Archive for May, 2016

Village of a Poet – Jeong Taechoon

May 22, 2016

In my last post, I explained how I was introduced to the music of Jeong Taechoon. Give it a listen. Let me know what you think.

Expo 86 – Karma Song

May 22, 2016

Expo 86 - Village of a Poet

In 1986, I went out west to Vancouver for Expo 86. I had a great time touring the pavilions, watching the films and the live performances, trying the multi-media displays and reading everything that I could get my hands on.

When I visited the Korean pavilion, I found myself appreciating the music that was being played. They had created a mixed tape of various Korean performers. Although I did not understand the lyrics, I really enjoyed the music. I asked about the songs that they were playing on their boom box and one of the attendents offered to make me a copy of the mixed tape. I don’t remember how much I paid, but it was definitely less than 10 bucks. I went back a few hours later and picked up my new cassette and thanked them for their kindness.

Over the next few days, I listened to the tape in my portable cassette player (it wasn’t a walkman brand). When I went to fly home, there was a young couple in the seats in front of me. I think he could hear the songs bleeding out of my headphones and he commented that I was listening to Korean music. He told me that they were Korean and we talked about the pavilion at Expo 86. I handed him my music player and told him that I really liked the song that was playing. He listened to it and smiled and said that the singer was Jeong Taechon. He told me that the song was one of his favourites and that if I wanted, he would translate the lyrics for me into English. I have treasured the song and the lyrics for almost thirty years now.

For years, I have copied the songs from one cassette to another. Eventually, I packed up the page with the lyrics. Then it became harder to have cassette players handy. In 2013, I found the song with English subtitles on youtube and I was very happy. (That’s how I knew how to spell┬áJeong Taechon!) I will share the youtube video in my next post.