Tag Archive: Exhibition


A relatively simple song, “First Love” was composed by Kim Dongryul for Exhibition’s third album, Graduation, summoning the end of Kim Dongryul’s collaboration group with Seo Dongwook. Wikipedia claims that the track was fittingly composed by Kim Dongryul when he was fourteen years old. Kind of like “That Day from Long Ago,” “First Love” has a pensive quality in its prolongation of certain lyrics that conveys the thoughtful, reasoned reflection of the speaker on his past.

Despite having worked on three different translations this week, I couldn’t find one that I was confident I could express clearly enough to publish, so I began to translate this song. Not to undermine the elegance and insight with which this song demonstrates the feelings of a first love, I was able to translate it with relative ease in its repeated use of simpler syntax, which may or may not be intentional in illustrating the more foolish and simplistic thoughts that characterize a first love. On another hand, perhaps I found these lyrics rather straightforward because compared to the three others that I worked on, I have listened to this song somewhat consistently over the past few weeks and months.

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It isn’t quite the timing of graduation as the song title implies, but recently I have been listening a bit to Kim Dongryul, and this track was one I found to be interesting, particularly because Kim Dongryul wrote this song with his own impending graduation from Yonsei University in mind, and I felt the song’s lyrics intriguingly relatable to a [romantic] break-up in addition to a graduation. Something about the uncertainty of ends to things like graduations often makes me afraid or at least uneasy about them – I’m not sure if this only pertains to a graduation, or ends in general, but there’s a feeling of knowing that you need to move onto different (and perhaps greater) things twinged with hesitancy because you don’t know what exactly lies ahead and what exactly you will be leaving behind in going forward.

Some other Kim Dongryul songs that I have been listening to, some of which I’ll hopefully get around to translating sometime soon are ‘출발,’ ‘첫사랑,’ ‘그대가 너무 많은,‘ ‘귀향’ and ‘하늘 높이’  (Sorry for not translating the song titles, as I am unsure of some of the translations myself.) Continue reading