Korean pop music, 70s era

My uncle loves music. After work, he’d come and put on these massive, Princess Leia bun-size head phones and get lost. On road trips, we’d all get to hear his favorites, and I was introduced to some cool music (Harry Belafonte, Simon & Garfunkel) and some decidedly not as cool music (The Carpenters, Korean pop songs). These Korean pop songs were love songs, and I had no idea what they were singing, on account of the fact that I’m not fluent, which didn’t necessarily deter me from singing along or thinking about them. You can always make up the words phonetically like Mega-case-suh-jew. (What does Mega-case-suh-jew mean anyway? Probably nothing, because I most likely completely distorted the original source.) The songs all seemed to start with the sound of a boat fog horn or helicopter taking off, which according to my aunt, set up the song as someone’s main squeeze leaving the scene. Then the singer himself, or herself, comes on, intoning very dramatically. And there’s always a bit where there is some meaningful whispering. (Like Fergie and Nelly Furtado rapping in between stanzas, Koreans monologued in between singing as well.) Like, My love, when you left this morning for the bagel store, I didn’t think I would ever get over my broken heart, or whatever it is, before the voice would jet off into acrobatics, backed with horns. I don’t have any music theory in my belt (any more anyway), so I can’t tell you what kind of keys the songs were always in, but it must be like the same one, b/c they sounded identical and always melancholic.

That’s all. Sometimes, I think of those songs and make myself laugh, and sing the chorus to that one song I still remember. Who can forget a Korean love song about Jews.

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