The world of music

Synopsis : She was a young teenager during the war in Vietnam who sang the songs of war and tragedy, of yearning for peace and mourned all the death and destruction through her soulful songs that made her famous in Vietnam so I thought of introducing her to the world and present to you one of her most loved songs.

The world of music


Source: Google photo of Khanh Ly

There was a young beautiful girl called Khanh Ly in Vietnam. She had a haunting voice and mesmerised people with her tragic songs about the war in Vietnam in 1967. I was just a young man serving there as a volunteer agronomist and heard about the young girl who sang so passionately about the war and how it was devastating her beautiful land.

It was a war like no other. It rained down bombs on people everywhere. It destroyed lives and scarred the landscape . It brought pain and untold misery to people who were fighting for their freedom and a chance to live in peace. Everyday the bodies came back in coffins to be buried by the grieving mothers, sisters, wives and grandparents. Everyday new graves were dug in forgotten corners of the land but the war continued.

Prisons were filled with people who only wanted peace. The pain and cries of people could not be heard beyond the prison walls who were being tortured . Such were the anguish the young girl sang about in her mournful and haunting songs that resonated through the land but she was vilified for wanting peace. The writer of such songs was a young man called Trinh Cong Son but it was Khanh Ly who gave life to the lyrics.

Very few people outside Vietnam have ever heard of Khanh Ly and her songs. Often I thought of how many Khanh Lys are out there who are so wonderful people who the world has never heard of and thought what if you heard her once and understood what she sang ?

She is old now and her lilting voice has taken its toll but she still sings and appears in TV shows. An  American  who loves Vietnam and the songs of Trinh Cong Son has translated many of his songs and sings himself on Vietnam TV has made it his lifetime quest to let the world know the beauty of Khanh Ly’s songs.

I  now bring you one of her most famous songs for you to listen to and think deeply about the meaning of the words. Many of you have never known the war in Vietnam but ask your fathers , brothers and husbands who served there. They will tell you how horrible it was .

But Vietnam now is at peace and is a beautiful country.

The video link  :

The lyrics :  Xin cho toi  (Please give me)

Xin cho mây che đủ phận người         Please cover enough people

Xin cho tôi một sáng trời vui              Please give me a good morning

Xin cho tôi đến tận nụ cười               Please let me smile

Cho tôi quên một nấm mộ tươi        Let me forget a fresh grave

Xin cho tôi xin vạn lần rồi              Please let me last ten times

Một góc này chỉ biết rong chơi         This corner is just playing

Xin cho tôi yên phận này thôi           Please give me this peace

Xin cho tôi yên ngủ một ngày           Please let me sleep for a day

Xin cho đêm không có đạn bay        Please have no bullets night

 Xin cho chim góp nhạc về trời       Please let birds sing to the heaven

 Xin cho tôi là kiếp của mây            Please let me be the clone of clouds

 Xin cho tôi ra khỏi cuộc đời              Please let me out of life

 Để bao giờ trời đất yên vui             To ever happy land and heaven

 Xin cho tôi xin lại cuộc đời              Please cover enough people

 Cho tôi đi xây lại chuyện tình        Please give me a good morning

 Cho tôi đi nâng dậy hòa bình         Please let me smile

 Cho tôi đi qua tận gập ghềnh       Let me forget a fresh grave

 Nhìn dòng máu trong tim anh       Please let me last ten times

 Cho tôi xin tay mẹ nồng nàn         Please let me hold my mother’s hands

 Cho tôi nghe chân trẻ rộn ràng       Please give me this peace

 Cho quê hương giấc ngủ thật hiền  Please let me sleep for a day

 Rồi từ đó tôi yêu em                         Freedom I love you

 Xin cho tôi nguyên vẹn hình hài    Please let me remain intact

 Cho tôi nghe lời hát cỏ cây               Let me hear the song of grass

 Xin cho tôi quên phận tù đày          Please  let me forget my imprisonment       

 Xin cho tôi là thoáng rượu cay        Please let me be spicy wine

 Xin cho tôi xin cả cuộc đời                Please let me have a lifetime

 Một hôm nào trẻ hát trong nôi        One day a child sang in cradle

 Xin cho tôi xin chỉ một ngày.           Please let me just one day.

Hope you can feel the pain through her song and her words. Khanh Ly will always remain one of my favorites .

Now I want you to listen to the beautiful song  called the “Air de liberte” by Jean Ferrat who brought to focus the atrocities of the war in Vietnam like perhaps no one could.

The video link  :

Source : U tube video

Air de liberte Link :

Source : U Tube video

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