Lee Moon Sae 4 - Where The Night Stays (밤이 머무는 곳에) and Only The Sound of Her Laughter (그녀의 웃음소리뿐)

Mountain Verdure

These two songs are the Lee Young Hoon-Lee Moon Sae collaboration’s fourth LP album released in 1987, probably their greatest work, which have sold phenomenally breaking all records. Together with Lee Moon 5 that came out the following year, this album etched the two artists’ names indelibly in the history of Korean pop music, ranking at 16th of the all time greatest list. Both are love songs in the pop and rock genre with slick and boast refined composition that don’t sound dated even to this day, as well as nicely complementing lyrics evoking a dreamy and nostalgic mood for the listener. it is one work that upped the state of the art of the Korean pop music.

밤이 머무는 곳에

밤이 오는 거리로 그대는 떠나려 내게 입맞춰주었네
난 너에게 한마디 인사도 못하네 그저 눈물만 짓네
새벽 어둠 속에 그대의 미소 볼 수가 없었네
돌아가는 모습도 가로등 불빛 아래 멀어져가네
그렇게 떠나네 그대 밤이 머무는 곳에

밤이 가면 내게로 그렇게 오려나 그대 마중 나가려네
난 너에게 한마디 할말도 없다네 그저 고개만 젓네
새벽 어둠 속에 그대의 미소 볼 수가 없었네
돌아가는 모습도 가로등 불빛 아래 멀어져가네
그렇게 떠나네 그대 밤이 머무는 곳에

Where The Night Stays

You kissed me heading out to the boulevard as the night fell
All teared up, I couldn't even utter a word of goodbye to you
Nor could I see your smile in the dark of breaking dawn
The back of you moved farther and away in the streetlight
Thus you left, headed for where the night stays

Will you be back when the night is over, I will be there waiting
With nothing to say to you all I did was just shake my head
And I couldn't see your smile in the dark of breaking dawn
The back of you moved farther and away in the streetlight
Thus you left, headed for where the night stays

그녀의 웃음소리뿐

나의 마음속에 항상 들려오는
그대와 같이 걷던 그 길가의 빗소리
하늘은 맑아 있고 햇살은 따스한데
담배연기는 한숨 되어

하루를 너의 생각 하면서
걷다가 바라본 하늘엔
흰구름 말이 없이 흐르고
푸르름 변함이 없건만

이대로 떠나야만 하는가
너는 무슨 말을 했던가
어떤 의미도 어떤 미소도
세월이 흩어가는 걸

어느 지나간 날에 오늘이 생각날까
그대 웃으며 큰소리로 내게 물었지
그날은 지나가고 아무 기억도 없이
그저 그대의 웃음소리뿐

Only The Sound of Her Laughter

I keep hearing this sound In my mind
Of rainfall on the street we used to walk together
Now that the sky is clear and the sunshine warm
Only my smoke is turning into a sigh

Walking all day long thinking of you
I stop and look up at the sky
White clouds keep drifting in silence
The firmament blue as ever

Must we leave it all behind like this
What was it you said to me
Whatever meaning, whatever smile
Time's going to ravage it all

You asked me one day in a loud voice laughing
Would we remember today in the distant future
That day has long past, with no memory left
Only the sound of your laughter remains

Spring In Korea

The album was such a masterpiece that it had about five hits apart from these two songs, three of them huge ones. They saw massive radio play and TV show appearances, and Lee Moon Sae was elevated to a stardom of new heights. It is estimated to have sold nearly three million copies, which is an unheard of number for the small Korean music market of the time. More than the sales number, though, the artists introduced some of the most artistically accomplished songs to the pop music genre, which was significant in many ways. For example it inspired many burgeoning artists to try and produce similarly artistic songs in the nineties and beyond.

Where The Night Stays (밤이 머무는 곳에) is one of the lesser hits in terms of the conventional measure of record sales and media play. Artistically, however, it might have reached the highest point of accomplishment. It is all subject and depends on personal tastes, but I personally find this song to be among the five best of the Lee-Lee duo no matter how you count it. Its delicate, caressing melody and dreamy mood are unusually refined and stand out from the run of the mill pop songs. The melody appears to have a relatively simple structure but an inviting warmth and fuzziness to it that feels out of this world. The lyrics deepens this experience with evocation of many wistful images in the citiscape, like the lighted boulevard where the night descends, the narrator’s girlfriend heading out to a mysterious place where the night stays, him seeing her off without words teary eyed, and her image under a street lamp continually moving away.

Spring In Korea

Only The Sound of Her Laughter (그녀의 웃음소리뿐) was a massive hit in every way, shape and form. It has the protagonist reminiscing about an unrealized love of his past. In an emotional lurching and floundering, he hears the rain falling on the old street they used to walk together, looks up at the sky looking for the one he used to see then, remembers her remarks, smiles and all, with a gripping nostalgia, lamenting that all is gone except the sound of her laughter. In contrast with Where The Night Stays, it is a faster rock number with a feel of pressing urgency and deep pathos. The emotionally charged cries and laments build up throughout the song, climaxing with Lee’s screaming cries toward the end. It is a remarkable vocal performance that doesn’t appear often in Lee Moon Sae songs. All in all, one of the lasting Lee Moon Sae classics for many fans.


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