Lately I came across the quote “the world’s most famous and popular language is music”. Sure enough, it was a quote of PSY (whose real name is actually Park Jae-sang), who caught a grand hit in 2012 with his catchy Gangnam Style. 
3 years later, we still recognise his name, but we wouldn’t be able to mention more than two songs performed by him: Gangnam Style and the song Gentleman which came out a year after his big succes and got 800.000.000 views (way less views than the 2.000.000.000 he got for his first hit).
Still, his words have some truth in it. Even though PSY lives in South-Korea his music was spread throughout the whole world, no matter the fact that most people didn’t even know what the lyrics stood for. In this case, music is about the feeling it gives you, not about what the words exactly mean.

However, sometimes it can also work the other way around: by finding out what the lyrics of a song are about, you get a new kind of view on the song and you’ll enjoy it better.
I want to discuss some foreign music lyrics with you that I really love, because I think there is a deeper meaning behind it.
Want to give your own opinion on this subject? Just write down a comment or send me a message including your favorite foreign lyrics 😉

Ego – Indila

On est loin, on est loin du jardin d’Eden
Éternelle réalité
Libéré, libérons-nous de nous-mêmes
Qu’a t-on fait de la vérité?
Brisez les, brisez les, brisez toutes les haines
Vivre libre, n’affronter que moi
Le seul combat auquel je crois
C’est contre moi, moi, moi, moi, moi
(Indila – Ego Lyrics | AZlyrics)

The literal translation of these lyrics would be:

We are far, we are far from the Garden of Eden
Eternal life
Free, free us from ourselves
What have we done to the truth?
Break them, break them, break all the hatred
Live freely, don’t face anybody, but myself
The only fight in which I believe
Is the one against me, me, me, me

I feel this song is really about the inner conflict which we all go through. It’s the devil who tries to break us, the darkness trying to overwhelm us. Although the song can be seen as dark, I believe what Indila really tries to say is that we can conquer this darkness and that eventually, The Light will win.

Jos mä oon oikee – Sanni

Jos mä oon oikee
Miks kadulla mun läpi kävellään
Jos oon oikee
Miksen muista omaa nimeänikään
Kai mä hengitän
Jos mä oon oikee
Miksei peili heijasta mua enää
Jos oon oikee
Miksen muista omaa nimeänikään
Kai mä hengitän
(Sanni – Jos mä oon oikee | Lyrics Translate)

The translation as taken from Lyrics Translate is:

If I’m real
Then why are people walking through me on the street?
If I’m real
Then why don’t I even remember my own name?
I guess I’m breathing

If I’m real
Then why doesn’t the mirror reflect me anymore?
If I’m real
Then why don’t I even remember my own name?
I guess I’m breathing

I guess this song is about feeling ignored and alone. The reason why this song is so touching, is because Sanni has literally written down how it would feel to be invisible.

Haus am See – Peter Fox

Hier bin ich gebor’n und laufe durch die Straßen!
Kenn die Gesichter, jedes Haus und jeden Laden!
Ich muss mal weg, kenn jede Taube hier beim Namen.
Daumen raus ich warte auf ‘ne schicke Frau mit schnellem Wagen.
Die Sonne blendet alles fliegt vorbei.
Und die Welt hinter mir wird langsam klein.
Doch die Welt vor mir ist für mich gemacht!
Ich weiß sie wartet und ich hol sie ab!
Ich hab den Tag auf meiner Seite ich hab Rückenwind!
Ein Frauenchor am Straßenrand der für mich singt!
Ich lehne mich zurück und guck ins tiefe Blau,
schließ die Augen und lauf einfach geradeaus.

Und am Ende der Strasse steht ein Haus am See.
Orangenbaumblätter liegen auf dem Weg.
Ich hab 20 Kinder meine Frau ist schön.
Alle kommen vorbei ich brauch nie rauszugehen.
(Peter Fox – Haus am See | Songteksten.net)

The translation would be:

I was born here and I walk through the streets
I know all the faces, every house and every shop!
I have to leave, I know every dove by its name

Thumbs up, I’m waiting for a beautiful lady with a fast car
The sun blinds me, everything flies past me
And the world behind me gets smaller and smaller
But the world in front of me is made for me!
I know she is waiting for me and I’m picking her up!
I have the day on my side, the wind is blowing me forward
A choir of women on the edge of the street that is singing for me!
I lean back and stare at the deep blue
Close my eyes and walk straight ahead

And at the end of the street, there’s a house near the lake
Orange tree leaves are lying on the street
I have 20 kids and my wife is wonderful
Everyone is dropping by, I don’t ever have to come out

This song is actually a lovely tale about the dream we all dream every now and then: about a world, where nothing ever goes wrong and where we are delighted with everything we have. It is a song which makes it acceptable for us to be daydreaming.

Mitt lille land – Ole Paus

Mitt lille land
Et lite sted, en håndfull fred
slengt ut blant vidder og fjord

Mitt lille land
Der høye fjell står plantet
mellom hus og mennesker og ord
Og der stillhet og drømmer gror
Som et ekko i karrig jord
(Ole Paus – Mitt lille land | Lets Sing It) 

The original song is from Ole Paus, but I like the version of Maria Mena better:

The translation as taken from Scandipop is:

My little country
A little place, a handful of peace
thrown out among mountain plateau and fjords

My little country
Where high mountains are planted
among houses, people and words
Where silence and dreams grow
Like an echo in barren earth

Although the song is, of course, about Norway, the words used are so poetic (and sound so beautiful in Norwegian) that the song is wonderful to listen to.
Furthermore, the cover of Maria Mena gets an emotional charge when you take the occasion on which Maria sang her cover into consideration: just after Anders Breivik had killed 77 people due to his attacks in both Oslo and Utøya.

Gangnam Style – PSY

Last, but not least: what did the lyrics to PSY’s ultimate hit actually mean?

Oppan gang-namseutayil
Kang-namseutayil

Naje-neun ttasaroun inkanjeo-gin yeoja
Keopi hanjanye yeoyureuraneun pumkyeok i-nneun yeoja
Bami omyeon shimjangi tteugeowojineun yeoja
Keureon banjeon i-nneun yeoja

Naneun sana-i
Naje-neun neomankeum ttasaroun geureon sana-i
Keopi shikgido jeone wonsyas ttaerineun sana-i
Bami omyeon shimjangi teojyeobeorineun sana-i
Keureon sana-i

Areumdawo sarangseureowo
Keurae neo hey keurae baro neo hey
(PSY – Gangnam Style | K Pop Lyrics)

(In case you haven’t seen the clip already, which I highly doubt, but whatever, there you go)

According to K Pop Lyrics, this is what PSY’s words meant:

Oppa is Gangnam style
Gangnam style

A girl who is warm and humanle during the day
A classy girl who know how to enjoy the freedom of a cup of coffee
A girl whose heart gets hotter when night comes
A girl with that kind of twist

I’m a guy
A guy who is as warm as you during the day
A guy who one-shots his coffee before it even cools down
A guy whose heart bursts when night comes
That kind of guy

Beautiful, loveable
Yes you, hey, yes you, hey
Beautiful, loveable
Yes you, hey, yes you, hey
Now let’s go until the end

Uhm,
yeah,
right…

Maybe sometimes it is better to just enjoy the song and to not pay all too much attention to the words you’re listening to and just…

 

 

Advertisements