Parts of a translation are about to be attempted (only the verses, not the choruses). I am shocked myself that I am trying to do such a thing. But lyrically speaking, the images in the song are literally structured like parallel lines, always perfectly side-by-side but never meeting. It’s too moving to not at least try to share an attempt at what they sound like.
If you were a breath of spring wind
then I would be the furthest kite.
If you were only a pair of locked doors in a nameless courtyard
I would be the wall-climbing vine outside.
If you were the rare sighting of a rainbow
I would willingly be the sound of wonder.
And if you were a bright yet untouchable star
I’d be a look of longing.
In the BTS of this MV (linked below), Hebe talks about the images in the lyrics being perfect pairs, in the sense that regardless of the shape and form the “you” takes, the “I” assumes the form that is its complimentary. And yet when the forms become ordinary humans, the fit does not happen.
Maybe that’s why I feel compelled to translate at least the parts of the song where these perfect pairs emerge. They aren’t always what we imagine them to be and they do fit together in complement, yet their pairings evoke an affect that is distant and mournful, as though inevitable, as though fated to separate.
When you are the ceaseless second hand on a clock
I am the calm yet desperate gear behind you.
When you were still a drop of fresh blue on the point of pen
I was already the back of paper scarring.
This MV is maximum aesthetic, subtle storytelling, and perfect colouring. Filmed in Japan, the video really uses not just the strong aesthetic principles of Japanese culture, but also optimizes the place of Japanese culture in Chinese consciousness – its embedded nostalgia and sadness to produce a visual ambience that matches Hebe’s voice.
Paired with lyrics that are symmetrical in line but asymmetrical in structure, the entire song becomes a performance that is more poetic expression than musical precision. It teeters between something that feels natural, but also intensely intentional. The visual impact of the MV, compounded with the music, lyrics and Hebe’s vocal style remind me of the effortless presence of watercolour painting that we know is full of thought, practice and work. In other words, it is a work of art.
Watch the BTS for more shots of the locations picked for the MV.