Melody of Lyrics: Poet and Village Head - Thorn Tree

Monday, November 11, 2013


I've been lazy. I haven't done any Melody of Lyrics posts since August and I even haven't got a good excuse for it. But to make up for it, I have quite a lot of these posts lined up already and I'm planning to publish at least one in every week until the end of this month.

Today's song pick is Poet and Village Head's "Thorn Tree". I discovered it through the film The Silenced/Crucible. In one of the rare uplifting moments of this entire film, Jo Sung Mo's version of the song was played and although I initially had no clue what the lyrics said, I was immediately mesmerized by the song. 
As you can see, I've included the original version by Poet and Village Head, Jo Sung Mo's mini-drama music video, and Jaurim's live performance. I immensely enjoy all three of them, but I have to say that Jaurim's performance from I Am A Singer is perhaps one of the best live performances I've EVER seen. It has amazing vocals and instrumentals, and the end-result is extremely moving and powerful. 




English translation:

There’s so much of me inside of myself,
There’s no place for you to rest
There are so many vain expectations in me,
There’s no comfortable place for you

There’s a darkness that I can’t help but have in me
Which takes away the place of rest for you
There’s a sadness that I can’t win over in me
Like a thick thorn tree forest

Whenever the wind blows, the dried up branches harrass each other and cry
The young birds that fly over to find a place of rest,
Get prickled by the thorns and fly away

There’s so much of me inside of myself,
There’s no place for you to rest

Whenever the wind blows, the dried up branches harrass each other and cry
Whenever the wind blows, I was lonely and miserable
There were many days of singing sad songs

Whenever the wind blows, the dried up branches harrass each other and cry
Whenever the wind blows, the dried up branches harrass each other and cry

The young birds that fly over to find a place of rest,
Whenever the wind blows, I was lonely and miserable
There were many days of singing sad songs

There’s so much of me inside of myself (repeat)

There’s so much of me inside of myself,
There’s no place for you to rest
There’s a sadness that I can’t win over in me
Like a thick thorn tree forest

(Translation from pop!gasa. All credit goes to the translator.)

Brief analysis of the lyrics:

"Thorn Tree" is not a song that can be easily understood, and of course, for me it is doubly harder since the lyrics are written in a language I can't really read. I find the lyrics puzzling, and even though I have come up with a way to interpret it, I still feel like I'm missing something important hidden between the words that could only be fully explained by the song writer. That all being said, I do want to share my interpretation of the lyrics.

While I'm not sure whether there is a direct connection between the song "Thorn Tree" and the 1997 best-selling novel Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough, one of the ways to discuss the song is definitely through the legend of a thorn bird that searches for a thorn tree. According to the story, when the bird finally finds the tree, it impales itself upon one of the thorns, letting out the most beautiful song ever heard, while the whole world listens. Loosely interpreting the song in the same way, we could say that "Thorn Tree" is perhaps about tragic love between two people who cannot be together because whenever they're together they only hurt each other. And thus, their love is doomed forever.  

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