7 Ultimate Sad Songs: Korean Male-Female Duet Edition

Monday, January 23, 2017




Sometimes, we do not feel sad all alone. Sometimes, two people who have been together for a long time could meet a big hurdle that shake them up and make them wonder whether the love is still worth fighting for; and there is sadness in it. Sometimes, two people who have been separated for years after a painful breakup could meet again, only to realize that the feeling is still there; and there is sadness in it. Sometimes, two people who are in a long-term relationship could find themselves no longer in love with each other as they are getting wear out and the feeling fades away; and there is sadness in it. Sometimes, two people who both know that they no longer can be together have to face a painful separation with an open heart, though it hurts as hell; and there is sadness in it. Sometimes, two people who used to be so in love could become distant and cold towards each other, and eventually decide to be apart from each other since they realize that the love has faded away due to their immaturity; and there is sadness in it. Sometimes, two people who used to be together still cannot get over each other as they feel regrets only after they separated, since they feel like leaving scars deeper than love towards one another; and there is sadness in it. Sometimes, two people who have been separated are still holding on to the memories of each other since one was the only one for another; they hold on along with anger, disappointment, loss, emptiness, and resentment; and there is sadness in it. Sometimes, two people hurt each other and realize that they unconsciously do that because of different perspective; and there is sadness in it. Still belongs to the Ultimate Sad Songs series, this is the seventh part: seven saddest Korean duets performed by male and female vocalists.

7. Lyn & Leo – 꽃잎놀이 (Blossom Tears)
Starting the list on number seven is a duet titled “꽃잎놀이 (Blossom Tears)”, performed by female soloist, Lee Se Jin a.k.a Lyn, and VIXX’s lead vocalist, Leo. It was released as a single titled “Y.BIRD from Jellyfish with Lyn X Leo” in 2014, and reserved as VIXX’s company, Jellyfish, 4th collaborative project album. The pop R n’ B ballad track was written by Lyn herself. A representative from Jellyfish stated that it is a heartbreaking and a fatal love story about a woman waiting for her one love, a man with a sad fate. However, I personally think that the song’s lyrics follow the story about a long-term couple who are having their hardest time in the relationship and facing the edge of breakup. The harmony of Lyn and Leo sounds so heartbreakingly beautiful. Moreover, I feel so related with the lyrics since we can’t help but hurting or getting hurt in a relationship, like a blossom tears. All we need is just sort it out. When things get hard, people tend to question and wonder why this all happens and whether the love is still there. All you need is just talk it out. As long as the love is still there, no matter how hard the situation is, a relationship is worth fighting for. Just take a look back to those times you’ve spent together, reminisce, and contemplate.


Leo: I loved you, I cared for you; that’s it. I loved you but now I hate you; that’s the one reason.
Lyn: Do you think I don’t know you? You’re lying right now, you still love me; you’re still the same.
Leo: I don’t love you.
Lyn & Leo: You love me, you love me not; I pick the flower petals as I endlessly cry.

6. Jessica & Onew – 1 後 (One Year Later)
Up on number six of the list is a duet titled “1 後 (One Year Later)”, performed by former Girls’ Generation’s main vocalist, Jessica Jung, and SHINee’s leader, Lee Jin Ki a.k.a Onew. This mesmerizing soft pop ballad track was written by Kim Jin Hwan. It was released in 2009, taken from Girls’ Generation’s second extended play, “Tell Me Your Wish (Genie)”. The lyrics follow the story of a man and a woman who used to be together or in a relationship, but then having a painful breakup and after being separated, they meet again one year later. The meeting is full of emotion since it is the first time after a year they’ve been away from each other. There is no more anger, no more pain, no more resentment; only a sad longing toward each other. And that is when they realize that they still belong together. No matter how many time has passed, two destined people will always meet again. And yes, I feel so related too with this song; though for me it is not just one year but four years. See? No matter how long two people have been apart from each other, when they actually belong together, they will meet again for sure, only in order to realize it.


Onew: I wish we can go back to our first days,
Jessica: To the beautiful, happy and loving days.
Onew: Those heart-breaking stories and vain arguments,
Jessica: Just bury all of that now, and promise that we won’t take them out again. No matter how many seasons pass,
Onew: And how many years go by,
Jessica & Onew: I hope that we won’t meet like today again.

5. Urban Zakapa – 사랑하지 않아 (I Don’t Love You)
A song performed by the R n’ B singer-songwriter group, Urban Zakapa, titled “ 사랑하지 않아 (I Don’t Love You)” is on number five of the list. Consisted of Park Yong In, Jo Hyun Ah, and Kwon Soon Il, Urban Zakapa has both male and female voices. It was released as the lead single taken from the group’s fifth extended play, “STILL”, in 2016. This melancholic pop ballad track was written and composed by one of the group’s members, Kwon Soon Il, with the music arranged by Kwon along with Hwang Jun Ik. The lyrics allude to a couple’s separation that is caused a harsh but true reality: they don’t love each other anymore. At some point, love fades away. That is the hard reality we all must accept. However, it takes courage to be able to speak it up. It takes bravery to be able to say it. It takes a very tough heart to be able to make a decision. It takes a lot of power to be able to end the relationship. And the most important thing is that it takes sincerity to be able to tell the truth. t is not an easy thing to do to walk out of a relationship that doesn’t work out anymore. It is a difficult thing to do to end a relationship that has become superficial. The right thing to do is the hardest, most of the times.


“I don’t love you, I’m sure you already know somehow. Even when I see your shedding tears, my heart doesn’t ache anymore. I don’t love you, there’s no other reason. The words of “I’m sorry” or “forgive me”, I don’t even want to say them. It’s just that’s all, this is how I really feel. I don’t love you, I don’t love you.”

4. Lee Moon Sae & Go Eun Hee – 이별 이야기 (The Farewell Story)
Next on number four of the list is a classic duet titled “이별 이야기 (The Farewell Story)”, performed by Korean legendary singer, Lee Moon Sae, and Go Eun Hee. First released in 1987 as a part of Lee’s fourth studio album, this song made him well-known and became one of his signature songs. The beautiful sad song was written by the late Lee Young Hoon, a prominent Korean composer who frequently worked with Lee before he passed away in 2008. It’s also known as “Goodbye, My Love” as its translated title. Its lyrics are talking about goodbye; the story of a farewell. It portrays two lovers who are breaking up; before and during. It depicts how a goodbye is indeed not an easy decision to make and definitely is a difficult thing to do; doesn’t matter whether it’s the greatest choice right now for those two people. The fact that this is a duet song proves that goodbye is actually hard for both sides, indeed, whether it’s the person who leave or the one who is being left. Because eventually, in the end, they both leave each other.


Go: Let’s not shed tears today, since we have the same words in our minds.
Lee: I won’t regret it, but seeing you for the last time gives pain in my heart.
Go & Lee: You can’t say that last word to me, so you write it down with water on the table. I just break down in sorrowful tears like this, my dear, it’s time to say goodbye.

3. Jung Joon Young & Seo Young Eun – 공감 (Sympathy)
Opening the big three of the list is a song performed by my favorite rocker, Jung Joon Young, “공감 (Sympathy)”. The beautiful heart-wrenching song was recorded as a duet with female singer, Seo Young Eun. Released in 2016 as the title song for Jung’s third mini album of the same name, it’s an orchestral soft rock ballad song which was written and composed by Jung himself, with the lyrics were inspired by his past relationship. I feel related with this song, somehow. First of all, I’ve been in this kind of situation some years ago. Secondly, I find a similar situation nowadays, not happening right to me, but a very close to mine. A long-term relationship is wearing people out. I’ve been through that, and yes, it wasn’t easy at all. It makes it possible for two people in it to disclosure everything between them. And sadly, yes, not all is a good thing. As time goes by, whether consciously or not, we’re conforming and bending with one another. In this case, feeling can fade. And what can we do hereafter? Admit it. Just admit that yes, indeed, love is fading, somehow, to some extent. It takes a very brave heart to admit that the feeling of love has fading away. Even when there’s nothing left in the relationship than just sympathy toward one another, it’s indeed a very brave move to admit that. ‘Useless battle’ is a battle that you know you can never win. A battle which you understand, that within the fight, you hurt not only yourself but also your lover. When everything you do is never good enough, stop trying too hard. Maybe it’s time to let go.


JJY: Maybe we’ve got ready to say goodbye without any feelings left at all. We only thought about our own pain, but even those memories are disappearing now.
SYE: Maybe we should have loved without any conditions at all. Worrying about being the first to get hurt, and all things we’ve talked about; they all go away like this.

2. Yim Jae Bum & Lena Park – 사랑보다 깊은 상처 (Scars Deeper than Love)
On the runner up position of the list is a classic duet performed by Korean legendary rocker, Yim Jae Bum, and Korean queen of R n’ B, Park Jung Hyun a.k.a Lena Park, titled “사랑보다 깊은 상처 (Scars Deeper than Love)”. It was first released as a solo track in 1997 taken from Yim’s second solo studio album, “Desire To Fly”. However, the song gained wide popularity when it was recorded as a duet with Park in 1999 for her second studio album, “A Second Helping”. It was an explosive hit and since then, the song was covered by many Korean singers and being the most famous duet song in the country. The soft rock ballad track was written by Shin Jae Hong. The lyrics tell about the sad and longing feeling of someone who can’t forget their love, even after the long and goodbye. Moreover, this sad love song portrait the feeling of someone that having regrets because they have left a deeper pain than love. When we let go of someone we love, sometimes we never know that someday we would regret that. And after all, all that left is regret, which come because they left a pain scar that is deeper than the love. In the end, all that remain is memories, which make us remember forever.


Yim & Park: Now that you’ve left and I can’t even see your smile anymore, but I’ll always remember everything about you. I am, someone who has left you a scar that deeper than the love; now I understand and I find myself in regret.

1. Vibe & Jang Hye Jin – 남자 여자 (That Man, That Woman)
On the top position of the list is a song performed by Korean ballad duo consisted of Yoon Min Soo and Ryu Jae Hyun, Vibe, in collaboration with female soloist, Jang Hye Jin, titled “ 남자 여자 (That Man, That Woman)”. It was released in 2006 as a part of Vibe’s third studio album, “Re-Feel”. This song is a bitter-sweet ballad track about two people that have been separated and can’t seem to move on yet from one another, as they keep reminiscing and questioning about why and how they end up being apart. The lyrics were written from two perspectives; the man and the woman. It’s about how they feel right after their separation. Surprisingly, they feel the same sadness, anger, disappointment, loss, emptiness. And a little hope in it, that one of them would come back for the other. Both the man and the woman then come to a wonder; if they did crazy in love with each other back then, then how did it become this way? If they’re both hurt, then why did it has to be this way? As they reminisce, they realize, they left each other after giving their all, after taking everything from each other. As they remember, they figure out, they just believed in each other without understanding each other’s heart. In the end, reality hits them hard; that no one is coming back for the others; that they have to face the truth. It’s all over. All that was meant to be happened had happened. They just didn’t know that their love would hurt them so bad like this. They just didn’t know that their love would end in vain like this. But now they know. And everything becomes a part of their past now. All aspects of this song are just so sad; the harmonica intro, the melody, the harmony of Yoon Min Soo and Jang Hye Jin’s voices, and the lyrics. It’s really the embodiment of sadness.


Vibe & JHJ: We loved each other like crazy, didn’t we? We loved each other like crazy, didn’t we?
JHJ: The man who left when I gave him my all. The man who didn’t know anything about my heart. The man whom I really did love at one time. I just believed in everything like a fool. Back then, we didn’t know that love is meant separation.
Vibe: I didn’t even know it would be like this.
JHJ: We just believed in everything;
Vibe & JHJ: Both of us.

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