Fare Thee Well
(잘 가세)

performed by
Han Dae-soo (한대수)
lyrics and music by
Han Dae-soo (한대수)
year released
around 1971
album
Han Dae-soo 1, Long Long Road (한대수 1집, 멀고 먼 길), 1974
잘 가세
Fare Thee Well

잘 가세 내 친구, 내 사랑, 뜻 없는 미소 남기며
Fare thee well my friend, my love, trailing an empty smile
시간 따라, 가을 따라, 그리움 없이
Going with time, with autumn, yearning no more
바람은 사자와 같이 울고 외치는 이 밤에
The wind wailing and roaring like a lion in the night
나는 또 이 고개 숙여 홀로 걷겠네
Head hung down again I walk on by myself

추억에 피어진 거리도 머리 구석에 남기며
Streets of fond memories tucked in the corner of my head
잡고 싶던 옛 생각도 연기와 같이
Old thoughts so longed after going up in smoke
눈물도 슬픔도 없이 단지 아픔만 남긴 채
With no tear or sadness in me, only pain left behind
구름 아래 저 언덕을 홀로 향하네
I head for that hill under the clouds alone

잘 가세 내 친구, 내 사랑, 흘린 땀도 어제였소
Farewell, my loved ones, the sweats I shed were yesterday's
정든 얼굴, 웃던 얼굴, 꿈에 맡기며
Loving faces, smiling faces saved for dreams
찬 바람, 살 바람 아래 옷도 벗겨진 나의 맘
My heart standing naked in the punishing cold wind
내일 가고 오늘 오면 다시 찾으리
I'll be back on this day after tomorrow is done
잘 가세

잘 가세 내 친구, 내 사랑, 뜻 없는 미소 남기며
시간 따라, 가을 따라, 그리움 없이
바람은 사자와 같이 울고 외치는 이 밤에
나는 또 이 고개 숙여 홀로 걷겠네

추억에 피어진 거리도 머리 구석에 남기며
잡고 싶던 옛 생각도 연기와 같이
눈물도 슬픔도 없이 단지 아픔만 남긴 채
구름 아래 저 언덕을 홀로 향하네

잘 가세 내 친구, 내 사랑, 흘린 땀도 어제였소
정든 얼굴, 웃던 얼굴, 꿈에 맡기며
찬 바람, 살 바람 아래 옷도 벗겨진 나의 맘
내일 가고 오늘 오면 다시 찾으리

Fare Thee Well

Fare thee well my friend, my love, trailing an empty smile
Going with time, with autumn, yearning no more
The wind wailing and roaring like a lion in the night
Head hung down again I walk on by myself

Streets of fond memories tucked in the corner of my head
Old thoughts so longed after going up in smoke
With no tear or sadness in me, only pain left behind
I head for that hill under the clouds alone

Farewell, my loved ones, the sweats I shed were yesterday's
Loving faces, smiling faces saved for dreams
My heart standing naked in the punishing cold wind
I'll be back on this day after tomorrow is done
Photo of Wildflowers

This is a song of parting, about a man saying goodbye to his friends and loved ones before embarking on what looks to be final journey. One might wonder what led Han Dae-soo to write this song, who was at best in his early twenties when he wrote it. Perhaps it was just one of those creative outbursts that set artists loose on wild imagination. Or he might have been overly emotional when he was leaving the country on one of his many trips, as he spent a substantial portion of his youth in New York. Whatever tickled his creative fancy, he produced a fine work of art. Its words and tune sound compelling, at turns enigmatic, sad and remorseful, depicting a departure that evokes deeply wrought emotions. It happens to be a top three song for me on this fine album.

Every one of us will come to a point where we have to think more about departing than creating new things around us. Hand Dae-soo himself, who took a flight of fancy and wrote this great piece of work at such a young age, most probably from the perspective of an observer rather than as the one on the spot, is now at an age to be reminded of these very words he put down nearly a half century ago.

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Han Dae-soo (한대수)

Jokingly called the first hippy of Korea, Han Dae-soo is a free-spirited singer-songwriter who spearheaded the fledgling Korean modern-folk movement since the 1970s