Baby Don’t Cry

(*Writing this as I listen to “Monster” for the 50th time today is kind of disorienting so I’m sorry but I need to take a break and listen to this song so I can get through it. I’m sorry*)

So I just wanted to share these excerpts from the original story of the Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen written in 1836. (*have tissues because I didn’t…and yea…*)

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When you have reached your fifteenth year,” said the grand-mother, “you will have permission to rise up out of the sea, to sit on the rocks in the moonlight, while the great ships are sailing by; and then you will see both forests and towns.”

“Yes,” replied the old lady, “they must also die, and their term of life is even shorter than ours. We sometimes live to three hundred years, but when we cease to exist here we only become the foam on the surface of the water, and we have not even a grave down here of those we love. We have not immortal souls, we shall never live again; but, like the green sea-weed, when once it has been cut off, we can never flourish more. Human beings, on the contrary, have a soul which lives forever, lives after the body has been turned to dust. It rises up through the clear, pure air beyond the glittering stars. As we rise out of the water, and behold all the land of the earth, so do they rise to unknown and glorious regions which we shall never see.”

“Why have not we an immortal soul?” asked the little mermaid mournfully; “I would give gladly all the hundreds of years that I have to live, to be a human being only for one day, and to have the hope of knowing the happiness of that glorious world above the stars.”

“You must not think of that,” said the old woman; “we feel ourselves to be much happier and much better off than human beings.”

“So I shall die,” said the little mermaid, “and as the foam of the sea I shall be driven about never again to hear the music of the waves, or to see the pretty flowers nor the red sun. Is there anything I can do to win an immortal soul?”

“No,” said the old woman, “unless a man were to love you so much that you were more to him than his father or mother; and if all his thoughts and all his love were fixed upon you, and the priest placed his right hand in yours, and he promised to be true to you here and hereafter, then his soul would glide into your body and you would obtain a share in the future happiness of mankind. He would give a soul to you and retain his own as well; but this can never happen. Your fish’s tail, which amongst us is considered so beautiful, is thought on earth to be quite ugly; they do not know any better, and they think it necessary to have two stout props, which they call legs, in order to be handsome.”

Then the little mermaid sighed, and looked sorrowfully at her fish’s tail. “Let us be happy,” said the old lady, “and dart and spring about during the three hundred years that we have to live, which is really quite long enough; after that we can rest ourselves all the better. This evening we are going to have a court ball.”

“We have given our hair to the witch,” said they, “to obtain help for you, that you may not die to-night. She has given us a knife: here it is, see it is very sharp. Before the sun rises you must plunge it into the heart of the prince; when the warm blood falls upon your feet they will grow together again, and form into a fish’s tail, and you will be once more a mermaid, and return to us to live out your three hundred years before you die and change into the salt sea foam. Haste, then; he or you must die before sunrise. Our old grandmother moans so for you, that her white hair is falling off from sorrow, as ours fell under the witch’s scissors. Kill the prince and come back; hasten: do you not see the first red streaks in the sky? In a few minutes the sun will rise, and you must die.” And then they sighed deeply and mournfully, and sank down beneath the waves.

“Among the daughters of the air,” answered one of them. “A mermaid has not an immortal soul, nor can she obtain one unless she wins the love of a human being. On the power of another hangs her eternal destiny. But the daughters of the air, although they do not possess an immortal soul, can, by their good deeds, procure one for themselves. We fly to warm countries, and cool the sultry air that destroys mankind with the pestilence. We carry the perfume of the flowers to spread health and restoration. After we have striven for three hundred years to all the good in our power, we receive an immortal soul and take part in the happiness of mankind. You, poor little mermaid, have tried with your whole heart to do as we are doing; you have suffered and endured and raised yourself to the spirit-world by your good deeds; and now, by striving for three hundred years in the same way, you may obtain an immortal soul.”

The little mermaid lifted her glorified eyes towards the sun, and felt them, for the first time, filling with tears. On the ship, in which she had left the prince, there were life and noise; she saw him and his beautiful bride searching for her; sorrowfully they gazed at the pearly foam, as if they knew she had thrown herself into the waves. Unseen she kissed the forehead of her bride, and fanned the prince, and then mounted with the other children of the air to a rosy cloud that floated through the aether.

So how does the story of the Little Mermaid tie in with Baby Don’t Cry?

Kai (I believe it was Jongin) explained in an interview once that the meaning behind Baby Don’t Cry is close to the story of The Little Mermaid. After reading through the story (and crying profusely) the lyrics of course have more meaning. (I realize more and more that I always begin with reading EXO-M’s translations before I read EXO-K’s translations.)

I don’t think that EXO is the prince in this situation.

[Chen]

如果不是我是别的男人

ru guo bu shi wo shi bie de nan ren

If it’s not me, it’s another man

如果只是喜剧裡面的一句话

ru guo zhi shi xi ju li mian de yi ju hua

If this is a line from a drama

But it’s not only those lines that signal to me that EXO is the forlorn unrequited lover watching from afar.

Baby don’t cry tonight

就当作没发生过一样

jiu dang zuo mei fa sheng guo yi yang

Just pretend that it didn’t happen

你永远都不会化成像泡抹一样

ni yong yuan dou bu hui hua cheng xiang pao mo yi yang

You will never turn into sea foam

难道你不知道吗

nan dao ni bu zhi dao ma

Did you not know?

So baby don’t cry, cry

我的爱守护你不分开

wo de ai shou hu ni bu fen kai

My love will protect you and won’t leave you

我的爱守护你不分开

wo de ai shou hu ni bu fen kai

My love will protect you and won’t leave you

[Lay]

放下你最不安的心房

fang xia ni zui bu an de xin fang

Put down your most worried and anxious heart

就请接受命运吧

jiu qing jie shou ming yun ba

Please just accept this fate

我想我爱你比更多的恋人啊

wo xiang wo ai ni bi geng duo de lian ren ah

I think I love you more than lovers do

还更加倍的去爱上

hai geng jia bei de qu ai shang

And also fell in love

[Xiumin]

When you smile, sunshine

[Luhan]

太灿烂的让我都说不出话

tai can lan de rang wo dou shuo bu chu hua

It’s so dazzling that it makes me unable to speak

[Lay]

整颗心起波浪

zheng ke xin qi bo lang

My entire heart is giving off waves like the ocean

[Chen]

拍碎了就停下来

pai sui le jiu ting xia lai

Don’t stop until it’s crushed

Oh

[All]

Baby don’t cry tonight

在暴风来袭的夜晚

zai bao feng lai xi de ye wan

This storm that struck in the night

[Chen]

Ooh I can hold you in my arms

[All]

Baby don’t cry tonight

好像很适合这个夜晚

hao xiang hen shi he zhe ge ye wan

It really seems to suit this night

但这一瞬间的激情不能够延长

dan zhe yi shun jian de ji qing bu neng gou yan chang

But this moment’s enthusiasm isn’t enough to extend

却要目送你离开

que yao mu song ni li kai

I have to watch you leave

From all of this I glean that EXO was also on the ship that night that the Little Mermaid saved the Prince from drowning. And he saw her save the Prince. He knows her secret. He knows that she is a Mermaid and from a land far beyond the human realm. He knows of her desire to have the Prince return her affection and he wishes desperately for her to see him standing there, willing and waiting to love her. But he knows that she will not return his feelings. He knows that soon her time will be up because she has not accomplished what she set out to do; to capture the Prince’s undivided affection of love, to win his hand in marriage, and to have their souls united by a Priest (an interesting detail but then again considering the values prevalent in that time that the story was written it makes a heck of a lot of sense.) So I feel like this story is set on the night before the Prince is set to marry the Princess from the other land (not the Little Mermaid.) I feel that he is watching her bemoan her fate not knowing that if she only turned to see…there was someone waiting there to love her. Or perhaps from the tone this song begins to take on…..

[All]

就让我的爱像记忆吧

jiu rang wo de ai xiang ji yi ba

Just let my love become like a memory

[Tao]

到处阴阴的沉沉的冷空气

dao chu yin yin de chen chen de leng kong qi

This dark and lifeless air is pervasive

陷入了称为离别的疼痛里

xian ru le cheng wei li bie de teng tong li

I am caught in this pain called separation

快要窒息痛到无力

kuai yao zhi xi tong dao wu li

I’m about to suffocate, it hurts so much

唯有你的笑容才是镇痛剂 ah!

wei you ni de xiao rong cai shi zhen tong ji ah!

that I lost my strength ah!

我的任性越轨

wo de ren xing yue gui

The only remedy is your smile, willful transgression

希望我们的故事有结尾

xi wang wo men de gu shi you jie wei

I hope our story has a conclusion

Don’t cry 不想你悲伤落泪

Don’t cry bu xiang ni bei shang luo lei

Don’t cry I don’t want you to be hurt and shed tears

宁愿你对我是冷漠的 baby

ning yuan ni dui wo shi leng mo de baby

I’d rather you be cold and indifferent to me, baby

I do think that EXO couldn’t sit idly by any longer and watch the Little Mermaid suffer in silence. I do think that they confessed their feelings for her but she rejected them of course. I do think that they possibly went quietly and left her alone. But continuing to watch her mourn her eventual end was something that brought them a lot of pain.

It’s interesting that they would rather her be cold and indifferent towards them. They would rather her treat them awfully then to “beat herself up” over her lack of the Prince’s love. The separation that they (EXO) is suffering from may simply be the separation they feel from the Little Mermaid. That they are not able to express to her the love that she so desires. That she is closed off to them.

It’s really sad and jarring to have this sudden change from the very aggressive Wolf chasing after the Beauty. I’m not sure these two stories are connected. They might be..? Perhaps the Beauty survived the violent encounter with the Wolf only to be hurt in her own personal life by not having her feelings returned by someone she was interested in. Though she knows that EXO (her love interest in Wolf) may still be in love with her, she is not interested in pursuing anything with them as she probably remembers what happened before. (He cornered and wanted to eat her…remember? The beginning of the song was rife with food references remember? Not my kind of party either lol) It may be a stretch to try to attempt a connection between the two songs so I believe it is possible that this is yet another new love interest EXO has come across since their last album.

And unfortunately for them, the story of the Little Mermaid ends (she does not become sea foam but is instead redeemed by the goodness of her heart and allowed safe passage to Heaven with the daughters of the air) with only the Prince and his new bride living a happily ever after.

And by the end of this song, EXO is pretty broken

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[Kris]

Don’t cry

请让我可以保留最后的尊严

qing rang wo ke yi bao liu zui hou de zun yan

Please allow me to keep this last bit of dignity

或者请将我直接毁灭

huo zhe qing jiang wo zhi jie hui mie

Or please just destroy me directly

[Luhan]

你的眼神充满了月光 baby ooh

ni de yan shen chong man le yue guang baby ooh

Your eyes are full of moonlight, baby, ooh

[Chen]

无声无息在痛苦裡

wu sheng wu xi zai tong ku li

I’m silently in pain

流淌著纯洁的光

liu tang zhe chun jie de guang

with a pure light flowing

[Luhan]

我想我眼睛迷路

wo xiang wo yan jing mi lu

I think my eyes are lost

[Luhan/Chen]

现在才 cry cry cry

xian zai cai cry cry cry

Only now I cry cry cry

They need a hug. (Maybe a little more than a hug but it’s a good start.)

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However there are so many lines in EXO-K’s version that honestly shake up everything I just said. (Haha.)

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[Baekhyun]

더는 망설이지 마 제발

Deoneun mangseoriji ma jebal

Don’t hesitate anymore please

내 심장을 거두어 가

nae simjangeul geodueo ga

take my heart away

그래 날카로울수록 좋아

geurae nalkaroulsurok joha

Yes, the sharper it is, the better

달빛 조차도 눈을 감은 밤

dalbit jochado nuneul gameun bam

even the moonlight shuts its eyes tonight

[D.O]

나 아닌 다른 남자였다면

Na anin dareun namjayeotdamyeon

If only it was a different guy and not me

희극 안의 한 구절이었더라면

huigeuk anui han gucheurieotdeoramyeon

if only it was a line from a comedy

너의 그 사랑과

Neoui geo saranggwa

I will burn all of the scars

바꾼 상처 모두 태워버려

baggun sangcheo modu taeweobeoryeo

exchanged with your love

The beginning here makes me think that the Little Mermaid explained to EXO (the bystander) what she must do now on the evening of the Prince’s wedding night, that her plan has failed. As her sisters (in the original story) cut their hair and gave it to the Sea Witch in hopes that they could exchange that for a change in her fate, the Little Mermaid was presented with a knife to plunge in the Prince’s heart so that someone’s life would still be taken as was promised. I feel like EXO may have offered themselves up in exchange because of the mention of the knife and maybe they are regretting it. Because maybe now the Little Mermaid finally sees how much he loves her…that he would be willing to be sacrificed so that she doesn’t have to be hurt. So maybe the song “Baby Don’t Cry” is the Little Mermaid crying and mourning that now that there is someone who loves her as she’s wanted to be loved, it isn’t the Prince but another man who is willing to be sacrificed.

Baby don’t cry tonight

없었던 일이 될 거야

eobseotdeon iri dwel geoya

none of this will have happened

물거품이 되는 것은 네가 아니야

mulgeopumi dweneun geoseun niga aniya

It’s not you who will

끝내 몰라야 했던

geutnae mollaya haetdeon

become short-lived

so baby don’t cry cry

내 사랑이 널 지킬 테니

nae sarangi neol jikil teni

because my love will protect you

[Suho]

오직 서로를 향해있는

Ojik seororeul hyanghaeinneun

We exchange our fates

운명을 주고 받아

unmyeongeul jugo bada

that are headed toward each other

엇갈릴 수 밖에 없는 그 만큼 더

eotgallil su bakke eomneun geu mankeum deo

As much as there was no choice but for us to go awry

사랑했음을 난 알아

saranghaesseumeul nan ara

I know we have loved that much more

내 사랑이 기억될 테니

nae sarangi gieokdwel teni

my love will be remembered

넘어져도 그마저도

neomjyeodo geumajeodo

Even if I cruelly fall down

널 위해서라면 감당할 테니

neol wihaeseoramyeon gamdanghal teni

even that will be for you so I will handle it

uh, 대신 나를 줄게

uh, daesin nareul julge

uh instead, I will give myself to you

비록 날 모르는 너에게

birok nal moreuneun neoege

who doesn’t even know me

don’t cry, 뜨거운 눈물보단

don’t cry, ddeugeoun nunmulbodan

Don’t cry – instead of hot tears

차디찬 웃음을 보여줘 baby

chadichan useumeul boyeojweo baby

show me cold laughter baby

제발 망설이지는

jebal mangseorijineun

Please don’t hesitate

말아줘 물거품이 될 그 찰나

marajweo mulgeopumi dwel geo challa

just when I’m about to become like foam

눈부신 사람으로 남을 수 있게

nunbusin sarameuro nameul su itge

Just burn me with that knife

차라리 그 칼로 날 태워줘

charari geo kallo nal taeweojweo

so I can remain as a dazzling person

And hearing all of this, of course I can’t help but think about the way the performance of this song was choreographed. I mean even down to the costuming. Kai and Sehun usually perform this piece and wear the white button down shirt and dark black pants which kind of reminds me of the Prince (even though I now know EXO is not the Prince.) All that aside, I see this dance as a dance of sacrifice. That this is their final performance for the Little Mermaid before she possibly takes her life or his (or one of them turns into sea foam.)

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It’s so symbolic that towards the end of the performance, the two dancers are in water and thrash about in the water as if they’re trying to resist their fate that they have succumbed to (or they’re so deeply affected and saddened that the Little Mermaid must succumb to her fate they’re thrashing about.) Of course then there is the final moments where oftentimes someone shirt pops open….

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**Experiences……..Complete Transfiguration**

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