One More Chance (나 좀 봐줘) by The Grace – Dana and Sunday (천상지희 – 다나 & 선데이): Lyrics, Translation, and Explanation

(Source, all screenshots)

아, 짱나! Why’d you always choose songs with such bloody strange lyrics?!!

While I’m very grateful to my long-suffering wife for her help, somebody had to redeem this song’s reputation among English speakers. For it definitely deserves praise for its empowering lyrics, especially when people may be put off from hearing the song at all through reviews like this, this, and this that don’t even consider them. Or translations like these that don’t give enough thought to resolving their ambiguity.

Yet who can blame those writers? With an official title of One More Chance (나 좀 봐줘), and lyrics that sometimes mention a guy, then it’s only natural to assume it’s basically about one more chance with that guy. In which case, SM Entertainment has done Dana & Sunday (다나 & 선데) a great disservice, for that English title doesn’t just dilute the song’s message, but positively subverts it.

If I’m going to argue that other people allowed their preconceptions to color their judgement of a song though, then first let me disclose my own, which I gained through readers’ emails like this one:

There seems to be 2 camps about the lyrics: It’s either stupid or the lyrics are quite ingenious. Is this a girl-anthem lite or is it a true empowerment song?

What I can only pick out is: “Amazon” “Adam & Eve” “Soju” “Bridget Jones” From the translations I have already read, there seems to be more metaphors than the usual k-pop songs.

And then from Jessica in the comments section to a post on underlying messages in girl-group songs:

…SM Ent just brought back one of their older K-pop groups, originally a 4 piece harmony group called The Grace as a duo.

I’m showing you this because the lyrics were written by SM Ent’s inhouse songwriter, Kenzie. Unlike her lyrics for Oh!’, though, the lyrics in this song seem pretty different and a bit strange compared to your average K-Pop single. I think they would be pretty interesting to dissect because at the moment I kind of feel like it could be a female-empowerment song, but the lyrics just don’t make any sense to me, even when translated! (Could be a bad translation? I don’t know..)

Then from Gomushin Girl’s reply:

It’s not perfect in the translation department (“give me one more chance, my strength’s coming out” is pretty loosely translated, ha!), but the lyrics are pretty explicitly meant to be empowering. They complain about the emphasis on being pretty and acting feminine. I thought the bit about how she didn’t like to drink soju because it made her face look big (for those of you not in Korea, having a “small face” is a mark of beauty) and she’d prefer the (ungentrified, rural, masculine) unfiltered rice wine – which comes in a bigger cup. The lyrics also reject certain standards of masculine beauty, saying that they’re fine with guys with big heads (in this case, it’s NOT figurative and saying he’s full of himself but literally that his head is big and therefore unattractive) – albeit partially because it makes her look smaller by comparison! So yeah, it’s pretty straight up critique of Korea’s beauty culture and cult of femininity.

That said, what’s really problematic for me is that the video images don’t do anything to reinforce the girl power message. I mean, it’s a pretty lame video – there’s absolutely nothing to it beyond having them dressed up and dancing – but it also plays right into the mainstream image of women in Kpop. You could put in totally different lyrics about how they’re waiting for their 오빠 to come and rescue them and it’d work fine.

And finally from Jessica’s response:

Indeed! It’s a shame. These are probably the only lyrics I’ve seen from a girl group outside of 2NE1 and (perhaps) 4Minute that are empowering, it’s just a shame that the music video is so conflicting. I think they should’ve atleast dressed them differently. I feel that this song would’ve been betetr suited to labelmate, f(x). I’d hardly say that the group is empowering, but you have unconventional (well, by typical Korean standards, I guess) beauties like Amber that could atleast give the lyrics *some* sort of meaning.

I’m more interested in the songwriters views over Dana and Sunday’s, though, who I’m guessing had no input with regards to the lyrics in this song. I have to wonder what Kenzie’s views really are; it seems she’s trying to raise the issues women have to deal with in Korean society, and yet she seems to have no problem writing songs such as Oh! for SNSD. If only I could have a discussion with this woman. haha

I’d still say it’s a step forward though, and it feels less like a contrived marketing ploy to me than say BoA’s ‘Girls On Top’, and I do commend Kenzie for not going down the typical lyrical route as seen in most ‘female empowerment’ pop songs and making some sort of statement, even if the words are lost on the poor video.

Only after reading those, I confess, did I really investigate who Dana and Sunday were (those three reviews above remain excellent introductions to them btw, and of course there’s also their Wikipedia page), and then get stuck into the video:

And in the interests of full disclosure, One More Chance happened to be the first song I’ve ever translated that I needed my wife’s ID to get the lyrics from Naver for, as it turned out that it had been banned for public broadcast for the heinous crime of mentioning alcohol, which you can read more about here or here (and more about increasing opposition to such inane censorship here, here, or here). Not that I seriously think that that biased me of course, although I did realize later that the song would make little sense without the alcohol in it.

But at the very least, I was clearly expecting a message of female empowerment in the lyrics, and – surprise, surprise – got one. Albeit only after giving up on it in frustration late last night, then realizing in the light of day that that narrative was the only way to resolve its many ambiguities. Was I just projecting though, reaching for a solution? Please judge for yourselves if the following explanations objectively justify that conclusion then, and why I ultimately think the song should actually be called Hear Me instead!

Update With my eternal gratitude, reader Seamus Walsh has spent a great deal of time in the comments analyzing the lyrics himself, including noting many minor and some major mistakes with my translation. Starting here, please make sure to read those also!

아담의 갈비뼈를 뺐다고? 진짜 빼야 될 사람 난데

내 허리 통뼈 이대론 안 돼 웃지 마라 진짜 진지하다고

소주는 싫어 잔이 작아 얼굴 더 커 보이잖아

막걸리 가자 잔도 크고 양도 많아 내 스타일이야

오늘 끝까지 한번 달린다 Let’s Go

It’s said Adam’s rib was pulled out? Really, I’m the person who needs things taken out.

I can’t endure my big-boned waist as it is. Don’t laugh, I said I’m serious.

I hate soju, its little shot glass makes my face look bigger

Let’s go drink makkoli, its glass is big and holds a lot, that’s my style

Tonight, let’s run until the end, Let’s go

In line 2, “뼈” by itself means “bone”, and “통” means…well, it has 8 entries in my dictionary. But “통뼈” together is a euphemism meaning “big-boned” (e.g. “난 통뼈야!).

In line 4, I think there’s an unspoken “in order to drink”  between “makkoli” and “let’s go” (e.g. “막걸리 먹으로  가자”), but my wife says that adding saying “[a drink]” with just “가자” is also common slang for emphasizing how much you really want to have that particular drink (not that our explanations are mutually exclusive of course).

Finally, in line 5 I think “tonight” makes much more sense than “오늘/today” for most non-alcoholics.

Next, there’s the (sort-of) chorus:

아마조네스 시대엔 내가 왕인데

남자가 언제부터 우릴 먹여 살렸니?

나! 나 좀! 놔줘! 먹여 살렸니

나! 나 좀! 놔줘! 먹여 살렸니

지금이 최고로 마른 건데 살쪘대

오늘만 마셔 낼부터 다이어트 쭉쭉 간다

나! 나 좀! 봐줘! 아 쭉쭉 간다

나! 나 좀! 봐줘! 아 기운 없어

In the Age of the Amazons, I am the queen

From when have men supported us?

Me! Please me! Let me go! When have men supported us…

Me! Please me! Let me go! When have men supported us…

I’m the thinnest right now, but people say I’ve become fat

I’ll only drink today, from tomorrow I’ll diet properly

Me! Please me! Pay attention to me! Ah…I’ll do it properly

Me! Please me! Pay attention to me! Ah…I have no energy

The first two lines are simple enough here, but the third and fourth are very vague and frustrating. Partially, that’s because I didn’t know “놓다” could mean “release” (I usually use it as “put”), but after that who or what are the “먹여 사렸니” referring to exactly? Other translators think the whole line means “Let me go, I can feed myself”, which is certainly logical, but then there’s not only no indication of the object and subject like I said, but the verb is in the past tense too. So, my wife thinks they’re actually just repeating line 2 really, but which is too long itself to repeat all of it.

In line 6, “쭉” will always be difficult to forget for me personally because the term “쭉쭉빵빵” was the precursor to “S-line”, although here it means  “utterly/completely/entirely” rather than “a straight line [tall]”. Meanwhile, the “간다” means it’s something that’s going to happen in the future, as explained in depth in my discussion of T-Ara’s Like the First Time.

Finally, in lines 7 and 8, again other translators give – all together – “나 좀 봐줘” as “give me one more chance”, and sure enough, that’s the English name of the song too (although I don’t know who came up with that). But I’m going to have to dissent, as not only is “chance” not mentioned whatsoever (although I acknowledge there’s a [slim] possibility that it’s unspoken) but a verb plus ‘줘” means “please [do the verb] for me”, and so in this case “봐줘”  would be “please look at me”, or indeed “please pay attention to me”. And this is corroborated by in the video when Dana says it again at 2:10 (see below), as she both looks at the viewer the entire time and is stared at intensely by Sunday, albeit only partially because Sunday does exactly the same when she says “Let me go” too, as in the fourth picture up.

However, if there was a (conjugated) verb before the “봐줘”, like, say, “해봐줘”, then that would be quite different, as the “봐” stops being “see” but becomes part of the  form “[verb] + [try to do the verb]” (e.g. “해봐” means “try to do it”). But as you can see, there’s nothing.

Whether it’s “give me one more chance” or “pay attention to me” though, saying “Ah [as in “sigh”]…I have no strength” straight afterwards is still a bit of a contradiction.

(Author’s screencapture)

브리짓존스는 짝을 만났지

내가 걔보다 뭐가 못해?

선배들 얘기, 솔직히 반대

‘눈을 낮춰야 남자가 보여?’ 흥!

좋은 녀석이 있어 머리가 좀 사실 많이 크지

그 옆에 서면 내 얼굴 진짜 작아 보이더라구

그것 땜에 만난다는 건 아냐, 진짜

아담이 이브, 만난 정돈 아니고

죽도록 걔한테 목매는 나도 아닌데

나! 나 좀! 봐줘! 자꾸 생각나

나! 나 좀! 봐줘! 자꾸 생각나

Bridget Jones met her other half, right?

What can’t I do compared to her?

My seniors’ stories, honestly I disagree

Do I have to lower my standards to meet men? Hmmpth!

I have a boyfriend, actually his head is quite big

People say that next to him my face looks small

That’s not the real reason I met him

We not close like Adam and Eve were

I’m never going to be so in love with a guy

Me! Please me! Pay attention to me! This consumes me

Me! Please me! Pay attention to me! This consumes me

Easy enough to translate, but frustratingly vague towards the end. First, the “걔” in line 2 means “그” or “that”, in this case Bridget Jones, mentioned in line 1. Then in line 6, “더라구” is slang for “더라도”, which I scanned an explanation of (from p. 150 of 100 Korean Grammar Patterns/한국어 문형 표현 100) for you below (basically, it’s used for emphasis when you’ve telling someone about something you’ve directly experienced, but the listener hasn’t).

In lines 10 and 11 though, we’ve already established that the first part means “pay attention to me”, but the while the “자꾸 생각나” easily translates to (literally) “frequently think” or “unceasingly think”, what is the singer thinking about exactly? Late last night, my wife and I thought it was about the guy mentioned earlier, but (again) that’s a contradiction. If the next verse was about a guy though, as it certainly appears at first glance, then it could retroactively be about him though, but…well, we’ll get to that.

For now then, if we just take for the sake of argument that it isn’t about a guy, then it must be about the issue of people saying she just chose to date him because he made her face look smaller, or the wider issue of paying attention to her, letting her do her own thing. In which case, as that is the main theme of the song, then I think my own rendition of it as “this consumes me” is quite eloquent(!), even if I do only say so myself.

Of course, the lyricist may be just have been having an off-day too…

Show me! Show me! 어쩜 좋니

토크는 안 끝나고 우린 더욱 아쉽고

이 밤을 불태워버릴 우리만의 100분 토론

나! 나 좀! 놔줘! Yo! 100분 토론

나! 나 좀! 놔줘! 100분 토론

난 먹고 자고 울고 웃고 사랑하고

다 저울질하고 때로는 미워하고

오 매일 매일 난 큰 꿈을 꾸고 있는데

이 놈의 통 큰 갈비뼈를 빼서라도 날아갈 거라고!

Show me, show me, how

We got more to say, it’s sad that we have to stop

Our 100 minutes of talking will burn this night

Me! Please me! Let me go! Yo! 100 minutes of talking

Me! Please me! Let me go! 100 minutes of talking

I want to eat, sleep, cry, laugh, and love

I hate having to weigh everything up

Oh! Every day I dream a big dream

Even if I have to take out this big rib of mine, I will fly!

Ironically for all the time spent on the translations of previous verses, I didn’t really see have any problems of note in translating that. And by coincidence, it’s here that the fundamental message of the song becomes clear too.

Just a few lines ago, the singer was talking about her (literally) big-headed boyfriend, so it’s only natural to assume that she is still talking about him in this verse. But just think back to the situation: she opened the song talking to her (probably female) friend, she suggested that they go get a drink together…and until there’s anything to suggest otherwise, then she’s still talking to that friend here. So no, she isn’t sad about having limited time to talk to her boyfriend, and she certainly doesn’t want “one more chance” to be with him.

Indeed, only when you remove that assumed longing for a guy from the song, does it finally begin to make some sort of sense.

Unfortunately, the last verse below has (to my mind) a throwaway line about love which potentially confuses it, but again only if you have the preconceived notion that the song is about love between a man and a woman. Love her friend listening to her though, platonically or otherwise, and there’s nothing to be confused about.

아마조네스 시대엔 내가 왕인데

남자가 언제부터 우릴 먹여 살렸니?

나! 나 좀! 놔줘! 먹여 살렸니

나! 나 좀! 놔줘! 먹여 살렸니

아담이 이브, 만난 정돈 아니고

죽도록 걔한테 목매는 나도 아닌데

왜 자꾸 자꾸 네가 생각나니 이상해

들어봐 온 가슴이 그렇게 말해 이게 사랑이래 I got you baby

나! 나 좀! 봐줘! 자, 기운 내서

나! 나 좀! 봐줘! 가는 거야

나! 나 좀! 봐줘! 자, 기운 내서

나! 나 좀! 봐줘! 자, 가는 거야

In the Age of the Amazons, I am the queen

From when have men supported us?

Me! Please me! Let me go! When have men supported us…

Me! Please me! Let me go! When have men supported us…

We’re not close like Adam and Eve were

I’m never going to be so in love with a guy

Why am I so consumed like this? It’s strange

Try listening to me, my whole heart is saying this is love, I got you baby

Me! Please me! Pay attention to me! Cheer up!

Me! Please me! Pay attention to me! I’m going to go

Me! Please me! Pay attention to me! Cheer up!

Me! Please me! Pay attention to me! I’m going to go

And on that note, “Pay attention to me!” doesn’t roll of the tongue very easily, so I hereby retroactively change all instances of that to “Hear me!” instead, and submit that as a new song title!

What do you think? Am I simply projecting my own narrative onto the song, or am I onto something? As always, I defer to readers’ greater knowledge of the group and/or Korean abilities. Perhaps especially the latter in this case, as my epiphany about how much the song has been misinterpreted is so dependent on my alternate translation of just a few lines. On the other hand, from what I’ve read they’ve been known for grrrl-power from the outset, so surely the burden of proof is more on those who claim that this is such an uncharacteristic romantic love-song?

Update – Again, and especially if you’ve read this far, please make sure to read Seamus’s comments also!

(For more Korean song translations, please see here)


16 thoughts on “One More Chance (나 좀 봐줘) by The Grace – Dana and Sunday (천상지희 – 다나 & 선데이): Lyrics, Translation, and Explanation

  1. Thanks a lot for translating my request! I had a feeling that this was not a very easy song to translate into English, especially reading the other translations. I think your guess on this song being a chat between two girls may not be too far off the mark. A number of commenters on the song on some of the youtube videos feel as if this is a drunken conversation between friends.

    One thing I realized is that this particular group (CSJH) despite coming from SM has always given off a more womanly feel even at their most innocent in “My Everything”. They always portray themselves as women and not as women acting like little girls or relying on “Oppa”. While I do not hate SNSD (They’re my #1 group), their later songs have this very blatant catered fetish theme. Their Japanese album did not do that, but Genie and beyond was very obvious.


  2. On giving the song to f(x), while Luna may have the vocal chops, this song is quite difficult to sing. What will Amber do since there isn’t really a rap part. I feel like too many people wrote off Dana & Sunday but did not watch their performances. It is refreshing to hear an “old-school” group perform and the girls exude confidence in dancing and singing. I don’t like seeing barely teenage-young adult groups struggle with their 1-2 lines per song. I recommend checking out CSJH’s old material and live performances if you have the time.


  3. OK, bare with me here, I think I can really help you out with this translation. I’ve never read any of the other translations and I’ve avoided actually listening to the song or watching the video so I can offer an unimpeded view of simply what the lyrics mean. Particularly because I think you’ve been thrown off by some of the other translations, which seem to be well wide of the mark judging from your post. Just the title, for a start. It follows that great Korean tradition of having one set English phrase that is the translation for any given Korean phrase, regardless of contextual differences and such. Almost certain that the English title was decided by a Korean. While it is often used where we would say “Give me one more chance” it doesn’t actually mean that. The verb 봐 주다 means to let someone off (for something). If you commit a petty crime, you might say to the police “한 번만 봐 주세요” – meaning “please let me off just this once.” As is often the case in my opinion, however, there are various English phrases that could be used depending on the context in which the Korean phrase was used, and in this case I think the English title gives totally the wrong impression, as you so rightly said.

    Now, I’m going to do some work on the translation – I hope you don’t mind, but I do think I can help you gain some insight, but it might take a while, so I’ll put it in the next comment. :)


    1. 1st verse – not much I’d change. Maybe the last line to “Tonight I’m going to the end” – but that’s no big deal. Bit of info, a 통 usually refers to something rounded, usually a container, so I’d say 통뼈 would be best conveyed in English as something like “barrel-boned” as we have the expression barrel-chested there’s some crossover in meaning.

      Sort of chorus – I’d stick with translating 왕 as king. I know because she’s a woman it doesn’t make literal sense, but in the context I think there’s a reason for it. One, because the lyrics are supposed to be empowering, so a woman is the king. Next, in Korean you have the idea of the “princess” which I know you know all about, and the queen is therefore just a slightly older version. It’s not often used like that in common vernacular, but I’ve always felt that there’s a bit of a… 느낌 about the word queen that wouldn’t quite fit here.

      Next we have that old devil, the -니 question form. Now, to me, I’m going to go out on a limb here and venture that because the -니 form is being used she is actually talking directly to someone. Is it a male someone or a female someone? Don’t know. Is it multiple someones or a single someone? Again, I don’t know, I’ll leave that to you to establish the context. As for the term 먹여 살리다 you could have done much worse than opting for “support.” I think there’s more to it than that though – it’s slightly stronger. If the women are being 먹여 살리ed by men, then they are only alive and in the place/state they are thanks to men. Literally of course it means to feed and keep alive.

      Then you have the line “나! 나 좀! 놔줘! 먹여 살렸니”, the last part of which I would translate as “did you pay my way (all this time)?” It’s not a perfect translation, because the Korean phrase isn’t just talking about money, but I do think something stronger than “support” is needed. Also, sticking with what I said above, I think she’s talkign directly to someone. I think it’s a challenge, and also thus more empowering in my view.

      Accordingly, “지금이 최고로 마른 건데 살쪘대” – “I’m as thin as I’ve ever been but you say I’ve put on weight.”
      “나! 나 좀! 봐줘! 아 쭉쭉 간다

      나! 나 좀! 봐줘! 아 기운 없어” These lines were itneresting because they’re echoed towards the end of the song with a different ending. the tone of these two lines is quite down, fed up with it all. It’s also slightly angry I think. “Just let me off! Argh, I’ll so it right // Just let me off! Argh, I’ve got no energy.” I don’t think “I’ve got no energy” is perhaps the most natural translation of the Korean, but because of the alteration later in the song “기운 내서” I think it’s the only way to match the Korean literary pairing of the two lines. And I think I outlined my view on “봐 줘” above.

      Verse 2 – 걔 is a contraction of 그 애, or literally “that kid.”

      “그 옆에 서면 내 얼굴 진짜 작아 보이더라구” I think you’re actually a little off with your explanation of “-더라구.” It’s not slang, it’s an entirely different construction. The only slang is using 구 instead of 고, which would technically be the correct form. How it’s used is to recall a fact from the past that isn’t instantly obvious right now. In this case, she has stood next to him, and she thinks her head did look small, so she says “작아 보이더라구” as this fact would be the same were she to stand next to him again, but she’s recalling the fact from past events. So, the translation would be more like “When I stand next to him my face looks really small” – simply that, because I don’t think we really have a direct English equivalent.

      Your translation “I’m never going to be so in love with a guy” is perfectly fine, except that it could be misread as saying that she could never be in love with a guy as she is with him right now, when in fact it’s more the opposite. She could never love someone to the extent of Adam and Eve, so perhaps I would say “I could never love someone that much.”

      Then we;ve got the line “나! 나 좀! 봐줘! 자꾸 생각나” cropping up again. For the first part obviously I’ll stick with my previous translation, deficient/insufficient though it may be. For the “자꾸 생각나” I’m not really sure. Later on she talks about 네가 생각나” which means the person she’s talking to is cropping up constantly in her thoughts. Is this the same meaning? What is it she keeps thinking about (unintentionally it should be noted)? Is it the man, or just the themes she’s discussing?

      There’s more coming in the next comment – sorry!


      1. Verse 3 – I’m not sure who she’s telling to 놔 줘. I would assume this is directed at the/a man. I’ve just literally this second had a thought that maybe there are two men. Or, perhaps, there’s the big headed guy who she’s with and the other men in society at large (possibly along with women in society) who are trying to control her and make her live/behave in a certain way. Perhaps it’s them she’s telling to 놔 줘. I think the person she wants to have the 100 minutes’ talk with is probably a friend, but if my second guess is somewhere near accurate, the meaningful talk could be with big head. Ambiguous to me.

        “난 먹고 자고 울고 웃고 사랑하고 다 저울질하고 때로는 미워하고” – “I eat and drink and cry and laugh // and consider/weigh up all of them and sometimes I hate/despise.” But what does she hate/despise? Also, that’s not a great translation of 미워하다 but I can’t think of something better right now. Usually it’s referring to a person. Is she saying she hates herself sometimes? Is she saying she hates the guy sometimes? Or the others in society? Or is it someone else who’s sometimes hating her? Again, I’m struggling to get the deeper meaning from these lines.

        I have a question for you here though – you say she’s still talking to her female friend because she opened the song by saying let’s drink together. But where does she say that? In the first verse I can only see the English “let’s go” but I find it hard to use the random English to explain the actual plot of the narrative. I think it’s just thrown in there because it’s English. Sure, she talks about drinking, she says what drink she likes, but does that mean for the rest of the song she’s talking over drinks with a female friend? Possibly, I’m not saying you’re wrong, just that I’m not completely convinced you’re right.

        Last verse – “왜 자꾸 자꾸 네가 생각나니 이상해”. I think you’ve missed something in this line. Because of the word “네가” we know that she’s saying “Why do I keep keep thinking of you?” More literally, “why do you keep keep being thought of (by me)”. In Korean, this sentence shows clearly that she’s not intentionally thinking of this “you” but that it happens involuntarily, but this is harder to convey in English.

        “들어봐 온 가슴이 그렇게 말해 이게 사랑이래” – I think the meaning of this line is that her heart is beating very fast and hard. The first word “들어 봐” means “listen” in the imperative form. She’s telling the person she’s talking to to listen. Again, I think this backs up my theory that she is in fact talking directly to someone or someones. Also, from the context provided by the previous line and the remainder of this, it seems to me fairly certain now that in this verse at least she’s talking directly to one man, probably big head. So, my translation here – “Listen; my whole heart is saying it, that this is love.” Again, the English added on is pointless, meaningless and probably lifted from or “inspired” by the classic line “I got you babe.” I wish it wasn’t there.

        “나! 나 좀! 봐줘! 자, 기운 내서 나! 나 좀! 봐줘! 가는 거야” – This is the part I mentioned before. Earlier she said she had no energy – 기운 없어. Now she says “자, 기운 내서 가는 거야.” This is what the complete sentence should be, the rest is just to add some literary colour to it. It means “Right, I’ve 내ed (or I am 내ing) my energy and now I’m going.” So how do we translate 내다? This, too, is hard to translate into natural English. It’s a voluntary, self-controlled verb. The person who says it is the person who’s doing it. They are finding their energy and are almost releasing it through their body. I guess the best way to translate it would be to say “Right, I’ve found my energy so now I’m going”, although this doesn’t quite convey the entire meaning of the Korean.

        We must contrast it with the previous coupling line, though. Before in the song she was troubled, slightly depressed, bitter even. Now she’s determined, strong and willful. Before she had no energy, now she herself has gathered up the energy and is going.

        So… what do you think? Sorry to pull apart your translation, but I hope you can at least appreciate the different view, even if you don’t agree with it (and there’s no reason why you should!). As I said, this is based on the lyrics as they’re written down, I haven’t tried to extrapolate from hearing the song or watching the video, and I haven’t been influenced by any other translations – apart from yours – because I haven’t read them, only what you’ve written here.


        1. No need to apologize: on the contrary, that’s exactly what I was after!

          I’ll consider everything you wrote carefully over the weekend (dealing with kids and an editing job right now sorry), and somehow incorporate it all into the post.


          1. Thanks. And now that my latest Korean Gender Reader post is up, then – fingers crossed – I’ll finally be able to properly look at Seamus’s translations tomorrow!


          2. Thanks again for all your hard work Seamus, and sorry – as always – for my procrastination. I have an 8 page printout of all your comments on my desk in front of me, but although I fully expected to cover it in red ink, it turns out I have only a few very minor disagreements with all of what your wrote above. Either way, it’s much too much information to incorporate into the post proper unfortunately, so I’ve added a note in the post to encourage (well, I should insist on it really!) interested readers to read your comments also.

            Before I forget, for the record I should point out that those alternative translations I link to may be better than I give them credit for, especially in light of the mistakes you’ve pointed out with my own. And to be honest, I didn’t exactly go over them with a fine tooth-comb either, only really those parts that were so at odds with my own translation.


  4. Dig this tune. It’s unconventional both in sound and lyrics, and I feel it was underrated by many. Let’s just say when allkpop veer away from their gossip translation roots and try to write things on their own, I’m often embarassed. Critics they’re not.

    Kenzie’s not unfamiliar with unconventional lyrics, like the ones she’s done for f(x), which are more often silly and fun than empowering, admittedly.


  5. I could be totally off target since I don’t known Korean at all, but I think you’re still taking the lyrics too literally.

    The way I see it, Dana and Sunday themselves are not the same person in the verses as in the chorus.

    The girl they are in the verses is self-absorbed and whiny, a klutz (as they demonstrate in the MV, where Sunday trips over her own feet and Dana pokes herself with her own sunglasses), rather immature. She worries too much about her looks and whether or she can get a man. The verses are very high pitchwise to accentuate the whiny-ness.

    The woman in the chorus is confident and mature, she laughs at the suggestion that she needs a man to live properly. The woman in the chorus doesn’t trip, and sings in a much deeper voice (so much so that Dana cannot sing the chorus live, she has to lipsync when it’s her turn). She doesn’t need a man, and she’s rejecting the stereotype that women are supposed to act like the girl in the verses.


    1. And the main reason I say this is because I know their discography well. Those high, cutesy voices are common in Kpop as a whole, but CSJH the Grace never used them, they were far more likely to be blatantly sexual and/or dismissive of men.


  6. This is the first time I’m actually listening to the song – and I’ve played it like 10 times in the past half hour. I like it a lot! Plus I’m always a fan of female empowerment :)

    Reading the lyrics first and then watching the video, it actually makes a lot more sense as a whole. The part when they’re on their phones and all glammed up at the press conference are them trying and failing to be what they’re expected to be – cute, coy, poised, all the time, no breaks. But once they’re free of that they strut about like kings in their brightly colored outfits and roll around in their bright yellow convertible. In public they have to put on a show, but when they’re out of the public eye they can be whomever they want. i’m a fan, for sure. It was obviously a hastily put-together, (comparatively) low budget video, but it does have some sense to it.


  7. SME shipped them off to japan when things started looking up for them in Korea
    They are the female Dong Bang Shin Ki when it comes to vocal prowess (at least back when DBSK was a complete group and had their main vocalists)
    Now we have a comeback with the vocal powerhouses gone AWOL and the very talented Dana and sunday singing an f(x) throwaway track

    I appreciate the meaning of the lyrics but to see CSJH come back with this song was a total buzz kill

    THIS is the real CSJH


  8. Are we really living in the age of Amazon as they say. I would like to see them stand in the line of fire…. or control riots in the middle east… help with the flooding in Thailand. They are entertainers still because they want fame and fortune. What is Girl Power? Girl power mean that boys have to give in to everything that they want? I understand from all my relationships past and present, half the time, they don’t know what they want. Girl power means to me is “fuck it”, we will do it as we please. Sure they can. But don’t cry like my ex does. There are consequences to every princess actions. Throwing a tantrum once in a while is acceptable. But should not be a motto that is constantly piss off with the opposite sex. Woman live longer than man and it is hard be piss off for such long time.

    I could only said to korean girls is please don’t screw up our mind in order for boy to get them a handbag. It is not worth destroying any relationship for. You don’t have to push things to the limit.


    1. Y’know, your little ramble really shouldn’t get a response, but what else do I exist for if not to reply to people who can’t string together an argument?

      Do you seriously think that there aren’t women involved in the fight for democracy in the middle east (which I’m assuming is what you really meant – I mean, unless you’re complaining that they’re not serving the sexist dictatorships that outlaw them serving in such a capacity? which would be dumb), or helping with the flooding in Thailand?

      Also, do you mean to argue that there are no male entertainers seeking fame and fortune? Or that men/boys always know what they want?

      Nobody cares what girl power means to you when all you can do is post an incoherent misogynist rant that has no logical connection to the topic at hand. We especially don’t care when you can’t even manage a working definition.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s