Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Cluster of a Million Roses

A priest tells us how moved he was by the words of an old Russian  pop song that was given new words by a well-known Korean vocalist some years ago.  An article he read about the song  impressed him enough to make him want to learn to sing the song: he liked the catchy tune and the words.

He attended the 30th anniversary to the priesthood of the Anglican Bishop of Seoul and at the congratulation ceremony, he heard the song again;  this time it was with the original Russian music but with the new words from the Korean vocalist.  The bishop at the meeting with the journalists asked," Were you  able to savor the  meaning of the song?" One of the journalists was surprised to hear this kind of music in such a serious setting but when the Bishop repeated the words from the first stanza and said  for us  this is Jesus isn't it? He came to spread among us millions of flowers.  It all made sense. Without his explanation most  would have missed the meaning of the song.

The original story behind the words in the Russian song was the unrequited love of an unknown painter for an actress. The actress happened to come to his town for a concert, and he decided to show his love for the actress by selling all his possessions and  buying a million roses to spread on the piazza in front of the hotel where the actress was staying. The Korean vocalist took this story and changed the words as found below.

Way in the past I  came from a star far away
Heard a small voice telling me
Go give love and return.

Only when loving
Will flowers bloom will the million flowers bloom
Only with  sincere love
Will roses of love bloom.

Without hate,hate,hate  in our hearts
Love  giving lavishly lavishly 
Will we have millions millions  millions of flowers bloom
And I will be able to return to my beautiful  longed for land  of stars.

 Many  tears of anquish have been shed, what is true love
 Many tears of anquish have been shed  what is true love
There were so many people separated it was a very sad world.

After many seasons had  past
After he gave of his all
Like a light suddenly
That love embraced me.

Without hate,hate,hate  in our hearts
Love given  lavishly, lavishly 
Will we have millions millions  millions of flowers bloom
And I will be able to return to my beautiful  longed for land  of stars.

Now if all should leave me
Love will remain
The one that came to me from  that star
Waited  so long
Being   together with him
many more flowers will bloom
Becoming one  we will return to the  eternal star.

No more hate no more hate
Only giving lavishly of  love
Will the million clusters of flowers  give bloom
And I will be able to go to the longed for and beautful   land of  stars.

 The vocalist was reflecting on her life which was filled with many trials and sadness; for many love is not what  it was thought to be. Despite her own divorce and many other trials this song  expressed her faith life.  The refrain appears  six times with its catchy rhythm.

Koreans love to sing and many of their songs can be interpreted as hymns: a desire for what is not. Not paying too much attention to the  theology one can understand the emotion that underlies the words and the hope that always remains in the healthy person's heart.


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