White Handkerchief

Sunday, June 14, 2015


source: here

In the last post, I talked a little bit about father-daughter relationship, in particular which I have with my dad. So I think I would like to talk a little bit about mother-daughter relationship too, well, just to be fair. I still live in my hometown even now, I was born here, grew up here, studied here, and now I work here too. Therefore I never know what it’s like to really say goodbye to my parents, to leave hometown, to live somewhere far away for a long time. But my hometown is away from home for some of my friends. It’s a town where they come from their own hometowns to study. And everytime I see my friends say goodbye to their parents, I can’t help but being choked up. One day, I had to leave town for several months, and that’s the first time I saw my mom’s face with mixed emotions. Children are eventually growing up and leaving their house, and all parents must prepare for that; that’s what my mom always says. Even though she said that, I knew that she wasn’t prepared at that time. I was like, “Ah, so this is how it feels.” That was how my friends and their parents felt. When we were teenagers, we were so rush to grow up to leave the house. But when that time finally comes, it’s mixed feelings.

When I left hometown, she was standing on the hill and waved the white handkerchief in tears.” –Twin Folio, The White Handkerchief (하얀 손수건)

Today’s song for Moments Of Our Lives is a classic Korean hit titled “The White Handkerchief (하얀 손수건)”. This song was originally performed by Greek singer, Nana Mouskouri, in 1967. In 1969, Korean legendary folk duo consisted of Song Chang Sik and Yoon Hyung Ju, Twin Folio, released a cover version. This folk pop song was performed on the South Korea’s entertainment music program, “Immortal Songs 2: Singing the Legend”, for the first time by male vocal group, Sweet Sorrow, during episode 68 when Yoon Hyung Ju appeared as the legend along with other member of C’est Si Bon, Kim Se Hwan. It was the second part of C’est Si Bon special episodes which was broadcasted by KBS television station on September 29th 2012, and later was aired on KBS World channel on October 20th 2012. Sweet Sorrow did an acapela rendition that made their harmony sounded more beautiful than ever.


Twin Folio's 1st studio album cover - source: maniadb.com

Children are eventually growing up and leaving their house, and all parents must prepare for that. When you read the lyrics of “The White Handkerchief (하얀 손수건)”, it may seems like a song from someone saying goodbye to their lover as they leave the town, perhaps for working in another town. But in my perspective, the ‘she’ in this song is a mother. So it’s a child saying goodbye to their mom as they leave hometown for pursuing their dreams. Towards our mothers, sometimes we find it hard to express ourselves. As we grow up, sometimes misunderstandings and disappointments appear. But mothers’ hearts are the same. They just want and do they think the best for their children, though sometimes we think it’s the other way around. “With the letter she sent me to say goodbye, there was a white handkerchief neatly folded. When I left hometown, she was standing on the hill and waved the white handkerchief in tears.”
All parents basically realize that children are eventually growing up and leaving their house. But when that time finally comes, who knows what’s really inside their hearts? Every child’s fear is whether they disappoint their parents. Every parents’ fear is whether they’re not giving the best for their children. When it’s finally time to be a grown up and leave the house, say goodbye to our parents, every moment of our childhood suddenly flashes back in our minds. Our parents surely have given up so many things to raise us. When it’s finally time to leave them, we can’t help but realize all the hardships they’ve been through while rising us. Mom’s white handkerchief that was full of her tears is now full of our tears instead. Parents; we might resent them a lot while we’re young, but when we’ve grown up, we would miss them more than anything. “Gone are the traces of tears from the past, and now my tears drip down on it.”

Sweet Sorrow performed "The White Handkerchief" on episode 68 of "Immortal Songs 2"

Boohwal performed "The White Handkerchief" on episode 172 of "Immortal Songs 2"

Sweet Sorrow might be the first to perform “The White Handkerchief (하얀 손수건)” in “Immortal Songs 2”, but the first time I was being hooked with this song was when the Korean legendary rock band, Boohwal, performed it on the episode 172. It was the second part of the “Legendary Folk Duos Special” episodes which was aired on KBS television station on November 8th 2014 and broadcasted by KBS World channel on November 29th 2014. Boohwal arranged this song in my favorite genre, rock ballad. For that performance, Boohwal’s leader and guitarist, Kim Tae Won, brought over a choir called the Youth Choir. And it turned out very fantastic! The rock ballad orchestra rendition of “The White Handkerchief (하얀 손수건)” was so amazing and the harmony was so sensational, making it into my list of 7 Most Fantastic Winning Performances on “Immortal Songs 2” of 2014 last year. Breathtakingly heartwrenching.

Gone are the traces of tears from the past, and now my tears drip down on it.” –Twin Folio, The White Handkerchief (하얀 손수건)





“Heeojija bonaeon geunyeoui pyeonji soke gobge jeobeo hamkke buchin hayan sonsugeon
(With the letter she sent me to say goodbye, there was a white handkerchief neatly folded)
Gohyangeul tteonaolttae eondeoke hollo seoseo nunmullo heundeureojudeon hayan sonsugeon
(When I left hometown, she was standing on the hill and waved the white handkerchief in tears)

Geuttaeui nunmul jauk sarajyeo beorigo heureuneun nae nunmuri geu wireul jeoksine
(Gone are the traces of tears from the past, and now my tears drip down on it)”

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