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I did my best - with my amateur (beginner's) violin skills - to convey this song's emotions!
This song is very well-known in Vietnamese culture. Almost all Vietnamese, or Vietnamese descendants, know this song. It is played and sung by countless professional and amateur musicians and/or singers. It is played during the "Vu Lan" Holiday (a Mother's Day in Vietnamese culture). It is played in a funeral march when a family's matriarch passes away. The tune is sad but also loving...! Combining a beautiful and poetic lyrics with a melancholic music tune, this song eternizes a Mother's Love!
During the Vietnam war, the country was divided into North and South. The author, Y Vân (1933-1992), wrote this song in 1957 (or 1959?) after he and his family fled the war zone in the North and migrated to the South. Y Vân, who lost his father at an early age, wrote the song as a respectful dedication to his own mother.
In essence, the lyrics compares a Mother's Heart to the vastness of the Pacific Ocean, praises her unconditional Love, and respects her endless Sacrifice!
I myself did not attempt to translate this song into English. I believe its lyrics has too *deep* emotions to be translated accurately from Vietnamese into any other language. Nonetheless, as FYI, I have found a few (rough) translations by others on the internet:
I also enclose the music score here, which I found on the Internet.
@Fiddlerman, I should get a badge for real.... 🙂 Yes, I did play the song in its entirety!
I did not even believe my ears when I replayed the recordings of my own playing of this song. The tune came out much better than I had thought. I guessed I input real emotions when I played it...Plus, I have always known this song my entire life, so the tune is ingrained in me... I did not even have to look at the music score when I played it. Mainly I played it by ears. That is why it came out more naturally than, say, for example, if I play Ode to Joy.
(But if you hear very closely, you can still recognize a few small "thwangs" when I crossed strings - but could not quite balance the bow strokes - and hit both strings.)
If you view the video clip from Zero to 3:14, you will see that at 2:17 or 2:19 it starts showing me bowing the ending section of the song. In other words, for the first 2 minutes or so, I did not realize I had forgotten to open the camcorder lens, so only the audio went to the H1n hand held sound recorder but not the Everio camcorder. When I found the issue, I stopped briefly, opened the lens, and continued with recording the final section.
If you notice carefully, the final 1 minute has a slight feel of a "restart" even though it was the ending of the song. The ending is actually sort of a CODA, where the song's theme repeats and then ends at "mi...si mi....la..(la)..."
I want to share both sound files (H1n recorder, 94kHz 24-bit wav format) of my recordings here to you all, but the Wav files are too large and this forum would not allow me to attach them! Ahh! 🙂
@GregW, thanks for you kind words.
Just to clarify: I did NOT transcribe this song nor make its sheet music. I found the music score on the internet, and I believe it is the music score that the author originally wrote. He wrote it for voice singing (the song has very poetic lyrics), so the pitch he used was suitable for voice singing (and for violin as well).
You may find on the Internet piano sheet music of this same song. For piano, people may transpose the tune up, so that the music is more perked up for piano playing. But for singing, a higher pitch will require higher-pitched voice. My understanding is it will be difficult to sing a sad song with a higher-pitched voice!
@bob, @Mark, @Fiddlerman, and everyone else - thanks so much for enjoying the music! Your encouragement is my biggest reward. The badge is nice, too. 🙂
I am most happy that I could somewhat introduce a nice tune, and the Vietnamese cultural aspects it brings, to everyone who views this forum!
I will try my best to practice and play more violin songs to share with you all. The next time, I'll try to find a more cheerful song. 🙂 With all the coronavirus news nowadays, we definitely need something cheerful for a change, I think.