The Blue in You (그대 안의 블루)

Nebulous blue Tint

The Blue in You (그대 안의 블루) is a 1993 duet by Kim Hyun Chul (김현철, 1969-) and Lee So Ra (이소라, 1969-). This slick jazzy tune that sounded ahead of the times with its mysterous sounding, rich imagery lyrics was not only a big hit but a trendsetter in the early 90s.
Kim Hyun Chul, a versatile singer songwriter who had already had a couple of chart hits, would ride even higher with this popular song. Lee So Ra for her part had an impressive debut, a beginning of a career that would produce exquisite lyrical songs of female sensitivity for the next two decades and beyond.


그대 안의 블루


난, 난 눈을 감아요
빛과 그대 모습 사라져
이제 어둠이 밀려오네

저 파란 어둠 속에서
그대 왜 잠들어 가나
세상은 아직 그대 곁에 있는데

사랑은 아니지만 우리의 만남
어둠은 사라지네

시간은 빛으로 물들어
또다시 흐르네

내 눈빛 속 그대

난 난 꿈을 꾸어요
그대와의 시간은 멈춰지고
이제 어둠이 밀려오네

빛바랜 사랑 속에서
그대 왜 잠들려 하나
시간은 아직 그대 곁에 있는데

사랑은 아니지만 우리의 만남
어둠은 사라지네

시간은 빛으로 물들어
또 다시 흐르네

그대 눈빛 속의 나
내 눈빛 속 그대

The Blue in You


I close my eyes
The light and your face receding
Darkness looms up close now

In that blue-tinged darkness
What is pulling you into a slumber
When the world is still there at your side

Our encounter, even though it is not love
Dispels the darkness

Taking on a shade of the light
Time starts to flow again

With you in my eyes

I have a dream
My time with you in a standstill
The darkness settles in now

In an old faded love
What is drawing you to a slumber
When time is still there at your side

Our encounter, even though it is not love
Dispels the darkness

Taking on a shade of the light
Time starts to flow again

With me in your eyes
With you in my eyes


Kim Hyun Chul

Kim Hyun Chul demonstrated his talent as a musician and singer songwriter penning some classy songs like Train to Chuncheon (춘천 가는 기차). His music, especially the earlier ones, was ultra-modern with jazz undertones and typically featured thoughtful lyrics, making him a hot newcomer among the musicians in the late 80s. A jack of all trades, he later veered to producing for others, working on Lee So Ra’s later works among others, and eventually going into music agency business.

Lee So Ra had a previous stint as a vocalist in an obscure jazz combo band, yet this hit song is essentially what put her on the map for the public. A good match for Kim with her silky smooth vocal style, she would go on to become a standout with her serenely lyrical songs, many of whose lyrics she wrote herself, throughout the 90s when popular music was heavily dominated by the new waves of dance tunes, and well beyond. Many of her songs seem to demonstrate how high and how deep the female sensitivity can reach with its many deep shades of emotions.


Lee So Ra

The Blue in You is a slick jazz style ballad about an interplay between a couple, not necessarily in love, in a drift through time, light and darkness, and the mysteries of the mind. The flowing intro with I close my eyes … sets the tone, then goes on to the female part who is falling into a slumber, probably a reference to a stupor induced by a dejected sprit from lost love or depression. Overall it makes for a dreamy and otherwordly, spaced out mood like one might experience watching a similar themed film. And as a matter of fact, it is the theme song for a film of the same title released in the previous year, for whcih Kim oversaw the music. The film was more about the feminist concerns like ballancing work and family which was a bit of a hot topic in those days. In any case, both the film and the song did quite well.

This fine song with new sensibilities came out at a time when things were going well in Korea, with a newly elected non-military background president for the first time in decades and the economy growing at a healthy clip.

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