As promised we are here to discuss EXO’s first winter album, Miracles in December.
I can’t help but sing it. And of course think of the M/V!
It’s amazing to think about the journey that EXO has gone on already within the span of their previous two albums.
After their arrival to our planet, they have experienced love and loss and rejection time and time again.
And it is no different here in Miracles in December. Which is an interesting title considering the meaning of the word “miracle.”
plural noun: miracles
a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency.
“the miracle of rising from the grave”
“his recovery was a blessed miracle”
a highly improbable or extraordinary event, development, or accomplishment that brings very welcome consequences.
“it was a miracle that more people hadn’t been killed or injured”
an amazing product or achievement, or an outstanding example of something.
“a machine which was a miracle of design”
Everything about this definition suggest to me that miracles are more often than not a positive event. As they are divine, a marvel, a blessing…
And this song is talking about a miracle and a gift given to them by the departure of their love interest.
(EXO – M)
wo wang yan yu chuan
I gaze longingly
kan wo kan bu dao de ni
at the you whom I cannot see
wo ce er qing ting
I listen carefully
ting wo ting bu dao de ni
to the you whom I cannot hear
kan dao zeng kan bu jian de hua mian
I see the scenes that I couldn’t see before
ting dao ting bu jian de sheng xian
I can hear the the voices I couldn’t hear before
ni gei liao wo chao neng li
You have given me super powers
zai ni li kai liao wo yi hou
From when you left me
ceng jing de wo tai guo zi si
The past me was too selfish
zhi zhao gu wo zi ji yeah
only caring about myself
ceng jing de wo tai sha
The past me was too foolish
bu dong de ni de xin
to understand your heart
xian zai de wo yi tian tian zai gai bian
The me of now is changing every day
ming ming ni bu zai wo shen bian
Clearly, you’re not by my side
Clearly EXO and their love interest have broken up. Details arrive in the next verses about why their love interest left them.
It’s the classic “I didn’t know what I had when I was with you,” speech.
From the way EXO describes themselves…that they were selfish and didn’t pay her enough attention…it sounds like their love interest was so patient and so giving until she just couldn’t anymore.
It seems that it was so bad that the two of them aren’t even seeing each other as friends much less acquaintances.
And the final gift given to EXO after her departure…?
The gift of hindsight.
As EXO starts the song they talk about the situation as it is now in the present.
They can no longer see or hear her as they used to.
But they still can “see her and hear her” as they used to.
In their memories is where she has survived.
네 사랑은 이렇게 계속 날 움직여
ne sarangeun ireohge gyesok nal umjigyeo
Your love keeps moving me
난 생각만 하면
nan saenggakman hamyeon
Just by thinking about it
세상을 너로 채울 수 있어 음
sesangeul neoro chaeul su isseo um
I can fill the world up with you, mm
Because each snowflake
네 눈물 한 방울이니까
ne nunmul han bangurinikka
is your each tear drop
단 한 가지 못하는 것은
dan han gaji mothaneun geoseun
The one thing I can’t do
널 내게로 오게 하는 일
neol naegero oge haneun il
is bring you to me
이 초라한 초능력
i chorahan choneungnyeok
I wish I didn’t have
이젠 없었으면 좋겠어
ijen eobseosseumyeon johgesseo
this useless power anymore
Yet again in this song as they have done in the deceptively happy Peter Pan, there exists a book where they store their memories. (But book of memories is a little bit more poetic than in my brain, or in the back of my mind.)
in my book of memories
너의 페이지를 열어
neoui peijireul yeoreo
I open your page
난 그 안에 있어
nan geu ane isseo
I am there inside
너와 함께 있는 걸
neowa hamkke itneun geol
I am with you
아주 조그맣고 약한 사람이 너의 사랑이
aju jogeumahgo yakhan sarami neoui sarangi
A very small and weak person, your love
이렇게 모든 걸
ireohge modeun geol
내 삶을 모두
nae salmeul modu
all of my life
all of the world
오 사랑이 고마운 줄 몰랐었던 내가 오
oh sarangi gomaun jul mollasseotdeon naega oh
Oh I didn’t know how thankful your love was, oh
끝나면 그만인 줄 알았던 내가 오
ggeutnamyeon geumanin jul aratdeon naega oh
I thought it would stop once it ended, oh
너 원했던 그 모습 그대로
neo wonhaetdeon geu moseub geudaero
But every day, I’m fixing
날마다 나를 고쳐 가
nalmada nareul gochyeo ga
myself to want you
내 사랑은 끝없이 계속될 것 같아
nae sarangeun ggeuteobsi gyesokdoel geot gata
I think my love will endlessly continue
na shi hou de ni he wo
the you and I of that time
bu gou jian qiang de wo
The me that is not strong enough
tian tian zai gai bian yin wei ni de ai
is changing everyday because of your love
ni gai bian liao yi qie
You changed everything
wo zheng ge sheng ming
my entire life
zhe yi qie
wo zheng ge shi jie
my entire world
Oh ceng jing wo dui yu ai
Oh the past me did not understand
qing bu dong gan xie zhen xi oh
how to cherish love oh
ceng jing wo yi wei ai
I once believed that
jie shu ye bu ke xi
even if love ended, it would be fine
er xian zai wo que yin wei ni gai bian
But now, I am changing because of you
ni ming ming bu zai wo shen bian
Clearly, you aren’t by my side
wo de ai hai zai ji xu jiu
Yet my love is still continuing
xiang mei you bian ji
as if it knows no bounds
Whereas in Peter Pan the words that EXO read were words written by their love interest, here in Miracles in December the words of sadness that they read are detailing the relationship for what it was….a failure.
They failed to treasure her.
They ignored her wants and desires (which are obviously all of the things we see EXO attending to in the M/V.)
They did not cherish her.
And maybe they thought they would be ok.
Maybe they thought they could make it without her.
And perhaps they did initially.
But then I think after awhile *cue Bobby Womack’s “If You Think You’re Lonely Now”*
It hit them.
And now they return to winter.
Which to me is pretty significant. Winter is really the downturn of the cycle of seasons.
During the winter, many crops and vegetation die away, lying dormant until the spring.
So for EXO to choose to return to the winter to me means that that must be the time that she left them.
She left them at the very end of the relationship. When it had run its last course. When she had given all of her effort. And when there was nothing left to give…she left (and probably right before she left she had a “say something I’m giving up on you” moment that they blatantly ignored.)
And so EXO returns to that time in their memory because of their gift of hindsight and they see all the moments leading up to her departure and no matter what they do, they can’t stop it. Every winter they are reminded of her. It’s as if this is a seasonal affective disorder that they are experiencing. (Which is a real thing that many people experience beginning in the fall and lasts into the winter months….common symptoms are fatigue, depression, hopelessness and social withdrawal. Sounds like our guys huh? And of course this is something that also needs to be verified by a healthcare professional. I take this absolutely seriously.)
Because they still love her. Especially because of that.
But they only chase her in their memories.
They seemed to have come to accept that the damage that they have done is irreversible.
But as the M/V seems to suggest to me, they wish that they could stop (freeze, another winter term) time (which to me seems to have more to do with the gift of hindsight. Seeing the results of your actions allows you to be able to cycle back to the exact moment in time when you created the situation you are living the result of in the present,) and show her just how much they love her the way she’s always deserved.
The way this song goes and how it ends just the way it began, I feel like EXO is dreaming about her every night since the day she left. And the dream always begins with seeing her face through the snow and hearing her voice though she is far away and them going in search of her. When they finally find her, they rush through trying to tell her everything (they spill their tears and apologies.) Perhaps they have brought her a gift. But unfortunately for them, by the time they look up as they finish, she is gone. Or maybe she was never there. I feel like afterwards they wake up crying. Maybe they look at their phone and they’ve saved all of her messages. And they keep re-reading not only the sweet ones she sent but the heart-broken ones she sent as well.
And it goes like this. They remain stagnant. The only miracle they’ve witnessed is perhaps the miracle of recognizing that her love was their saving grace. As they pushed her away she was blessing them with her patience. She was loving them as they would only be begging to be loved later on. Perhaps the miracle was realizing that a love so pure and ardent had once been theirs. Perhaps the miracle was realizing that a love like that exists. And that the next time they have it, if there ever is a next time, they would do well to use their superpower (the gift of hindsight) and choose wisely next time.
Some of my favorite lines comes at both the beginning and end of this piece (even if it makes me cry)
그 겨울에 와있는걸
geu gyeoure waitneungeol
Inside that winter
보이지 않는 널 찾으려고 애쓰다
boiji anhneun neol chajeuryeogo aesseuda
I try to find you, who I can’t see
들리지 않는 널 들으려 애쓰다
deulliji anhneun neol deureuryeo aesseuda
I try to hear you, who I can’t hear
wo wang yan yu chuan kan wo kan bu dao de ni
I gaze longingly at the you whom I cannot see
wo ce er qing ting ting wo ting bu dao de ni
I listen carefully to the you whom I cannot hear
I can’t wait to read Admin Aqua’s aural analysis and to watch the M/V! (even though I will probably cry some more. Their voices. My goodness. So plaintive. The delivery is everything, yet again.)
**Experience Otherworldly Lyrical Transfiguration**