Jive Monkey Playlist: 7/26/13

TGIF!  Sorry for the lack of posts this week but it’s been that kind of a week.  So glad that the weekend is here.  After seeing the pics for Answer Me 1994’s first table read earlier this week, I was inspired to take a look back into old-school K-Pop and a certain idol group whose music will be featured in the upcoming drama: Seo Taiji and Boys.  They were an idol group lead by, of course, Seo Taiji, and his two boys, Yang Hyun Suk (aka YG’s CEO) and Lee Juno.  They are pretty much a legacy in the K-Pop world because they were instrumental in popularizing certain genres of music with a brand new generation of youth in Korea, genres such as rock and hip hop.  The group was in their heyday in the mid-90’s.

In the summer of ’94, the group released their 3rd album, with the title song, “발해를 꿈꾸며 (Dreaming of Balhae)”.  I knew the song was about the reunification of Korea but only recently came to know what the meaning of Balhae was in regards to this song.  After the fall of the Goguryeo Dynasty, General Dae Jo Young unified the northern states which was later named Balhae.  Those territories make up what is now known as parts of North Korea, China and Russia.  So in regards to the song, Balhae is in reference to the lands up North.

Without getting into a political debate about reunification, let me just explain what the culture was like in the summer of ’94.  North Korean Dictator Kim Il Sung (aka Kim Jong Un’s grandfather) had just passed away in July.  As a result, many people were anxious and a lot of nuclear war rhetoric was tossed around.  Thankfully, that didn’t happen but a lot of celebrities spoke out for peace and idol groups came together to do peace concerts and released songs about peace, one of which was Seo Taiji and Boys’ “발해를 꿈꾸며 (Dreaming of Balhae)”.  The cover of this album even had a dove on the front.

Now that I think about it, it’s kind of an interesting time for tvN to be doing a drama that takes place during this time.  It’s so topical considering there was a lot of news coverage of North Korea earlier this year with its newest and youngest dictator.  Not that I think it will overshadow the drama but I do think it is very likely that they will touch upon it.  Their performance does bring me back though.  Remember the butterfly?

서태지와 아이들 – 발해를 꿈꾸며

발해를 꿈꾸며

진정 나에겐
단 한가지 내가 소망하는 게 있어
갈려진 땅의 친구들을
언제쯤 볼 수가 있을까
망설일 시간에
우리를 잃어요
한민족인 형제인
우리가 서로를 겨누고 있고
우리가 만든 큰 욕심에
내가 먼저 죽는걸
진정 너는 알고는 있나
전 인류가 살고 죽고
처절한 그날을 잊었던 건 아니었겠지
우리 몸을 반을 가른 채
현실 없이 살아갈건가
치유할 수 없는 아픔에
절규하는 우릴 지켜줘
갈 수 없는 길에
뿌려진 천만인의 눈물이 있어
저 하늘로 자유롭게
저 새들과 함께
시원스레 맘의 문을 열고
나갈 길을 찾아요
더 행복할 미래가 있어 우리에겐…

언젠가 나의 작은 땅에
경계선이 사라지는 날
많은 사람이 마음속에
희망들을 가득 담겠지
난 지금 평화와 사랑을 바래요
젊은 우리 힘들이 모이면
세상을 흔들수 있고
우리가 서로 손을 잡은 것으로
큰 힘인데
우리몸을 반을 가른채
현실없이 살아갈건가
치유할수 없는 아픔에
절규하는 우릴 지켜줘.
갈수 없는 길에
뿌려진 천만인의 눈물이 있어
워! 나에겐 갈수도 볼수도 없는가…
저 하늘로 자유롭게
저 새들과 함께 날고 싶어…
우리들이 항상 바라는것
서로가 웃고 돕고 사는것
이젠 함께 하나를 보며 나가요…

Dreaming of Balhae

To my sincere self,
just got one thing I’m wishing for
Friends from a divided land
When will I be able to see them?
During the time we spent being indecisive
we will lose ourselves
The Korean race, brothers
We’re targeting each other
We’ve created this great greed
But I’ll end up being the first to die
To the sincere you, do you know that
all of humanity lives and dies
You haven’t forgotten that horrible day
Our body split in half
Are we going to live on without reality sinking in?
An incurable pain,
protect us who are crying out
On the road we can’t take,
tears for the scattered tens of millions of people
Towards the heavens, freely,
together with those birds
Open the door to a candid heart
Find a way out
There’s a happier future for us…

Someday on my patch of land
A day when the boundary lines disappear
The hearts of many people
will be filled with hope
I, now, long for peace and love
If we, the youth, gather our strength
We can shake this world
Just holding each other hands
brings great strength
Our body split in half
Are we going to live on without reality sinking in?
An incurable pain,
protect us who are crying out
On the road we can’t take,
tears for the scattered tens of millions of people
Woah! Can’t I even go or see it?
Towards the heavens, freely,
together with those birds, I want to fly…
The thing we’re always longing for
That we’re laughing and helping one another
Together, let’s now focus on one thing and go out…

Interestingly enough, that title song wasn’t the song on the album that got the most attention. It was “교실 이데다 (Idea of a Classroom)” which is actually one of my favorite but unlikely to be my favorite Seo Taiji and Boys songs.

Word of warning if you decide to just skip to playing the track below, be careful of the volume.  The track starts off very quietly with some sound effects and then gets right into the drums, headbanging and growling.  Yeah, you read that right: growling of the redrum kind.  You might be surprised that I like this track because it’s a death grunt, heavy metal rock number.  I’m not a metal person, like AT ALL, but if you just like rock, the song is very, very catchy.

The reason why the song got so much attention was the fact that the song criticized the Korean school system.  They were criticizing the idea that all students had to fit a certain type of mold in order to become an upstanding citizen.  Adults thought the song was brainwashing their kids inciting them to rebel and even some people were convinced that there were backwards Satanic messages embedded in the song.  Sounds like the whole “Paul is Dead” scenario.  If I were a musician, I would take any comparison to the Beatles as a compliment.

Seo Taiji  and Boys – 교실 이데아 (Idea of a Classroom)

서태지와 아이들 – 교실 이데아

교실 이데아

됐어(됐어) 이제 됐어(됐어)
이제 그런 가르침은 됐어
그걸로 족해(족해) 이젠 족해(족해)
내 사투로 내가 늘어놓을래

매일 아침 일곱시 삼십분까지
우릴 조그만 교실로 몰아넣고
전국 구백만의 아이들의 머리속에
모두 똑같은것만 집어넣고 있어
막힌 꽉 막힌 사방이 막힌
널 그리고 우릴 덥썩 모두를 먹어삼킨
이 시꺼먼 교실에서만
내 젊음을 보내기는 너무 아까워

좀더 비싼 너로 만들어 주겠어
네 옆에 앉아있는 그애보다더
하나씩 머리를 밟고 올라서도록해
좀더 잘난 네가 될수가 있어
왜 바꾸지 않고
마음을 조이며 젊은날을 헤매일까
왜 바꾸진 않고
남이 바꾸길 바라고만 있을까

됐어(됐어) 이젠 됐어(됐어)
이제 그런 가르침은 됐어
그걸로 족해(족해)이젠 족해(족해)
내 사투로 내가 늘어놓을래

국민학교에서 중학교로 들어가면
고등학교를 지나
우릴 포장센터로 넘겨
겉보기좋은 널 만들기 위해
우릴 대학이란 포장지로
멋지게 싸버리지
이젠 생각해봐 “대학”
본 얼굴은 가린체
근엄한 척
할 시대가 지나버린건
좀 더 솔직해봐 넌 알수 있어

좀더 비싼 너로 만들어 주겠어
네 옆에 앉아있는 그애보다 더
하나씩 머리를 밟고 올라서도록 해
좀 더 잘난 네가 될수가 있어
왜 바꾸진 않고
마음을 조이며 젊은날을 헤멜까
바꾸지 않고
남이 바꾸길 바라고만 있을까
왜 바꾸진 않고
마음을 조이며 젊은날을 헤멜까
바꾸지 않고
남이 바꾸길 바라고만 있을까
됐어(됐어)이젠 됐어(됐어)
이제 그런 가르침은 됐어

Idea of a Classroom

I’ve had it (had it), now I’ve had it (had it)
Now I’ve had it with that kind of teaching
That’s enough (enough) now it’s enough (enough)
My struggles, I’ll deal with ‘em

Every morning at 7:30
We’re shut in a small classroom
The whole country, the minds 9 million kids
Just putting the same thing in
Jammed, totally jammed, from all sides jammed
Which you make us swallow
Only in this dingy classroom
A total waste to spend my youth

I’ll make you a more expensive version of yourself
More than the kid next to you
One by one, step on people heads to rise up
To become a more distinguished you
Why don’t we just change?
Just feeling anxious and spending our youth being lost?
Why don’t we just change?
Just waiting for others to change?

I’ve had it (had it), now I’ve had it (had it)
Now I’ve had it with that kind of teaching
That’s enough (enough) now it’s enough (enough)
My struggles, I’ll deal with ‘em

From elementary to entering middle school
And passing high school
They pass us off to the packaging center
In order to make you pretty on the outside
With our university label
We’ll wrap you up beautifully
Now think about it, “college”
Hiding your true face,
pretending to be serious-minded
The time for action has passed
Be a bit more honest, you know it’s true

I’ll make you a more expensive version of yourself
More than the kid next to you
One by one, step on people heads to rise up
To become a more distinguished you
Why don’t we just change?
Just feeling anxious and spending our youth being lost?
Not changing
just waiting for others to change?
Why don’t we just change?
Just feeling anxious and spending our youth being lost?
Not changing
just waiting for others to change?
I’ve had it (had it), now I’ve had it (had it)
Now I’ve had it with that kind of teaching

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One thought on “Jive Monkey Playlist: 7/26/13

  1. I have a feeling I’ll be looking these guys up more once the drama starts to air, but this is a good start for now. Thanks! Especially for the historical context part. I always try to remind myself that Kdrama is educational as too, and that it can be quite good at picking out random cultural events/eras that I would never otherwise have heard of. 🙂

    Like

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