Korean Rock: “The Sun” (해야 – 1980) Signifies Independence from Japanese Colonialism

Since Buddha’s birthday was Friday, I decided to post a song that’s got an element of traditional culture to it. This song “The Sun” was written in 1980 by Magma (마그마) and is reminiscent of “Stairway to Heaven” in it in that it begins softly and slowly, but eventually rocks!

In fact, the song is based on a very famous poem that was written during the Japanese occupation of Korea. It was written by 박두진 in 1946 and (might have) even got him thrown in jail at that time (my wife couldn’t remember exactly). The poem is quite symbolic. “The sun” is Korea, and “the moonlight” and “sorrowful valley like tears” implies the Japanese colonization of Korea. So, when the author (and song) say, “Sun Rise!” they mean that “Korea will rise and a new day will dawn!”

This cover of the song also includes some traditional Korean instruments (Samul Nori – 사물놀이) and voices (Pansori – 판소리).

가사 (Lyrics)

어둠 묻혀 있는 고운 해야
아침을 기다리는 앳된 얼굴
어둠이 걷히고 햇볕번지면
치리라

마알간 해야 네가 웃음 지면
홀로라도 나는 좋아라

Verse 1

Vocabulary

  • 어둠 = Darkness
  • 속 = Inside
  • 묻혀 있는 = 묻히다 = Buried
  • 고운 = 곱다 = Delicate
  • 앳된 얼굴 = 애띠다 = Childlike face
  • 걷히고 = 걷히다 = Lifted (clouds)
  • 햇볕 = Sunshine
  • 번지 = 번지다 = Spread
  •  = Flag (in this case – typically = feather)
  • 치리라 = 치다 = Set up, raise
  • 마알간 = 맑은 = Clear (마알간 = poetic expression for emphasis)
  • 웃음 지면 = Smile (웃다 = Smile; 웃음 짓다 = Make smile)
  • 홀로 = Alone (+라도 = Even though/when)
  • 좋아라 = Good, like, happy

Grammar:

  • V/A + 라 = Let it/it will
  • 치리라 = Let it/it will be set up/raised (the flag = 깃)
  • 좋아라 = I will be happy

해야 떠라 해야 떠라
말갛게 해야 솟아라
고운 해야 모든 어둠 먹고
앳된 얼굴 솟아라

Chorus

Vocabulary

  • 떠라 = Rise!
  • 말갛게 = 맑은 as an adverb, so “clearly”
  • 솟아라 = Spring up, rise

Grammar:

  • 해야 = Calling “Sun!” personally, like a person

눈물 같은 골짜기
서러운 달밤은 싫어
아무도 없는
달밤이 나는 싫어라

Bridge

Vocabulary

  • 골짜기 = Valley
  • 서러운 = 서럽다 = Sorrowful
  • 달밤 = Moonlight
  • = Garden

해야 떠라 해야 떠라
말갛게 해야 솟아라
고운 해야 모든 어둠 먹고
앳된 얼굴 솟아라

해야 떠라 해야 떠라
말갛게 해야 솟아라
고운 해야 모든 어둠 먹고
앳된 얼굴 솟아라

해야 떠라~~~
해야~

윤도현 버전 (Yoon Do-Hyun Version):

Original recording from Magma:

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