BTS – Dionysus (English Translation and Ramblings)

Track 07 of the Map of the Soul: Persona album.

Written by:  Pdogg, J-Hope , Supereme Boi, RM, Suga, Roman Campolo

 

Dionysus is god of the grape-harvest, winemaking and wine, of fertility, ritual madness, religious ecstasy, and theatre in ancient Greek religion and myth, according to Wiki.

 

 

Translating this song looks like it will be fairly straight forward.   Individual lines and words seem fairly straight forward without too many different hidden meanings.

It’s just that instead of various metaphors making up a song, this song itself seems to be one giant metaphor.   They’re not making wine, they’re making music.  They’re sharing and getting drunk on the arts.  The song doesn’t seem like it’s about alcohol at all, but being intoxicated with the music and the arts.

The whole song seems to derive from the word in the song:
예술/Yeoh-sool = Art.
where: 술/sool means alcoholic drink.  So the word for Art sounds like a name for an alcoholic drink.

 

I’m gonna use the adaptation of “wine” instead of “alcoholic drink” in this translation…. since the phrase “alcoholic drink” just looks awkward even if it’s the more literal meaning.


 

Drink it up
Wine glass (sippin’), 
Linking arms (tippin’)
One mouthful
Thyrsus grippin, grape eatin’
Drink it up
Vibes (keep it) D style (rip it)
One mouthful
Here (kill it) let’s steal it
The illest
…where thyrsus is the staff that Dionysus carries

 

 

Just get drunk, like Dionysus
Wine glass in one hand, the Thyrsus in the other
The Arts sloshing lightly in the clear crystal glass
Arts is a type of wine too, if you drink it you’ll get intoxicated fool.
(Art) is a type of  (wine) too..
You dunno you dunno you dunno what to do with 
I’ll show you, I’m driven for something completely different
The mic made with ivy and coarse wood
There’s never such thing as a sound that comes out with just one breath 
the last line here,
단 = just OR sweet
한 숨 = one breath.  But without the space, 한숨 means sigh (not of pleasure but usually of fatigue/defeat).
So the various other interpretation of this line:
There’s never such thing as a sound that comes out with just one breath (as above, meaning it takes many breaths and work to create one song/sound)
There’s never such thing as a sound that comes out with one sweet breath (similarly, creating a sound is not easy and sweet)
There’s never such thing as a sound that’s created by just sighing in defeat.

 

 

Until the sun rises, where the party at
Until (you) fall asleep, where the party at
Sing it, sing again
Drink it, drink again
We’ll be born again.
I guess in the context of this song, saying “drink it” means “listen to the song.”  I hear ya BTS – I do often listen to your songs until I fall asleep.

 

 

Drink it up (the torment of creation)
One mouthful (the admonition of the times)
Drink it up (communications with me)
One mouthful (Okay now I’m ready fo sho)

 

 

Drink it all drink drink drink my wine glass ay
Fall completely fall fall into the crazy artist
the literal word used is “sink” into the artist which continues the liquid imagery.  This phrase is generally used for falling in love or becoming obsessed with something.  ie. falling down the rabbit hole that ARMYs are so familiar with…
One glass (one shot), two glass (two shots)
Get intoxicated by arts and sing “Ongheya”
Ongheya is a hyping song lyrics from the song “Ongheya,” which is a folk song for barley threshing.  It’s kind of percussion heavy sounding song, which seems to go well with this track.  Also, it’s kind of fitting as it is a labor song as BTS is talking about their own job/work here.

 

 

Drink it all drink drink drink my wine glass ay
Fall completely fall fall into the crazy artist
One glass (one shot), two glass (two shots)
Ring the gong and sing “Ongheya”
mentioning 꽹과리 which is a small metal gong used in samulnori.

It’s kind of funny if you think of “drinking a drink” as “listing to a song.”
Drink it all drink drink drink my wine glass ay” turns into, “Listen to it all, listen listen listen to my song ay.
Wine glass (sippin’), 
Linking arms (tippin’)
Thyrsus grippin, grape eatin’
Vibes (keep it) D style (rip it)
Here (kill it) let’s steal it
The illest

 

 

I’m now in front of the door to the world
The cheers I hear as I go up the stage
Can’t you see my stacked broken thyrsus
I’m now born again at last

 

When the night comes mumble mumble mumble
When the night comes tumble tumble tumble
The low tunes low tunes low tunes filling the Studio
Bass drum goes like dum dum dum
덤덤 (dum dum) means to be a bit…numb..? Kind of like feeling calm (often after your feelings become blunted in stressful situations).  I can’t think of an English equivalent.  It’s not quite a negative thing, but gives this part slightly… just slightly darker feeling of reality filtering into this hype song about being intoxicated.

 

Until the sun rises, where the party at
Until (you) fall asleep, where the party at
Sing it, sing again
Drink it, drink again
We’ll be born again. 

 

Drink it up (the torment of creation)
One mouthful (the admonition of the times)
Drink it up (communications with me)
One mouthful (Okay now I’m ready fo sho)

 

Drink it all drink drink drink my wine glass ay
Fall completely fall fall into the crazy artist
One glass (one shot), two glass (two shots)
Get intoxicated by arts and sing “Ongheya”

 

Drink it all drink drink drink my wine glass ay
Fall completely fall fall into the crazy artist
One glass (one shot), two glass (two shots)
Ring the gong and sing “Ongheya”

 

When we show up, anywhere in the world is stadium party ay
Born Kpop idol and reborn again as artist
Reborn again as artist, Reborn again as artist
What does it matter if I’m an idol or an artist?  How sad.
짠해: “How sad/pathetic” kind of feeling to this word…where they’re like “how sad you obsess over idol or artist?”
The same word 짠해 also means “let’s do cheers (with drink)” so also means:
What does it matter if I’m an idol or an artist?  Cheers!
Arts to this extent is over drinking, over drinking yeah

New records are a fight against self, fight yeah
Raise your glass to toast, one shot
But I’m still thirsty 
What
Always find it funny that there’s always some biological truth to their “thirsty” songs.  Yes.  Drinking excessive alcohol will just make you more thirsty even in real life.  Just like they said drinking sea water made them more thirsty in their song “Sea.”

 

 

Drink it all drink drink drink my wine glass ay
Fall completely fall fall into the crazy artist
One glass (one shot), two glass (two shots)
Get intoxicated by arts and sing “Ongheya”

 

Drink it all drink drink drink my wine glass ay
Fall completely fall fall into the crazy artist
One glass (one shot), two glass (two shots)
Ring the gong and sing “Ongheya”

 

Wine glass (sippin’), 
Linking arms (tippin’)
Thyrsus grippin, grape eatin’
Vibes (keep it) D style (rip it)
Here (kill it) let’s steal it
The illest

 

Wine glass (sippin’), 
Linking arms (tippin’)
Thyrsus grippin, grape eatin’
Vibes (keep it) D style (rip it)
Here (kill it) let’s steal it
The illest

 

10 thoughts on “BTS – Dionysus (English Translation and Ramblings)

  1. Wow thanks..
    I always wonder if the translations I read is correct.. but you give even deeper explanation, I really appreciate your hard work.. Thank you

  2. Ohmygod thank you so much. You made me appreciate this song on a whole new level. You make me realize just how intelligent BTS and the people who produce these albums really are.
    I love your ramblings. So much.

  3. thank you for helping me to appreciate this song more! honestly while anticipating it I was hoping for some sort of hint of a reference to Dionysus’ origin as a god of death…it makes him so interesting and cool imo~ I was interested in the explanation of 덤덤, and funnily Yoongi’s line of “What does it matter if I’m an idol or an artist? How sad.” makes me think of not only haters or outsiders but some fans who are obsessed with proving they aren’t “k-pop”. Yoongi’s saying “it doesn’t matter” and I appreciate him for that lol

  4. Thank you so much!
    I always read your ramblings to perfect my understanding of BTS songs!

    I just wanted to add that I first thought that the line “We’ll be born again. ” referred the “double birth” of Dionysus.
    As Dionysus was born a second time from Zeus he became a god.
    Thus I thought BTS were saying that making music made them also something else (maybe gods would be a bit arrogant, but this album is called Persona and focuses on identity so…)

    What is your take on this ? Did I go too far ?

  5. Thank you! This post of yours breathed a lot of meaning into the song. I love your explanations. Now Dionysus feels like a Pied Piper.

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 )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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 )

Connecting to %s