We were unsure how to begin discussing this song. Honestly we were. Like really where do you begin? The strong symbolism within the intro spoken before the song which details the group structure that justifies the split of the two groups and yet also that they are even greater as a whole? Or it’s genre classification as a pop rock song? The electronic, string-based instrumentation? The strong symbolism within the lyrics themselves? Don’t even get us started on the visuals **rubs temples**
Reason, we will begin with reason…so the name MAMA…
Among the inter webs of EXO fandom discussion, multiple blogs have discussed the significance of using the word “MAMA.” That MAMA here is used in reference to an actual Queen or Royal Majesty…could that Queen be Mother Earth of which the men of EXO are newcomers to…is this song in fact a statement of observation of Queen Mother Earth’s subjects from the viewpoint of an outsider looking to belong?
But let’s back it up to the intro before we get too deep here. Let’s take it from the narration…
“When the grounds and the skies were one, the legends, through their twelve forces, nurtured the tree of life. But an eye of red force created an evil, which coveted the heart of the tree of life. And the heart slowly grew dry. To attend and embrace the heart of tree of life, the legends thereby divide the tree in half and hide each side. Hence, time is over-turned and space turns obscure. The twelve forces divide into two and create two suns that look alike into two worlds that seem alike. The legends travel apart. The legends shall now see the same sky but shall stand on different grounds. They shall stand on the same ground, but shall see different skies. The day the grounds beget a single file before one sky in two worlds that seem alike, the legends will greet each other. The day the red force is purified, and the twelve forces reunite into one perfect root, a new world shall open up.”
Whoa whoa! What just happened? What is LSM trying to say here? Are there hopeful predictions of what this group will accomplish by promoting in two separate countries? Is LSM also trying to suggest that people take notice that although Korean and Chinese individuals are both within the larger encompassing Asian ethnicities they are NOT the same in appearance, culture, etc. and so forth? (Point well made and taken, if so.) Is LSM asking for unity here for the greater benefit of Asia as a whole? Are there any references made to both Korean and Chinese mythology?
Korean Creation Myth as we understand it to be (please be sure to comment and give us feedback if this is inaccurate as we are NOT Korean neither by culture nor ethnicity) may have some parallels to the narration and the reason behind EXO’s appearance.
“In the Korean creation myth, the earth and humans existed already, for them, their most treasure creation myth, this one, it’s about their own creation and it goes like this:
Once upon a time, a heavenly prince, Hwangun looked down to the earth and wanted it for him, and be the ruler of all men. He went to his father, the Ruler of Heaven, Hwanin, he knew that his son would bring happiness to the people in earth, and looking down to earth, chose Mount Taebak as a suitable place for his son to go to earth.
Hwangun arrives beneath a sandalwood tree where he creates a holy city. Along with Hwangun, three heavenly seals came to earth, somewhat mysterious in nature, and 3000 loyal subjects from heaven.
Also, Hwangun brought three ministers, the Earl of Wind, the Master of Rain, and the Master of Clouds, and as soon they came down, Hwangun taught to humans 360 skills, such as medicine and agriculture.”
All credits: www.read-legends-and-myths.com/korean-creation-myth.html .
Could the sandalwood tree referenced here be the tree of life where the holy city was created by the Heavenly Prince Hwangun? Who represents the Heavenly Prince? Who represents the Ruler of Heaven, King Hwanin? Is Mount Taebak supposed to symbolize South Korea? Are the 3,000 loyal subjects supposed to symbolize EXO-L’s, EXO’s fan base? Are they also related to the EXO Planet?
Could the specialities of the three ministers whom the Prince brought be the reason behind EXO’s superpowers?
Are the skills the Heavenly Prince came to teach all humans and EXO-L’s about related to their artistry? Singing? Dancing? Rapping? Acting? All things idol?
Were EXO and the Ruler of Heaven observing the state of affairs within the entertainment industry within South Korea, Asia and the greater world and thought “Hmm yea it’s time to shake it up?” Is this the reason for their sudden appearance?
-Admin Aqua- Commercial break Pisces! We can’t talk about shaking things up without talking about the teasers. But we can save that for another time. Continue.
-Admin Pisces ♓ – Point! ** queued for later discussion ** But still are the EXO-L’s the 3,000 heavenly subjects, the humans spoken about within the myth or just the fan base? I guess we really don’t know but we shall have to see. On to rhyme?
(Please refer to the lyrics that shall be posted following this post.)
Looking at these lyrics side by side it is obvious that one needs to account for differences in the message due to translations of two different languages. Therefore the message is the same but there are contrasts in the wording.
The overall message of MAMA’s lyrics does relate to both the cultural Creation myth of Korea and the opening narration. It relates in that EXO was observing the planet Earth and its subjects prior to their arrival as also indicated in the narration.
-Admin Aqua- Wait hold up? So Big Brother is watching- better yet should I say Oppa is watching you?
Kekeke. Ok I’m done.
-Admin Pisces ♓ – **lol**
Upon arriving to Earth, EXO takes it upon themselves to nurture the tree of life perhaps also the sandalwood tree of the Creation myth. Who is the tree of life? That may or may not be important to this discussion. But even so, who represents the eye of red force that almost kills the tree of life? To the point where EXO just divide the tree into two halves and nurture the tree separately before joining again as one force in the future when the tree is strong again. There is importance then in the tree. What could the tree be?
But it appears as though in looking at the lyrics that the people of Earth are not in tune with what is going on. They are tuned into their technology and tuned into their own lives? Within verses and the chorus EXO pleads with the people of Earth to return back to human connection. To look each other in the eyes when we communicate. To meet using our hearts if you will. EXO tries to fight the apathy and reluctance of the people of Earth in order to keep the world from turning cold. Perhaps even to fulfill the legend when their two forces will reunite after purifying the red force so that a new world will open up.
But then we wonder what will this new world consist of? Will details be given in the next song?
** Experience Otherworldly Lyrical Transfiguration **