we built

Let’s pretend it never happened

na na na na na

na na na na na

na na na na na

na

na na na na na

na na na na na

na na na

na

na

na

Often, often, let’s look for it again

After much time has flowed

Carefully, carefully, just a little

Let’s look for it again

[instrumental]

na na na na na

na na na na na

na na na na na

na

na na na na na

na na na na na

na na na

na

na

na

Often, often, let’s look for it again

After much time has flowed

Carefully, carefully, just a little

Let’s look for it again

Carefully, carefully, just a little

Let’s look for it again

*I could not ascertain who wrote the lyrics.


선뜻 선뜻 잊읍시다
간밤 꾸었던 슬픈 꿈일랑
아침 햇살에 어둠 가시듯
앚어 버립시다

없던 일로 해 둡시다
함께 피웠던 모닥불도
함께 쌓았던 모래성도
없던 일로 해둡시다

가끔 가끔 찾읍시다
오랜 세월이 흐른 뒤에
조심 조심 아주 조금씩
다시 찾읍시다

가끔 가끔 찾읍시다
오랜 세월이 흐른 뒤에
조심 조심 아주 조금씩
다시 찾읍시다
조심 조심 아주 조금씩
다시 찾읍시


“Love that hurts so, wish it weren’t love” — performed by Kim Kwang-seok

lyrics by Ryu Geun (translated from the Korean by geul)

Listen to the song here

After sending you away far
Like saying farewell to an autumn bird
After leaving sending you away
If I return to sit in front of a drink
Tears well up
After sending you away
watching starlight all fade
words left unsaid that flow down from my eyes
That love that hurts — could I ever erase it

One day on the street when rain falls scattering like
a memory
Become a lonely person, I lower my head, your
voice
Love that hurts so, wish it weren’t love

One day I brush past a shoulder dampened by the
wind
when my weary hours are reflected in a window
you become hateful
Love that hurts so, wish it weren’t love
Love that hurts so, wish it weren’t love

Let’s never return to the world as love
Let’s bury the words we longed for, the
unfinished love
Love that hurts so, wish it weren’t love
Love that hurts so, wish it weren’t love

lyrics in Korean


“Wild Rose” lyrics as performed by Jang Sa-ik

(translated from the Korean by geul)

Watch the performance here.

White rose, wild rose
humble rose, wild rose
sad like a star, wild rose
sorrowing like the moon, wild rose

The scent of the wild rose
is too, too sad
and so I cried,
let myself go and wept

The scent of the wild rose
is too, too sad
and so I cried,
all night long I cried

[instrumental interlude]

White rose, wild rose
humble rose, wild rose
sad like a star, wild rose
sorrowing like the moon, wild rose

The scent of the wild rose
is too, too sad
and so I cried,
let myself go and wept

The scent of the wild rose
is too, too sad
and so I cried,
all night long I cried

Ah!
Cried like the wild rose
Sang like the wild rose
Danced like the wild rose
Loved like the wild rose
Lived like the wild rose
Cried like the wild rose
You, wild rose

Cried like the wild rose

(This translation was prompted by a blog post on Ask a Korean.)