The Meaning of You (너의 의미), Green Days (청춘) by Sanulim (산울림)

Wistful Girl 1

These are two of the best known Sanulim (산울림) ballads. Sanulim, a rock band of three brothers Kim Chang Wan(1954-), Chang Hoon, and Chang Ik, stormed onto the music scene releasing their wildly popular first album in 1978. They bristled with fresh youthful enthusiasm and seemingly bottomless creativity which enabled them to produce hit songs one after another for the next several years. Writing most of the song themselves, altogether they released over ten albums in their career before they officially quit when Kim Chang Ik died in an accident in 2008.


너의 의미


너의 그 한 마디 말도
그 웃음도
나에겐 커다란 의미

너의 그 작은 눈빛도
쓸쓸한 뒷모습도
나에겐 힘겨운 약속

너의 모든 것은 내게로 와
풀리지 않는 수수께끼가 되네

슬픔은 간이역의 코스모스로 피고
스쳐 불어온 넌 향긋한 바람

나 이제 뭉게구름 위에 성을 짓고
널 향해 창을 내리 바람 드는 창을

The Meaning of You


That one word you utter
And that smile too
They mean so much to me

That little gleam in your eye
And the forlorn back too
All a weighty pledge for me

Everything about you comes to me
To become a riddle I can't seem to solve

Sadness blooms as a cosmos at a tiny station
As you blow to me in a sweet scented breeze

Now I will build a castle on a towering cloud
With a window open to you, a breezy little one

청춘


언젠간 가겠지 푸르른 이 청춘
지고 또 피는 꽃잎처럼
달 밝은 밤이면 창가에 흐르는
내 젊은 연가가 구슬퍼

가고 없는 날들을 잡으려 잡으려
빈 손짓에 슬퍼지면
차라리 보내야지 돌아서야지
그렇게 세월은 가는 거야

날 두고 간 님은 용서하겠지만
날 버리고 가는 세월이야
정 둘곳 없어라 허전한 마음은
정답던 옛동산 찾는가

Green Days


Someday my green days will leave me too
Just as the flowers come and go
My plaintive song echoes around the window
On nights drenched in moonlight

Clinging to the sweet old days long since gone
Sad is my empty hand gesture
I resign myself now, let it go and turn around
That's the way time goes its way

I let it be and forgive my dear one who left me
But what about these fleeting years
My empty heart is desperate to find a refuge
Taking me back to the good old hill


San Ul Lim 1

The music of Sanulim (translates to mountain echo) was a progressive soft rock with a mix of folk and ballad. They had such a fresh and creative style that took everyone by surprise. They seemed to bring in a new style in every department: young, almost childlike vocals, carefree and playfully imaginative lyrics, inspiring new guitar riffs as well as other spunky instrumental arrangements. The first album, which contained the mega-hit What, Already? (아니 벌써), reportedly have sold something like 400,000 copies, which would be like five million in today’s market, an uncharted territory in the smallish Korean music market. They followed on with many more equally feisty albums which made them one of the greatest if not the greatest rock band in Korean history.

The Meaning of You (너의 의미) is quintessential Sanulim, a song they are forever identified with. Its rollicking melody and teenager-like vocals would tug at a young heart like nothing else at the time. Though some part of it like the guitar work may sound a bit dated after all these years, it was as sensational as can be at the time of its release. The three young brothers’ talents and exuberance were simply stunning to behold.

Kim Chang Wan 1

Green Days (청춘) shows their soft and lyrical side, a plaintive ballad lamenting the fleeting years of one’s youth, the unstoppable march of time that eventually reduces all of us to a mere shadow of our former selves, and to ashes in the end. It was a song in the line of tuneful ballads, another genre they were good at.

Sanulim created more than ten albums in the decades to come, experimenting with new styles of music and producing many chart hits along the way. The eldest Kim Chang Wan also dabbled in promotion work for new fledgling bands, most notably Dongmulwon (동물원, Zoo)] in the late 80s, as well as writing theme songs and even acting on TV dramas. He eventually became a popular all around entertainer and media personality, sometimes appearing in a fairly weighty role in recent dramas. Looking back, Sanulim was one of the high points of super-creative new acts who deserved every bit of their success, as it was all artistic flair and boundless enthusiasm and not any luck or accident that made it happen.


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