Although I still can’t completely grasp the meaning of the lyrics of Zitten’s Try, I feel like its title and the sole English word in its lyrics, “try,” says a lot. The song’s instrumental reminds me a bit of pep band music meant to rally its listeners into trying again after failure, although admittedly, I can’t quite justify this with the lyrics as I find myself struggling to understand them even after having let them sit in my brain (and a draft of this post) for a few weeks. I know I’ve said this before (and perhaps it arises partly due to my lack of understanding of the Korean language), but I find Zitten’s songs to have an unearthly character, not only in the instrumentals but in the lyrics – they can be hard to grasp and feel intangible, but that quality gives them a unique charm. Also, something to note in reading my (already flawed) translation – I’m not sure if the song is imperative, overall addressing listeners as “you” and telling them to try, or if it is declarative, overall telling the story of someone who learned to try. (A live performance of Try is above; an audio version of it [and its translation] is below the cut.)

Korean:

그대 맘에 떠오르는 꿈속의 말들
깊은 곳에 숨겨뒀던 비밀의 방들
시간이 흘러간 뒤 다 희미해졌던
그대 기억 속에 남았던

뜨겁게 내리쬐는 적도의 태양과
바람 한 점 불지 않는 바다 위에서
쓰러지지 않고 그댄 고갤 들었다
그댄 나의 키를 잡았다

오, Try!
버려진 내게 오는 길
수많은 파도를 지나
언제나 깊은 곳으로
나의 목소리를 따라

끈질기게 계속된 유혹의 손길과
고개 들지 못하게 한 억압의 음성도
반짝이는 그대 눈 감기질 못했다
그댄 나의 키를 잡았다

오, Try!
버려진 내게 오는 길
수많은 파도를 지나
언제나 깊은 곳으로
나의 목소리를 따라

오- 오오- 오-
오- 오오- 오-
오, Try!

English Translation:

The words from dreams that stir your heart
The rooms where secrets are hidden in deep places,
That which has become all faint since time has passed,
That which is left in your memory,

[On] the equator’s sun that burns as it shines, and
the sea that wind didn’t blow on for a time,
You, who never collapse, lifted your head
You took the helm of me

Oh, Try!
The abandoned road to me
passes through many waves
Always to a deep place
[it] follow[s] my voice

The hands that persistently continue to lure [me] and
the sound of suppressing one’s inability to lift his head, and
Your shining eyes, I couldn’t close
You took the helm of me

Oh, Try!
The abandoned road to me
passes through many waves
Always to a deep place
[it] follow[s] my voice

Oh- oh oh- oh-
Oh- oh oh- oh-
Oh, Try!