The girl from yesterday

…… And then we promised that we would come back
As two friends in a tomorrow,
When everything would have been forgotten
But we would once again fondly long for each other
And for the time when we were young….

And today you are like a kid
Returning from a yesterday so far away
The promise, like me, has been the fire to warm your heart
Me, the girl from yesterday

Although love has drifted away, its echo remains
And if we belong together, I will return
To make you see flowers pouring down like rains to color all the roads

But life seems to remain as it is and I am not returning
And it is forever true that you are not growing younger
Time elapses as a shooting star which crosses us in a moment of time

For many years you’ve been away from happiness
Now you want to be with me
This life is too short, but the longing is too long
And we have grown mature enough
To wish that we can be younger
Like yesterday.

(Translated from the song Cô gái đến t hôm qua)


The June Song – Bài ca tháng sáu

Someone’s radio next door
Is playing sounds of happy songs
June is as hot as pouring fire
The old sấu tree drops a green leave
For so long you haven’t composed any love songs
Have our lives been too tranquil?
We haven’t been sad or worried
And so serenely has our love been
Going on that long…

Then suddenly when all the melodies have stopped
The quietness becomes so pleasant
I see ourselves when we’re too old
Beside mirror-like lakes
In a day in June, decades after
Summer time and sound of sad cicada remind us of our June memories

And now I’m listening to your love song
Within the things we haven’t spoken out
The quietness remains so relaxing
Sometimes I see us in a quick glance
Just to know that I’m still close to you
With my faith in you still so strong
And my soul is so at peace
In these June days
These June days with a fire-red heart

I’m listening from the radio next door
Songs about love
June is as hot as pouring fire
So none of us speak a thing
It’s been so long we haven’t walked around the lakes
Or have we passed that passionate time?
Or if we were adventurers
Then the sadder we are, the more passionate we would be
How come do we even want that?

And now when the melodies have stopped
The silence becomes so pleasant
I meet ourselves when we’re very old, beside the lakes
In a day of June decades later
Summer time and sound of sad cicada remind us of our June memories.

(Translated from Đỗ Bảo’s Bài ca tháng Sáu)




My missing you is immersing me
Your face, your smile, the warm embrace
As if blood has been solidified inside my heart
My missing you is rising high, so high


Nỗi nhớ dâng đầy trong em
Gương mặt anh, nụ cười anh, vòng ngực ấm
Tưởng như máu trong tim đông đặc
Nỗi nhớ dâng đầy, dâng đầy

There is no river, no ocean separating us
But why? Why can’t I get close to you?
Thus missing you, like the ship overcoming the waves
To reach the shore, is just a dream that cannot be realized

Chẳng có dòng sông, mặt biển nào ngăn cách
Mà sao? Mà sao? Em không thể tới bên anh?
Để nỗi nhớ như con thuyền vượt sóng
Đến bên bờ, chỉ là giấc mơ

The room tonight is in dead silence
As if everything around me is on fire
I run fast, as a dried leaf drifting away in the wind
Submerged within the pain

But I cannot run out of my missing you
I cannot
Run out of this missing you, my darling

Căn phòng đêm nay câm lặng
Sao như lửa cháy bốn bề
Em ùa chạy như lá khô gió cuốn
Mê mang trong nỗi đớn đau

Mà không thể ra ngoài nỗi nhớ
Không thể ra ngoài nỗi nhớ đâu anh

(Nhạc/ Music: Phú Quang; Lời/ Lyrics: Phạm Dũng)

December 2014 – A translation by Vika Huong Nguyen