Pray (기도) by Sunny Hill (써니힐): Lyrics, Translation, and Explanation


…Sunny Hill have shaken things up in K-Pop by releasing unconventional music – at least as far as Korean pop is concerned – and they’ve garnered a new following by doing so. Sunny Hill is a talented group and they’re in the hands of creative people who understand the purpose of a concept, in that a concept not only melds visuals with music, but is designed to evoke a powerful response from their audience (Allkpop, September 2011).

Hey, I do like what I’ve heard of Sunny Hill (써니힐) so far, but still: nothing about their music really strikes me as really different. Rather, to me they stand out for their collaboration in in Mamma Mia (맘마미아) by Narsha (나르샤), the first(?) and only(?) Korean music video to feature a Korean woman kissing a Caucasian man, and then for their rare critique of the Korean rat race in The Grasshopper Song (베짱이 찬가). And I’d love to hear of any more such “socially-conscious K-pop” by them.

Pray (기도) though, doesn’t really qualify. But it is one of the darkest music videos I’ve ever seen (for which it was banned on MBC and KBS), and can be very moving. As the reader who asked me to translate it admitted:

Seriously. . . I was crying within the first 15 seconds.  I was a WRECK by the end.  My roommate came in and asked ‘Who died?’  Me? ‘The *hiccup* man in the *hiccup* videooooooo!’  The main character is the type that truly tugs at my heart strings.  Of course, Joseph Merrick comes to mind, but the character has such an. . .how do I put it…almost unspoiled nature.  Innocent in the most pure sense of the work – like the innocence of a child (that’s getting much harder to find today).  What I truly loved, though, is that it fit with the tone of the song but wasn’t melodramatic.  Dramatic, yes, but not melodramatic.

See here for an excellent discussion of all the symbolism in it. Meanwhile, the “mutant” is played by veteran movie actor Lee Jae-yong, and fans have noticed that only three of the five members of the group actually sing, although all of them are featured in the music video:

Save me from broken time

라라라 라라라 라라라 라라라

그 어떤 누군가가 기도하라 꿈꿔라

이뤄진다 했던가 어떤 모든 것들도

다 내게 말해 넌 나를 보고 말해 이젠 제발 멈추라고

한숨은 잔혹하게 거칠게만 들리네

허나 들리지 않아 어떤 구원의 소리

난 기도하네 또 나는 소리치네 누가 나를 꺼내주길

Did someone say your dreams would be achieved if you prayed?

Tell me everything

Now you look at me and tell me to stop

A sigh sounds so cold-hearted and coarse

But I can’t hear the sound of a rescue

I pray, I scream out, I hope someone will help me break out

The chorus is next:

Stand by me and necessary

점점 깊어만가 너를 앓을수록

라라라 라라라 라라라 라라라

Cry for me and I’m sorry

점점 패여만가 너를 잃을수록

제발 다시 안아달라고

멈춰 있던 나를 깨워줘 멈춰 있던 시간 돌려놔

어제처럼 그렇게 나에게만 웃어 보여줘

감춰 있던 슬픔 조여와 감춰 있던 아픔 올라와

헤어지잔 그 말은 아니 아니 아니 아니야

Stand by me, and necessary (pronounced “nesary”)

The more I long for you, the deeper I get

La la la, la la la, la la la, la la la

Cry for me, and I’m sorry

The more I lose you the more empty I am

Please, I beg you, hold me again

Please wake me from my paralysis, please give me back my frozen time

You showed me your laugh like that yesterday

Hidden sorrow is strangling me, hidden pain is rising

“Let’s break up” – those words, no no no

그 어떤 누군가가 사는 게 다 그렇다

무뎌진다 했던가 어떤 모든 것들도

다 내게 말해 넌 나를 보고 말해 제발 정신 차려 좀 달라고

눈물은 빗물 되어 내 몸을 다 적시고

온몸이 얼어붙어 땅에 늘어뜨리고

몸서리치네 또 나는 울부짖네

따라라라 라라라라

Did someone say that life is like that, that you just get used to it?

Tell me everything

You look at me and tell me to hang in there

My tears become like rainwater, I get drenched

I lie down, my whole body frozen to the ground

Dah la la la, la la la la

The chorus is repeated, then finally:

간절히 난 기도하네 listen to the song

대답은 또 나를 울리네

날아가는 나를 잡아줘 날아가는 우릴 돌려놔

떠다니며 잡히지 않아 너를 붙잡지 못해

하루만 더 살아보려고 깨물었던 나의 입술을

사라져가 이제는 아니 아니 아니 아니야.

Save me from broken time

라라라 라라라 라라라 라라라

I sincerely pray, listen to the song

And the answer makes me cry again

Grab me from flying away, turn back our fleeting relationship

It flouts around but cannot be grasped, I cannot grasp you

Just to live one more day, I bite down on my lips

But now it’s vanishing, and it’s not not not not there

Save me from broken time

La la la, la la la, la la la, la la la la


A confession: just before I started translating the final verse, I stumbled across this translation on Youtube (embedding on blogs isn’t allowed sorry), and, finding nothing wrong with it, decided to use it for the final verse here too. Also, I have to admit that the whole translation is much more elegant than mine, so I strongly encourage readers to check it out, especially if you want to read the lyrics as you watch.

But there are some differences though, so I’d be happy to elaborate on those, and/or any other parts of the translation if Korean learners are interested. Alternatively, by all means please correct me if you think I’ve made a mistake!^^

10 thoughts on “Pray (기도) by Sunny Hill (써니힐): Lyrics, Translation, and Explanation

  1. Ah yes, Sunny Hill are blurring the lines of what a so-called idol group is and isn’t. I really enjoyed The Grasshopper Song, their catchiest yet, plus funny lyrics with a timely message.

    They’ve been quite ‘socially conscious’ lately, and maybe more so on some album tracks. Both these tracks have lyrics written by some of the members themselves:

    “Let’s Talk About”:

    Think it(attempt at translation in the video description) seems to be about the hysteria and double standards of life in the spotlight

    “Bad Guy” is “1st idol [song] to diss current president” – – – which has been denied, and at the surface it’s just a love song, but it seems pretty obvious to me looking at the lyrics and context. Here’s that song


    1. Thanks for the suggestions, especially Let’s Talk About. Actually, judging by the lyrics, I think it’s more about body exposure and celebrity, but whichever one of us is right (the lyrics look pretty vague really) it’s incentive enough to translate that song too.

      It’s a real pity I don’t really like that or Bad Boys though. Neither quite compares to The Grasshopper Song….reeng-a-reeng-a-reeeng :)


  2. Sorry, but this just made laugh quite a lot. I didn’t find it particularly dark or disturbing – possibly because the mutant’s makeup was so amateurish and his(?) design so derivative and uninspired.


    1. Sure, I wasn’t particularly moved either. But I can see how others might be, and I wouldn’t go so far as to say the make-up was amateurish – judging by the video, it took a lot of work. But you’re entitled to your opinion of course!


      1. Surprisingly, it wasn’t the make-up that moved me. I do a lot of work with the mentally disabled and from the first sound out of his mouth, it’s a sound I’ve heard before – it roped me in before I even saw the burlap sack. Plus, I liked how the actor chose to portray his ‘discovery’ – it would have been predictable for him to have just gone off and start smashing things. Instead, he kind of just broke down.

        Plus, come on, the ear at the end? EW!


  3. “…the first(?) and only(?) Korean music video to feature a Korean woman kissing a Caucasian man, and…” Which has now all but doomed(lost fans) them from henceforth.


    1. I don’t know what the reaction to the video was – it would be interesting to find out. But I think there might not have been much of one at all – frankly, I think most Koreans have no idea whatsoever of the huge imbalance between Korean male – Foreign female and Korean female – foreign male pairings in Korean popular culture, and still wouldn’t be all that interested or concerned if they did.


  4. Hi, James!
    I’m not sure if you still do these lyric translations, but I have a suggestion/request.
    Would you consider dissecting Rapmon’s (from BTS) lyrics, and what they mean for a feminist? Specifically, I’m thinking of his song “Joke” which has several references to women which as a non-Korean speaker can be hard to understand simply from a fan translation. I understand it’s a lot of work, so don’t feel obligated at all!
    Thank you for all the great posts!


    1. Thanks for the compliments, and I’d like to, but…long story short, I would like to start doing translations again, but if and when I do it’ll just be for the sake of letting my hair down between more serious posts, so I’ll only be doing songs I like. If it’s any consolation though, your comment has gotten me all energized thinking about potential songs (and enjoying the feeling and looking forward to working on them!), so that long-awaited restart may be quite soon thanks to you! :)

      p.s. Sorry I took so long to reply!


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