Happy Tunesday all!

Another powerful statement from EXO’s debut album is History. I LOVE this piece. I love all of them. (I will say that all the time. Please bear with me.)

Right off the bat you are ensnared by the energy of this piece due to its instrumentation and voicing. (Whenever this piece comes on while my playlist is on shuffle, I need to have a moment to dance. Sorry not sorry.)


As Admins Aqua and I are not native Korean or Chinese speakers, we understand that oftentimes when we talk about the lyrics it comes from the perspective of someone who only has access to the translations (that we rely on and sincerely appreciate to even be able to fully understand EXO and their message) and therefore will not grasp the deeper metaphors and innuendos due to a lack of understanding of vocabulary, grammar, etc. Please forgive us for sounding and speaking in a way about the lyrics that seems…off base.

Hopefully with that understood, we can carry on? Yes? Thank you.

From what can be understood from the translations, History is foreshadowing to the great accomplishments of EXO themselves as they undertake the task of saving the world. Saving the world appears to be uniting the Asian continent in its entirety. The reason I spoke about having a grasp of either the Chinese or Korean language and grammar is because of the specific metaphor of the sun used here in this piece.

The sun from what I understand is an important symbol throughout many cultures but I will keep the discussion specific to broader Korean and Chinese culture because of the members of the group and the countries they represent.

In China the Sun is the first of the Twelve Symbols of Sovereignty found within the embroidery of the Dragon Robes of an Emperor from the Qing Dynasty (they are gorgeous btw,) or symbolic representations of the cosmic universe. It represents life and enlightenment.

In most recent history, circa the early 20th century, the Rising Sun flag has been and still is associated now with Japanese Imperialism prior to and during World War II. So in my opinion bringing up the Sun here is important.

Let’s look to the lyrics.

흑과 백, 아직 남과 북
heukgwa baek, ajik namgwa buk
Black and white, still north and south

끝이 나지 않는 전쟁 scene
ggeuti naji anhneun jeonjaeng scene
The endless war scene

둘로 나뉜 태양의 절망
dullo nanwin taeyangui jeolmang
The despair of the sun, split in half

멀리 돌고 돌아서
meolli dolgo doraseo
I went round and round from far away

다시 시작하는 곳에 다 왔어
dasi sijakhaneun gose da wasseo
And I came back here to start again

오류투성이지만 배워가며
oryutuseongijiman baewogamyeo
I’m filled with errors but as I learn

강해질 수 있는 나
ganghaejil su ittneun na
I can get stronger

저 태양처럼
jeo taeyangcheoreom
The day we realize that the sun is

거대한 하나란 걸 아는 날
geodaehan hanaran geol aneun nal
one that is big and great

오 오 모두 함께 가는 우리 미래로
Oh oh modu hamkke ganeun uri miraero
Oh oh everyone together goes toward our future

I need you and you want me

지구란 이 별에서 오 오
jiguran i byeoreseo oh oh
In this planet called earth oh oh

Oh oh

Every, every, everyday

내가 만든 history
naega mandeun history
the history that I make

Starting with D.O.’s part, talking about two different sides to a fight, one light and one dark on opposite ends of the endless battle field (north and south) one cannot help to think that the lyrics are possibly pointing to the immediate relationship between North and South Korea by their shared Korean Demilitarized Zone following the Korean Armistice Agreement of 1953 (July 27.) Now that may be taking it a little too deep but as I am a deep person I have to take it there. Also while the members of EXO who do write lyrics (Chanyeol, Lay, & Chen I’m looking at you) have not written a full length album from their own perspective and tell their own day to day stories and deeper opinions about things I would like to believe that members of their production company are also deep…I mean at the time they endeavored to unite two different countries (South Korea and China) by promoting in both countries with performers that culturally represented them…why wouldn’t they talk about what else is going on…? (Also their airport fashion…but that’s another discussion. Sorry.)

Picking right back up, the despair of the sun that was split in half, and the day we realize the sun is both big and great all leads me to think that the Sun specifically represents the people of Asia in its entirety. EXO is talking about uniting the continent..? Yes..?

hui de yan liu lian lan de tian
Disheartened eyes lingering on the blue sky

rang wu wei jiao xiao bian cheng pao mo
Let that useless cry turn to foam

bu han wei suo chun cui de zhi zhu
Don’t shirk away, just go for it

yuan di ta bu guo duo jiu
How long have I been running in place?

zai zhe xin de qi shi dian zhan zhu shi wo
The one standing at the new starting point is me

guan qia yi yi dou ji po
Breaking through these gates one by one

fang qi zai wo zi dian mei lu ru guo
Giving up was never written into my dictionary

wo men yi fen liang tou
We’ve split into two

ben shi tai yang ban yi ti jie gou
even though once we were one just like the sun

Oh oh 我降落这个世界的理由
Oh oh wo jiang luo zhe ge shi jie de li you
Oh oh, the reason I’ve fallen onto this world

I need you and you want me

zai zhe ke lan se xing ti
on this blue planet

Oh oh
Oh oh

Every, every, everyday

我创造的 history
wo chuang zao de history
I’m making history

Likewise in the Chinese version and translation of this piece, EXO-M is also talking about overcoming obstacles and becoming one just like the Sun where they now share a home with EXO-K and South Korea. They will not give up.

Magic 시간이 가면
Magic sigani gamyeon
Magic when time passes

또 씻은 듯이 다시 재생 돼
ddo ssiseun deusi dasi jaesaeng dwae
It will play again as if it is rewashed

시공간을 뛰어 넘어서
sigongganeul ddwieo neomeoseo
Transcending time and space

에덴의 아침을 꿈꾸고 있어
edenui achimeul ggumkkugo isseo
I dream of an Eden’s morning

가자! 우린 그런 존재
gaja! urin geureon jonjae
Let’s go! We are that kind of existence

dao shu gui ling hou jiu hui
Count backwards hit zero and wash away the heartache

xi jing le shang bei zhan xin de jing wei
there’s brand new gridlines on the map

shi jian hai you kong jian chuan yue yu you zou
Jumping through space and time

meng xiang wan mei guo du de guang hui
we’ll come upon the radiant country of our dreams

hui rang wo men qian qi shou fei
We’ll hold hands and we fly

Again due to translation of two different languages both EXO-K and EXO-M end up saying the same thing in a different way…both groups are talking about starting afresh and uniting the Asian continent (Eden and counting backwards before you hit zero to wash everything away.) All that has been before is irrelevant now. We are onto a new day. We transcend everything that is mundane to create something new.

I’ve gotta tell you, the delivery of the following sections are great!

영원할거라 믿고 싶을 때
yeongwonhalgeora mitgo sipeul ddae
When you want to believe that it’s forever

언젠가 할 거 라고 망설일 때
eonjenga hal geo rago mangseoril ddae
When you are hesitating, saying that you’ll do it someday

내일이 바로 끝인지도 몰라
naeiri baro ggeutinjido molla
You never know if tomorrow will be the end

후회 같은 건 잊어버려 두려워마
huhoe gateun geon ijeobeoryeo duryeowoma
Forget about regrets, don’t be afraid

제발 사랑해, 사랑해, 사랑해
jebal saranghae, saranghae, saranghae
Please love, love, love

조화로울수록 완벽하잖아
johwaroulsurok wanbyeokhajanha
The more harmonized it is, the more perfect

모든 슬픔이 기쁨이 여기에
modeun seulpeumi gippeumi yeogie
All sadness and joy is here

나와 너는 한 생명인 걸
nawa neoneun han saengmyeongin geol
You and I are of the same life

Ya! 우리가 원래 하나로 태어났던 순간
Ya! uriga wollae hanaro taeeonatdeon sungan
Ya! The moment we were born as one

갈수록 소모적인 이 세계를 만난 순간
galsurok somojeogin i segyereul mannan sungan
The moment we meet this ever-consuming world

우린 점점점
urin jeomjeomjeom
We get farther and farther and farther

멀어져가 점점
meoreojyeoga jeomjeom
Farther away

둘로 깨져버린 채 힘을 잃어버린 태양
dullo ggaejyeobeorin chae himeul irheobeorin taeyang
The sun broke into two and lost its power

갈수록, 갈수록, 갈수록, 갈수록 더
galsurok, galsurok, galsurok, galsurok deo
As time goes by, as time goes by, as time goes by

간절했던 꿈의 세계를
ganjeolhaetdeon ggumui segyereul
The moment I meet the world

다시 마주하는 순간
dasi majuhaneun sungan
Of my earnest dreams

내 가슴이 뛴다, 마구 뛴다
nae gaseumi ddwinda, magu ddwinda
My heart races, it jumps

dang ni shen me dou ji wang gei yong yuan
When you place all your hopes on forever

suo you dou tui chi dao xia yi ge ming tian
It all gets put off to the next tomorrow

huo xu ming tian zhi hou mei you wei lai
But maybe there’s no future after tomorrow

liu xia de zhi you hui hen de hui jin he chen ai
And all that’s left are the dust and ashes of regret

zhua zhu ai de shou ai de shou ai de shuo
Hold on, hold on, hold on to love’s hand

yue ai yue wan mei nuan re zhe ge xing qiu
The more you love the more it’s perfect, the more you warm this planet

bei shang zai zuo shou
sorrow in the left hand

wo xi yue de you shou
happiness in the right hand

wo men fen xiang tong yi ge li you
We share the same reason

Ya! 我们抱紧为一体在诞生的瞬间
Ya! wo men bao jin wei yi ti zai dan sheng de chun jian
Ya! We’re holding tight to that one moment we’re born for

que kai shi xi guan shu
But we grow accustomed to a world

li he yi ge ren de shi jie
Where we’re alienated and alone

ju li jian jian jian jian jian yue lai yue yuan
The distance slowly slowly slowly grows more and more

ge li fen kai cheng liang bian tai yang
The two sides of the splitting sun

bu xu yao fen jie xian
don’t need a dividing line

One more, two more, three four more

zhe yi shun jian ying jie ji wang
In this moment welcome the perfect world

yi jiu meng li wan mei shi jie
Of long ago dreams we’ve hoped for

xin zang kai shi tiao dong ji su tiao dong
My heart’s starting to beat, and beats faster

By this point in both pieces EXO-K and EXO-M are both saying with greater fervor that this is no time to sit on the sidelines. All of the dreams of many people to unite and move forward, they carry with them as they set out on their journey as a group. They both also underline, circle, star and dot the importance of not living with regret and loving despite everything. Loving despite what someone has done or said to you. Loving despite fear. A message that will probably be relevant as long as there are people to heed it. The more we grow accustomed to this world (as Kris says) that treats one another so cruelly, we allow all sorts of horrible things to happen and push it off for someone else to take care of.

I don’t know about you but as much as EXO’s hearts are racing in anticipation at their tremendous quest, mine is as well. So far as we have seen in the real world EXO has been able to unite people all over the world. Admins Aqua and I will include discussions later about the incredible feats that EXO has been able to accomplish because of their music but also because of who they are as actual individuals. Little did they know the words of this song would come to fruition as they did. As they said at the EXO’luxion in NY this past February that Admin Aqua and I were so pleased to attend they still are surprised at their reception around the world. They still cannot believe that they are able to inspire people the way that they do. Admin Aqua may or may not tell me to delete this part but as I told her in our private conversation (prior to beginning this blog) I believe that it was divine order that brought the (then) twelve personalities of EXO together. You cannot abstractly create a group to accomplish such a phenomenon by chance. I believe they are meant to be doing exactly what they are doing as we all are. I believe they will continue to succeed and create a place in history to be proud of.

**Experience Otherworldly Lyrical Transfiguration**

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