Category Archives: Music

Old Couple

There’s a rather fantastic (ahem) reality show called 미운 우리 새끼 (My Hateful Child). It follows the lives of several aging bachelors who live alone, and then they show the footage to their respective mothers and ask them to comment on their sons’ behavior. It is surprisingly funny. One of the hosts of the show is 한혜진 (Han Hye Jin), the very beautiful TV personality who is married to 기성용 (Ki Sungyeung), who is a midfielder for Swansea in the English Premiership.

One of the bachelors that the show follows is the very talented and very funny singer/songwriter 김건모 (Kim Gun Mo) who is hitting fifty and still single. His mother on the show is also very funny. But on a recent episode, he played a song from his (yet unreleased) new album that was simply terrific. In these very chaotic times, both in the United States and in Korea, the song felt like a salve, and it brought me to tears.

The song is below. It is called 노부부 (Old Couple). I’ve included two translations of the lyrics – The first is a literal translation. The second is my more fanciful interpretation which takes more license but which, I think, captures better the mood of the song. Anyway, congratulations to Kim Gun Mo. For all his goofiness and occasional childishness, he is a talented, talented musician.

Old Couple
I know that you kids are getting old as well
And you’re not getting a lot of business this year
You’ve upset us your parents many, many times
But get in touch with us as often as you can
My splendid youth
I gave those days all to my kids
My children, I raised them well
But then they just met someone else and left
Should we go out to eat for a change?
Is there any thing that you want to eat?
The fact that I’m here and healthy
Is all because of you

Your face from thirty years ago
Is all hidden behind wrinkles
And your black hair
There’s still a little of it left
But I love you

Should we go to the hospital for once?
Ask them if old age can be cured
The fact that I’m here and healthy
Is all because of you

The fact that I’m here and healthy
Is all because of you

Old Couple
I know my kids are getting older too
And they’re struggling just to get by
You’ve driven us crazy for all these years
But can you call us when you get a chance?

My very best days
Well, I gave them all to my kids
I tried to raise them as well as I could
But then they just met someone else and left

Hey my darling, let’s go out to eat tonight
Is there anywhere that you want to go?
The fact that I’m still here and still healthy
Is all because of you

My image of you from thirty years ago
Is now all hidden behind your wrinkles
And your black hair
Well, I guess there’s still some of it left
But, oh I still love you so

Why don’t we take a trip to the hospital?
Ask them if they’ve discovered a cure for old age
The fact that I’m still here and still healthy
Is all because of you

The fact that I’m still here and still healthy
Is all because of you


Famous Blue Raincoat

Back in the Nineties, I stayed in Manhattan for two weeks over Christmas. I spent a lot of time walking around the city by myself, the snow piling up, the air clear and cold. Especially when it was snowing, I was struck by how quiet the city could get. All of my feelings at that time – the sense of loneliness, the sadness, the search for meaning – is encapsulated in this, magical, song. And Joan Baez’s version is my favorite.

Some Music for Our Annus Horribilis

This year, 2016, in America we just elected a white supremacist to the presidency. In Korea we discovered that the president is a puppet of an extortionist witchdoctor.

This year, we lost Prince, David Bowie and now, Leonard Cohen.

In these dark and difficult times…

A little bit of Popcorn Girl (Ali) to reflect our pain:

(watch the video here)

A little bit of Mamamoo to cheer us up:

And a little bit of beauty – a tiny bit of beauty – in tribute to Leonard.

Links and Thinks 2012-12-10

1) Aussie prime minister has a sense of humor – and takes a jab at kpop.

2) Lovely images of the earth at night.

3) Every bomb that was dropped during the London Blitz. (hat tip: Crooked Timber)

4) The Norwegian princess is a mensch (but, I have to ask, was adoption not an option?).

5) Janine Jansen plays Rondo. Serial killer stare, a football player’s shoulders, awkward body movements. But very sexy.

6) Fascinating article on the impact of the First World War on the English language. (hat tip: Wet Casements)

7) More on “subcompact publishing” by Craig Mod. Interesting point also made here.



Links and Thinks 12-05-2012

1) Best way to reach a real person at Apple – say “Fuck!”

2) To attract Asians and Latinos, the GOP must “persuade them to think of themselves primarily as Americans.” The stupidity has come full circle.

3) The Higgs-Boson is nominated as Time magazine’s “Person of the Year.” “Every single sentence in Time’s nomination contains at least one serious error.” Science writing at its best.

4) Most powerful images of 2012.

5) Okay, stop it. Really. Just stop it. No, I mean it.

6) The sports tax that everyone pays. We cancelled cable several years ago, and we don’t miss it at all. Best thing we ever did.

7) The wretched behavior of publishing houses.

8) Craig Mod on magazine publishing for the iPad.