BTS – IDOL (English Translation and Ramblings)

IDOL – Track 15 on Love Yourself 結 ‘Answer’ album.

Korean lyrics from Naver Music.

Written by:  Pdogg, Supreme Boi, Bang PD, Ali Tamposi, Roman Campolo, RM


 

You can call me artist
You can call me idol
Or whatever else you call me
I don’t care
sounds like “idol care”
I’m proud of it
I’m free
No more irony
Because I’ve always been me. 

 

Point your fingers at me, I don’t care about that at all
Whatever your reason is for cursing at me
I know what I am
I know what I want
I never gon’ change
I never gon’ trade
(Trade off)
Is it just me, or does “Trade off” sounds like “traitor~!”??

What about this or that are you blabbering about?
I do what I do, so you just do your own thing well.
You can’t stop me lovin’ myself
The first 2 lines in Korean are in slightly semi-formal tones, but the contents of the lines are not respectful at all.  This gives the lines kind of sarcastic/snide tone. (English adaptation would be like, “What kind of blabbering are you deeming to gift us, Mister?  Please just do your own thing well”)

Ursoo, that’s great!
Ursoo/Eolssoo/Ulsoo…is an exclamation noise.  I think the meaning is close to “Alright~!!”
These are used in Pansori, which is a type of singing-storytelling to the rhythm of Janggu drum.  These type of hyping noises are also used in background vocals of their song Baepsae from HYYH albums.
You can’t stop me lovin’ myself
Jihwaja, that’s great!
“Jihwaja” is also another exclamation word.  It’s supposed to represent the sound of joyful song during times of peace.
You can’t stop me lovin’ myself

OHOHOHOH
OHOHOHOHOHOH
OHOHOHOH
Dung-ki-duk  Koong-duh-ruh-ruh

Ursoo

Janggu” is a type of drum from “Samul Nori“, where samul = 4 drums, and nori = play.

Dung-ki-duk  Koong-duh-ruh-ruh –>these are how music sheets for Janggu drums are written (which describe the sound of this drum).
I used to learn Janggu long ago (although my memory fails me these days)…  Dung = when you hit both sides of the drum.  Ki = hitting right side lightly.  Duk/duh/ruh= hitting right side harder. Koong = hitting left side.

Janggu (1)

OHOHOHOH
OHOHOHOHOHOH
OHOHOHOH
Dung-ki-duk  Koong-duh-ruh-ruh

Ursoo

 

Face off, as if like John Woo, ay
reference to movie “Face Off“, directed by John Woo.  Which did have top stars of the time, like John Travolta and Nicolas Cage.
Top star with that spotlight, ay
At times, become a superhero
Turn it, your Anpanman
reference to the song Anpanman, where the Anpan/bean bread turns…..
24 hours is too little
Confusion, is not something I can afford
literally, “is a luxury to me” but the word “luxury” in Korean means something that you can’t afford, rather than something fancy
I do my thang
I love myself

I love myself, I love my fans
Love my dance and my what
Inside me are dozens and hundreds of me
Today, I greet another different me
In the end, they’re all me anyway
Rather than worrying, I just run
reference to the song GOGO, in which the Korean title for the song was “Rather than worrying, Go” and they sang lyrics “Run run run run
Runnin’ man
Runnin’ man
Runnin’ man

 

What about this or that are you blabbering about?
Here, in the background vocals…do they say “talking, talking, talking?”  It’s not written in official lyrics. Someone tell me.
EDIT:  I read online that they’re saying “talk it” but there was no source.  Someone tell me.
I do what I do, so you just do your own thing well.
You can’t stop me lovin’ myself
The “talking/talk it” sounds like “tokki, tokki, tokki”, where “tokki” is a rabbit.
It is also a slang for quickly running away (like a rabbit).
Rabbits also signify longevity and good health.

rabbit
Korean folklore also says that there is a rabbit living on the moon, that’s making rice cakes by squishing rice in a mortar (because the darker shapes on the moon kind of look like this???)

moon
Ursoo, that’s great!
You can’t stop me lovin’ myself
Jihwaja, that’s great!
You can’t stop me lovin’ myself

OHOHOHOH
OHOHOHOHOHOH
OHOHOHOH
Dung-ki-duk  Koong-duh-ruh-ruh

Ursoo

OHOHOHOH
OHOHOHOHOHOH
OHOHOHOH
Dung-ki-duk  Koong-duh-ruh-ruh

Ursoo

 

 

I’m so fine wherever I go
Even if occasionally I take the long detour 
It’s okay, I’m in love with my-my myself
It’s okay, I’m happy at this moment
Ursoo, that’s great!
You can’t stop me lovin’ myself
Jihwaja, that’s great!
You can’t stop me lovin’ myself

OHOHOHOH
OHOHOHOHOHOH
OHOHOHOH
Dung-ki-duk  Koong-duh-ruh-ruh

Ursoo

OHOHOHOH
OHOHOHOHOHOH
OHOHOHOH
Dung-ki-duk  Koong-duh-ruh-ruh

Ursoo

5 thoughts on “BTS – IDOL (English Translation and Ramblings)

  1. Maybe my brain is thinking it but I hear “keep talking” like keep talking your nonsense, I don’t care. regardless ima be me

  2. For where we might hear background vocals saying, “Tokki,” or “Talking” I understood it the first time in the beginning of the song as the slang phrase “Talk it!” That also could mean might say, “Talk your shit.” Which is basically encouraging someone who’s got something truthful, but not necessarily pleasant to hear to say what they have to say.
    It’s also a way to instigate or hype up someone to get out what they have to say (that’s been building up) and then everyone moves on.
    In my experience it’s always said energetically and with cadence similar to the sound in “Idol.” But that’s just how I interpreted it when I heard it and I think it goes well with the ideas in the song.

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