Broke Up Today

Saturday, April 15, 2017




Oscar Wilde said that the truth is rarely pure and never simple. Well I used to think that the truth is always pure and simple; it is just about saying things as the way it is. However, as I grow up my perspective got widened. And I think I begin to get the point why Wilde said that. I guess I understand why he said that the truth is rarely pure and never simple. First of all, I realize that telling the truth is different from telling the fact or the reality. If something is valued as “true”, then there is other thing that is valued as “false”. And now we come to the second thing of all; whose value of “true” and “false” is that? Whether it is the truth or the fact or the reality, it is just not as simple and pure as telling things the way it is. It is all about perspective and interpretation of who says that; and we are back to the classic Friedrich Nietzsche quote stated that there is no fact among us, only interpretations. Hence, the truth is rarely pure and never simple, since it contains perspective and interpretation of the person who holds the truth and speaks of it. And when a romance relationship is over, though it is the truth that it is over, it is rarely pure and never simple.

I should have stayed and told you that I was hurt, our memories of love should have held you back. You live for tomorrow, I live in today, there is no possibility that anyone or anything can make me smile on this day.” –Younha, Broke Up Today (오늘 헤어졌어요)

The song I would like to write about this time is a Korean song titled “Broke Up Today (오늘 헤어졌어요)”, performed by Korean singer-songwriter, Go Yoon Ha, or famously known as her stage name, Younha. The melancholic ballad track was released on December 11th 2009 as the lead single from her album, “Part B: Growing Season”. This album is technically the singer’s fourth album, though officially it is only a part of the third album as a whole, as referenced by the album title. “Broke Up Today (오늘 헤어졌어요)” was written by Lee Kwan and Younha’s fellow singer-songwriter, Hwayobi. Lyrically, this sad song speaks about the experience of a heartbreaking breakup, as the narrator of the song finds it hard to accept the truth with all of the mixed-feelings while wondering, “I suppose I just can’t be the one; how much more will I have to cry before you love me?”


"Growing Season" album cover | source: www.lionmedia.co.kr

Listening to this song makes me remember the day when I broke up with my then-boyfriend. Indeed, the truth of breaking up is rarely pure and never simple. We can never got prepared for a breakup no matter how bad the situation has been before and until the breakup. Reality always hits hard whenever it is coming. The fact is always hard to handle whenever we face it. We are lost for words. We got teary eyes. We feel choked. We feel like our face is buried in the dirt. As many words as we want to say, nothing comes out but a silent cry. As the silence is creeping and being filled with tears, the anger is taking over, though we do not really know what or who to blame. “After covering up my face with a pure white muffler, I waited for you as I blinked my red eyes. Those words I wanted to say, I’m still not sure exactly what they are though. An awkward nod with a clogged throat, tears filled the empty space between us as we took a step back. The anger rolled up in me as I yelled at you to go, even though it seems I’ve already escaped far away.”
Listening to this song makes me reminiscing the day when a romance relationship ended in the past. Indeed, the truth of separation is rarely pure and never simple. We can never be prepared for a separation no matter how clear and rational the reason is. Reality always hits harsh whenever it is coming. The fact is always difficult to accept whenever we face it. After the anger has passed, there is train of thoughts that is coming in a heartbeat. And suddenly the memories of those great and beautiful days spent together are floating in our mind. “The sound of your heartbeat rings and echoes in my ear, the memory of your lips that I’ve locked away becomes clearer. Since when and where did we were drifting apart, when you have loved me until yesterday?” And we cannot help but wondering when and where things went wrong, and what was the thing that went wrong exactly. It is because we cannot just accept it right away. It is because it hurts. “The truth is, I was so happy that it hurts me more, I hate myself for being deceived by love.”
When things were wonderful, then where did it go wrong? When things were beautiful, then when did it go wrong? When things were great, then what did go wrong? After the painful memories have passed, there is this deep regret comes to the surface. The regret comes from the guilty feeling as a form of self-defense mechanism. We tend to blame ourselves by thinking that we should have done better to avoid the breakup. “I should have stayed and told you that I was hurt, our memories of love should have held you back. You live for tomorrow, I live in today, there is no possibility that anyone or anything can make me smile on this day.” After the regret comes, here comes another realization that we have really broken up. In this state, sadness cannot be avoided. And still, in the end, we tend to blame ourselves for what happened. “Broke up today, we’ve broken up, if you think you could understand my heart, then please cry with me. I supposed that I just can’t be the one, I suppose that I’m just not, how much longer do I have to cry until you could love me properly?”


"Growing Season" album jacket photo | source: www.lionmedia.co.kr

The thing about a breakup is that it is never a both ways decision. Hence in accepting the truth of a breakup (which is rarely pure and never simple) people will put up their self-defense mechanism. There are some steps they have to go through first before they could reach the state of acceptance. And there are different ways for every person. For some people, their way of self-defense is blaming themselves. They tend to blame themselves by thinking that it is all indeed their own fault that the relationship is over; that they did not do their best while they could, that they did not treat their significant other well while they were together, that they did not give the best for their partner. They tend to blame themselves by thinking that everything still could be fixed yet they did not do their best effort to fix it. They tend to blame themselves by thinking that they are indeed not good enough for their significant other and did not deserve the love; that they do deserve to get hurt like this. Well, I was that kind of people too. I tend to blame myself too as a form of my self-defense mechanism in being hurt. Though I understand that it is not entirely true; how could I fix anything if the decision itself is one-sided? No matter what I said, he would never be able to stay. No matter how long I have cried, he would never be able to love me properly. No matter how hard I have tried, I would never be able to be the one. And that is the thing about accepting the truth: it is rarely pure, never simple, and always bitter.

Broke up today, we’ve broken up, if you think you could understand my heart, then please cry with me. I supposed that I just can’t be the one, I suppose that I’m just not, how much longer do I have to cry until you could love me properly?” –Younha, Broke Up Today (오늘 헤어졌어요)




새하얀 머플러에 얼굴울 묻고붉어진 눈을 깜빡이며 기다렸어
(Saehayan meophulleoe eolgureul mutgo pulgeojin nuneul kkamppagimyeo neol gidaryeosseo)
((After covering up my face with a pure white muffler, I waited for you as I blinked my red eyes))
무슨얘길 하고픈지 알것도 같은데 모르겠어
(Museunyaegil hagopheunjui geumal algetto gateunde moreugesseo)
((Those words I wanted to say, I’m still not sure exactly what they are though))
어색한 눈인사에 목이 메이고 한발 물러선 우리 공간에 눈물 터지고
(Eosaekhan nunisae mugi meigo hanbeon mulleoseon uri deul gonggane nunmul teojido)
((An awkward nod with a clogged throat, tears filled the empty space between us as we took a step back))
화가나서 소리치듯 가란 내말은 벌써 아주멀리 달아나버렸어
(Hwaganaseo sorichideut karan naemareun beolsseo neon ajumeolli taranabeoryeosseo)
((The anger rolled up in me as I yelled at you to go, even though it seems I’ve already escaped far away))

오늘 헤어졌어요 우리 헤어졌어요 내맘 같다면 옆에서 같이 울어줘요
(Oneul heeojyeosseoyo uri heeojyeosseoyo naemam algeot gattamyeon yeopheseo kachi ureojwoyo)
((Broke up today, we’ve broken up, if you think you could understand my heart, then please cry with me))
나는 안되나봐요 역시 아닌가봐요 얼마나 더울어야 제대로 사랑할까요
(Naneun andoenabwayo yeokshi aningabwayo eolmana teoureoya jedaero saranghalkkayo)
((I supposed that I just can’t be the one, I suppose that I’m just not, how much longer do I have to cry until you could love me properly?))

귓가엔 심장소리 그대 울리고 지운 번호 지울수록 더욱 또렷해지고
(Kwitkaen shimjangsori geudae ulligo jiun ni peonho jiulsurok teouk ttoryeothaejigo)
((The sound of your heartbeat rings and echoes in my ear, the memory of your lips that I’ve locked away becomes clearer))
언제부터 어디부터 멀어진건지 분명히 어제까진 사랑했는데
(Eonjebuteo eodibuteo meoreojigeonji punmyeongi eojekkajin nal saranghaetneunde)
((Since when and where did we were drifting apart, when you have loved me until yesterday?))

오늘 헤어졌어요 우리 헤어졌어요 내맘 같다면 옆에서 같이 울어줘요
(Oneul heeojyeosseoyo uri heeojyeosseoyo naemam algeot gattamyeon yeopheseo kachi ureojwoyo)
((Broke up today, we’ve broken up, if you think you could understand my heart, then please cry with me))
나는 안되나봐요 역시 아닌가봐요 얼마나 더울어야 제대로 사랑할까요
(Naneun andoenabwayo yeokshi aningabwayo eolmana teoureoya jedaero saranghalkkayo)
((I supposed that I just can’t be the one, I suppose that I’m just not, how much longer do I have to cry until you could love me properly?))

참좋았어 너무 좋아서 아프죠 사랑에 속은 내가 미워
(Cham johasseo neomu joaseo deo apheujyo sarange tto sogeun naega miwo)
((The truth is, I was so happy that it hurts me more, I hate myself for being deceived by love))

그냥 나오지말걸 그냥 아프다할걸 우리 사랑한 기억 그게 붙잡아 텐데
(Geunyang naojimalgeol geunyang apheudahalgeol uri saranghan gieog geuge neol putjaba jul tende)
((I should have stayed and told you that I was hurt, our memories of love should have held you back))
너는 내일을 살고 나는 오늘을 살아 아무도 아무것도 웃게할 수는 없어
(Neoneun naeireul salgo naneun oneureul sara amudo amugeotto nal utgehalsu neun eopseo)
((You live for tomorrow, I live in today, there is no possibility that anyone or anything can make me smile on this day))

오늘 헤어졌어요 우리 헤어졌어요 내맘 같다면 옆에서 같이 울어줘요
(Oneul heeojyeosseoyo uri heeojyeosseoyo naemam al geot gattamyeon yeopheseo kachi ureojwoyo)
((Broke up today, we’ve broken up, if you think you could understand my heart, then please cry with me))
나는 안되나봐요 역시 아닌가봐요 얼마나 더울어야 제대로 사랑할까요
(Naneun andoenabwayo yeokshi aningabwayo eolmana teoureoya jedaero saranghalkkayo)
((I supposed that I just can’t be the one, I suppose that I’m just not, how much longer do I have to cry until you could love me properly?))

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