Monday, February 15, 2010

AAK! Music: Circus Magic Traveling Troupe by Crying Nut (1999)

Today's selection is Circus Magic Traveling Troupe (서커스매직유랑단) by Crying Nut (크라잉넛).


서커스매직유랑단
Circus Magic Traveling Troupe

[Intro]

안녕하세요 오늘은 김선생이랑 같이 나왔어요
Hello! I came out with Dr. Kim today
아이고 김씨 아저씨도 나오셨네요
 Oh my, Mr. Kim came out too
아랫마을에 장이서서 서커스가 왔데요
The village is holding a market and a circus came
아~ 그럼 우리한번 가볼까요
Ah -- then should we go take a look?
아이구 장에 나오니 사람 참 겁나게 많네요
Oh my, the market is so crowded
글쎄 써커스단 이름이 뭐래요
What's the name of the circus by the way?
서커스 매직 유랑단 이래요
They call themselves Circus Magic Traveling Troupe.


[Song]

헤이! 헤이! 요기조기 모여보세요 요것조것 골라보세요
Hey! Hey! Come one, come all. Pick one, pick all
우리들은 서커스 매직 유랑단
We are Circus Magic Traveling Troupe
안녕하세요 안녕하세요 우린 매직 서커스 유랑단
 Hello hello we are Magic Circus Traveling Troupe
님 찾아 꿈을 찾아 떠나간다우
We travel to find our honey and our dreams
동네집 계집아이 함께 간다면
If a girl from the town will come with us
천리만길 발자욱에 꽃이 피리라
Flowers will bloom at her footsteps for ten thousand miles

우리는 크라잉넛 떠돌이 신사
We are Crying Nut, traveling gentlemen
한 많은 팔도강산 유랑해보세
Let's wander around the Eight Provinces filled with sorrow 
마음대로 춤을 추며 떠들어보세요
Dance and talk as loud as you want
어차피 우리에겐 내일은 없다
For us there is no tomorrow anyway

오늘도 아슬아슬 재주 넘지만
 Again today performing the thrilling stunts
곰곰히 생각하니 내가 곰이네
But think and think, and I am the bear
난장이 광대의 외줄타기는
The midget clown's tightrope walking is
아름답다 슬프도다 나비로구나
Beautiful, sorrowful, a butterfly

우리는 크라잉넛 떠돌이 신사
We are Crying Nut, traveling gentlemen
한 많은 팔도강산 유랑해보세
Let's all wander around the Eight Provinces filled with sorrow 
마음대로 춤을 추며 떠들어보세요 
Dance and talk as loud as you want
어차피 우리에겐 내일은 없다
For us there is no tomorrow anyway

커다란 무대위에 막이 내리면
When the curtain falls on the big stage
따뜻한 별빛이 나를 감싸네
The warm starlight shrouds me
자줏빛 저 하늘은 무얼 말할까
What does that violet sky say
고요한 달 그림자 나를 부르네
The silent shadow of the moon calls me

떠돌이 인생역정 같이 가보세
 Let's go together on the vagabond life journey
외로운 당신의 친구 되겠소
We will be friends for you who are lonely
흥청망청 비틀비틀 요지경 세상
Extravagant, stumbling, kaleidoscopic world
발걸음도 가벼웁다 서커스 유랑단
The steps are light for the traveling circus

오늘도 아슬아슬 재주 넘지만
 Again today performing the thrilling stunts
곰곰히 생각하니 내가 곰이네
But think and think, and I am the bear
난장이 광대의 외줄타기는 
The midget clown's tightrope dancing is
아름답다 슬프도다 나비로구나
Beautiful, sorrowful, a butterfly

우리는 크라잉넛 떠돌이 신사
We are Crying Nut, traveling gentlemen
한 많은 팔도강산 유랑해보세
Let's all wander around the Eight Provinces filled with sorrow 
마음대로 춤을 추며 떠들어보세요 
Dance and talk as loud as you want
어차피 우리에겐 내일은 없다
For us there is no tomorrow anyway

떠돌이 인생역정 같이 가보세
 Let's go together on the vagabond life journey
외로운 당신의 친구 되겠소
We will be friends for you who are lonely
흥청망청 비틀비틀 요지경 세상 
Extravagant, stumbling, kaleidoscopic world
발걸음도 가벼웁다 서커스 유랑단 헤이
The steps are light for the traveling circus. Hey!



Briefly about Crying Nut:  Crying Nut is a band made up of five members:  Park Yoon-sik (vocal), Lee Sang-Myeon (guitar), Lee Sang-Hyeok (drum), Han Kyeong-Rok (bass), Kim In-su (keyboard). The two Lees are twins. The band was formed in 1993, and got its first regular gig at Club Drug near Hong-Ik University in 1995 after an open audition. The band released its first album in 1998. It has six regular albums and a number of singles and movie soundtracks. While the band was generally popular, recording what ended up becoming the official Team Korea song for the 2002 World Cup brought their fame to a new level. The band had a four-year hiatus between 2002 and 2006 while four of the members were serving their military duty at the same time. The band's official website is here.

About this song:  Circus Magic Traveling Troupe was the title song of Crying Nut's second album of the same name.

Translation note:  The song contains a lot of cultural allusions that need full background to understand.

- In traditional Korea, the market was consisted of traveling merchants who would appear every five or seven days to set up shop. Very rudimentary circus troupe sometimes travels with the merchants. This persisted in rural Korea through 1960s and early 1970s, and still continues to a very small degree to this day.

- The "Eight Provinces" is an idiom that refers to Korea, as traditional Korea was made up of eight provinces.

- The reference to "bear" is designed to evoke Korean old saying, "The bear dances and the owner takes the money," which is used in a situation when someone went through a lot of effort that ended up benefiting someone else.

Separately, there was no good way to translate 흥청망청 비틀비틀 요지경 세상. Suggestions are welcome.

The Korean on Crying Nut:  The current torch-bearer for Korean punk rock. Single-handedly revived both Korean rock and the indie band scene out of the dead zone between 1996 and 2000. Excellent adaptation of the punk rock spirit to Korean atmosphere to create a carefree, passionate and sometimes melancholy body of music. AWESOME live performers, never studio. Best songs combine mindless screaming, utter frivolity and unexpected sentimentality, like this one.

Significance in K-Pop History:  (1 = instantly forgettable; 5 = popular at the time, ultimately forgettable; 10 = transcendental history-maker)  7.5 out of 10.

Got a question or a comment for the Korean? Email away at askakorean@gmail.com

6 comments:

  1. Their song, 'Luxembourg' seems to be enjoying quite a bit of Korean radio airtime as well.

    ReplyDelete
  2. A Crying Nut song that really impressed me was "지독한 노래". It'd be a nightmare to translate the lyrics without losing a lot of its meanings though.

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  3. Actually the Korean picked 명동콜링 at first and translated it, but changed his mind at the last minute -- 서커스매직유랑단 is the most representative song of Crying Nut, in the Korean's opinion.

    But the Korean agrees that 지독한 노래 would be impossible to translate. How the hell do you translate 봉합수술 받으려면 진료는 의사에게 약국은 약사에게 while keeping the humor value of the line?

    ReplyDelete
  4. They're great! haha. Thanks for the translation.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I think one of Crying Nut's most popular songs was the ridiculously huge hit off their first album, "말달리자", which I think has become a sort of 노래방 anthem and a great way to blow off steam (and kill vocal chords, from personal experience). That said, I don't know how I'd translate even the title while retaining the 느낌. "Run, horse, run!" just doesn't feel the same. Which, I guess goes to show how it's hard to translate poetics from language to language, because artistic use of words often depends as much on form as it does on meaning.

    ReplyDelete

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