Another Lee Jeok song. Well, kind of. It’s Lee Jeok’s cover of Yoon Jongshin’s “That Day from Long Ago” for Yoon Jongshin’s “Monthly Melody” of December 2013. This cover, like Sung Sikyung’s cover of “Tomorrow’s Things to Do,” stuck to me for a while and has remained a song I enjoy listening to even as I happen upon new releases or old songs for the first time. There’s a solemn, sorrowful quality to that oddly draws my attention. Maybe it isn’t so odd that I like this song if my previous translations pose any indication of my music taste (and enjoyment of ballads), but this song feels especially slow. Perhaps because of the slow, pulsed piano notes in the instrumental and the sustained notes in the song. There’s an encumbered, dragging pace to it as if something heavy (emotions?) is being protracted and stretched as far as possible, so much so that you linger on every step you take as you bear a heavy weight. I almost feel as if the song drags me with it, making me a bit solemn or sad with each listen even if I’m not originally in a downcast mood. And is it weird that I kind of like the feeling of being slowed down and weighed down by this song? Or maybe it’s just that I feel like I can relate to it.
With this song, I posted a few translation notes that I thought worthy of mention under the cut. Also under the cut is Yoon Jongshin’s original version from 1993. It definitely has a quality different from Lee Jeok’s version, and I think it’s in a higher key (correct me if I’m wrong).
As part of Yoon Jongshin’s Monthly Melody releases, Sung Sikyung covered Yoon Jongshin’s “Tomorrow’s Things to Do (내일 할 일)” and Yoon Jongshin covered Sung Sikyung’s “On the Road (거리에서)“; amongst the various Monthly Melody releases I’ve listened to over the year, this particular song stuck, with its melody, music video, and Sung Sikyung’s cover of it. The Korean title “내일 할 일” can perhaps be translated more simply to “Tomorrow’s Obligations” or “Tomorrow’s Tasks,” but I thought the term “할 일” most literally and precisely referred to things that one needs to or should do, and that “Tomorrow’s Things to Do” would aptly capture this meaning. (I’m still a bit ambivalent as to whether “Tomorrow’s Things to Do” or “Things to Do Tomorrow” is a more precise translation, though.)
On a side note, I think it’s quite significant and meaningful that the last line ends on the word “last.” (The sentence is structured so that it literally reads “[of] the many meetings we had, the last,” although I wrote it as “[in] the last of the many meetings we had” in my translation for clarity.) Ending the lyrics on the word “last” seems to sum up the content of the song lyrics as a whole in causing the listener to dwell last on the word “last”; because the parting described by the lyrics is exactly supposed to be that – the “last” of meetings between lovers and other accompanying emotions given a break-up. And that the last line isn’t a complete sentence or even part of one conveys a feeling of incompleteness, as if a break-up causes one to feel like he/she’s left to cling onto something unsubstantial with uncertain anticipation.
Anyhow, though, the song translation is below the cut. Continue reading