BTS – Spring Day (English translation and Ramblings)

Spring Day – You Never Walk Alone, track 15.

Written by: Pdogg, Rap Monster, ADORA, Bang PD,  Arlissa Ruppert, Peter Ibsen, Suga

Korean Lyrics from Naver Music.

I’m not gonna talk about the obvious references in the MV in detail since I’m sure a lot of other people have done so.
Spring Day theory by Dreamteller
The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas by Ursula K. Le Guin
Sewol Tragedy
-Little Match Girl (vid, wiki)
Personnes by Christian Boltanski
safety pin against discrimination
yellow ribbons

Reading the lyrics, I noticed a lot of movie references including the obvious Snowpiercer (Rap Mon!!!!), so I thought it would be kind of fun to read/write about them.   They’re not super obvious so I could be just reading too much into the lyrics, but the films that are (possibly) referenced are really famous in Korea..so I hope it’s not too great of a reach to say these were referenced….

I wasn’t gonna do this song because lyrics are fairly straight forward…so I blame this on Rap Mon and his movies.

There seems to be a lot of missing those who are gone, in the movies and this song – some due to death, others not.  I don’t think the song can be pinned down to one type of good-bye.  It also seems like everyone wrote their own section based on their own feelings or experiences, based on what Suga says in this article.  The song does seem to be unified in overarching comforting feeling of coming to terms with loss and missing that person with fond memories.

I haven’t actually watched these so these are based on summaries I’ve read.  Someday, I’ll have time and I’ll try to watch them.  ^^

SPOILER ALERT!!
SPOILER ALERT!!

I miss you.
.. which is literally, “I wish I could see you” or “I yearn to see you”
Saying this makes me miss you more
Even while looking at your photos, I still miss you.
The ‘your‘ photos here is plural.  It’s like “Even while looking at you guys’ photos, I still miss you.”  I guess that makes this part definitely not a break up song – not that it ever really was.

Time is too cruel
“Time is cruel” was a common phrase used in headlines of many articles of Sewol disaster, when the families awaited news whether their children were able to survive.
I hate us
Us, where it’s become difficult to even see each other’s face again.
It’s all only winter here
Even in August, the winter comes.
This is possibly reference to the movie “Christmas in August (1998)” which is a landmark in Korean film industry.  It’s about a man with terminal illness who runs a photo studio..and lives his ordinary daily life.  He meets a girl but doesn’t tell her about his illness, and spends ordinary time with this girl.  She gets relocated due to work, and he takes his own photo for his funeral before he dies.

In Korea, the photos used for funerals are usually very serious, but he takes a photo of himself smiling.  When the girl comes back to visit after a while, presumably knowing he’s died and having moved on, she sees her picture displayed in the window of the photo studio and smiles.

christmas

This movie was inspired by actual funeral picture of singer named Kim Kwangseok, who died at age 33 by hanging himself (although possibly was murdered?? They never figured it out).  His funeral used a picture where he is smiling, which was considered to be very unusual.  You can listen to his songs here/itunes.  This rambling is really branching out in random directions…

My heart is leaping through time
the specific words they used for running/leaping through time, is probably reference to the anime “The Girl Who Leapt through Time (2006)” which was based on a novel with the same title.  The anime is continuation of novel 20 years later.  In both, a boy travels back in time and meets a girl, but has to return back to the future.  In both, the boy promises that he will wait for her in future and that they will see each other again someday.  In the anime, the girl replies that she will quickly leap to him…

girl

Snowpiercer that’s left alone
Holding your hand, we go to the other side of earth
I want to end this winter.
I’m sure everyone’s read about the movie “Snowpiercer” by now. ^^  Very relevant with the rebellion against social injustice, happiness of one part of population at the sacrifice of others, and the seasonal imagery.  And … although they thought earth was essentially dead… there is life at the end of it… consistent with the hope and comfort feeling of this song. 

snowpiercer1

How much longings must fall like snow
Before that spring day will come? 
Friend

Like the tiny dust
Like the tiny dust
wandering in the void
If I were the snowflakes blowing in the wind
I would be able to reach you 
A little bit faster

The snowflakes are falling
Again, become a little bit distant 
I miss you
I miss you
How much do I have to wait
How many sleepless nights do I have to spend
Before I’ll get to see you
Before I’ll get to meet you.

After the cold winter has ended
Until the spring day comes again
Until the flowers bloom
Please stay there a while longer
Please stay

Is it that you’ve changed?
Or is it that I’ve changed
I hate even the passing of time right now
Must be that we’ve changed, I guess
Must be the way everything is, I guess

Yeah, I hate you
You’ve left
But even for one day I hadn’t forgotten you

Honestly, I miss you 
But I will erase you now
Since that hurts less than to resent you.

I try blowing out cold/painful you.
시리다 – chilled (kinda like “chilled to the bone”)/deep ache.
“cold/chilled/painful you (시린 너)” is a bit of an odd phrase.
This line kind of gives some death vibes here…It’s kind of hard to explain.  Hmmm… To me, the “cold/pain” doesn’t apply to what you” feel in this line.  It applies to what “I” feel about “you”.
For example, it doesn’t feel like “you must be cold/in pain.”
It feels more like, “you feel cold to me (like a corpse)” or “you cause me deep ache.”
And I (or my heart/mind/existance) must be full of this “you”, to be trying to blow this “you” out of me….
I hope that made sense.  The selection of words is unusual and vague in this line even in Korean.
Like smoke, like white smoke
White smoke is also associated with cremation, and the soul following the white smoke to heavens is a common imagery in stories.  They do not use the word smoke generally when talking about the white breath you get on a frosty day.
Maybe just means that the person is elusive and not substantial?  I don’t know.
Although I say I will erase you
In truth, I still cannot let you go yet.

The snowflakes are falling
Again, become a little bit distant 
I miss you
I miss you
How much do I have to wait
How many sleepless nights do I have to spend
Before I’ll get to see you
Before I’ll get to meet you.

You know it all
You’re my best friend
The morning will come again
No darkness nor season 
Can be eternal

The cherry blossoms must be flowering
This winter too, is coming to an end
I miss you
I miss you
If you wait a little bit more
If you spend just a few more sleepless nights
I’ll come to see you
I’ll come to fetch you 

After the cold winter has ended
Until the spring day comes again
Until the flowers bloom
Please stay there a while longer
Please stay

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “BTS – Spring Day (English translation and Ramblings)

  1. The more I listen to the song (and as I have read your translation) the more it cements in my mind that the song was written with the Sewol Ferry victims in mind. For example, when Namjoon says “너희 사진을 보고 있어도 보고 싶다” and he talks in the plural, I feel as though he is referencing the victims. Not to mention the obvious “너무 야속한 시간” where Namjoon is being super obvious about the victims.

    Then the lyrics that go “시린 널 불어내 본다” with the death references seem to refer to the cold bodies of the dead/ missing at sea. And then with the next lyric that talks about the white smoke in reference to the cremation and the soul going to heaven, maybe BTS is trying to convey how the students who have passed have gone to a better place?

    Whether or not the entire song was dedicated to the Sewol Ferry victims, its obvious that the boys care very much about these issues and I am so proud of them for talking about it ^^

    1. ^^
      Yes. I think they reference the Sewol incident, although the song does leave things still subtle enough and open to various interpretation.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s