It was raining as if bidding farewell to the spring on the wane when I stood at the Bundang Memorial Park in Bundang, some 20 kilometers south of Seoul, on May 16. I found myself standing at the tomb-side of the late Kim Hyun-sik (1958. 1.7 – 1990. 11.1), a famous singer, on the slope of Mt. Youngjang being showered by the sudden rain. I felt like listening to “Like Rain, Like Music,” a famous song he left behind.
The popular singer, once called “the emperor of underground music,” was noted for his heartrending voice. He also deserves to be called one of the original Hallyu singers in the late 1980s who helped create the Korean wave in Japan and other foreign countries.
More than 20 years have already passed since his death. At his grave side, a heavy tombstone having a lot of porous on the surface looked erected with a hope of having him breath freely even after his death. Kim who died of cirrhosis of the liver is said to have suffered short of breath until his final moment.
Kim doesn’t seem to be loney.
That’s because another musician named Lee Young-hoon (1960.3.6 – 2008.2.14), two years younger than him, came to be buried at his neighborhood. Kim is presumed to be happy to have a music friend nearby 18 years after his death. In my imagination, Kim is tuning up his guitar with a new melody composed by Lee for him.
Lee was a famous popular song composer in the period from the late 1980s through the 1990s. He made most of Lee Moon-se’s hit songs such as “A young girl”, “When love passes by” and “Love song of Gwanghwamun.” It is not too much to say that he left behind an inerasable footprint in the history of the Korean popular songs.
Like the lyrics of Lee’s song, I engraved the smells of May flowers in my heart at the Mt. Youngjang drenched with rain.
I was trying to capture a drop of rain falling on tombstone, likewise tried to feel blessing, longing and a miracle.
It was too sad to stand before the tomb of Park Yong-ha (1977.8.12 – 2010.6.30), a famous TV talent and singer, who died so young.
I wonder what made him rush to his death. I just feel sorry.
“Yong-ha, you must have suffered an unbearable hardship. Sorry, really sorry.”
“Now you can rest in peace in the vicinity of the elder brothers. You can let loose now. Cry and laugh as much as you want”
I feel like hearing the voice of Kim and Lee comforting Yongha.
The sun shone more strongly after the rain which accompanied thunder and lightning, making the mountain region
look brighter and greener.
Kris Min firstname.lastname@example.org
Russia, Attended Kim Il-sung University, PhD in Korean History, Leningrad State University, Professor at Australian National University(1996), Professor at Kookmin University, Contributor for The AsiaN
Egypt, Editor of Al-Arabi Magazine in Kuwait, Chief of The AsiaN's Middle East Bureau
Nepal, Reporter of The Rising Nepal
Pakistan, Pakistan Press International Editor, Contributor for The AsiaN
India, SPOTFILMS CEO, FORMEDIA Chairman
Egypt, Managing Editor of the AsiaN's Middle East Bureau, Graduate Student of Mass Communication and Journalism at Ahram Canadian University
Singapore, President of Asia Journalist Association