How have you been? It’s been a while since my last blog post, but now that I’m FINALLY in Korea and moved into my apartment, these posts will definitely be more regular!
While I was unpacking my things and cleaning my new place, I was watching SBS MTV and saw a performance by the comic band 노라조 (Norazo) for their song “야생마”, or “Wild Horse”. This was my first time hearing this song, and even with my limited Korean skills, it was still pretty fun. As with most 노라조 songs, “야생마” is an energetic, fun, and catchy song that seems to make absolutely no sense, but this song actually has a deeper meaning. If you check out the full song and video below, the story line is comparing and contrasting the lives of horses in captivity with that of wild horses and illustrates finding happiness in freedom.
When I heard this song, the first thing I noticed was the use of an onomatopoeia in the verses for the sound of a horse galloping or running. I looked up the lyrics on Naver and Daum, and both sites have it written as “닥다가 닥다가닥”, but should you ever use this in a conversation, it’s actually used as “다그닥 다그닥”. The alternate spelling, (which is similar to what you say when you double-tongue on a brass instrument *fellow band geeks know what I’m talking about*) was just used to make the galloping sound better fit into the song.
In the refrain at 1:31, the line is “앞다리 뒷다리 땡겨 뒷목이 뒷골이 땡겨 무릎이 시려도”, which translates to “even if the front and back of the legs, back of the neck, back of the head, and back of the knees hurt”.
Listen to it here:
Let’s dissect this line:
- 앞 and 뒤 are directional terms, meaning “front” and “behind/back”, respectively
- 다리 = legs
- 목 = neck
- 땅기다 (땡기다 only used in spoken Korean) = to feel tight, sore; to ache
- *골 = head
- 무릎 = knee
- 시리다 = to feel cold
- -아/어/여도 (when used with verbs) = even if, even though
*In this context, 골 means “head”, but it is originally a medical term for “brain”. It is a very casual/slang term for 머리 (head) and you may hear it used often when someone is using vulgar language.
The translation of this phrase to English is pretty straight forward, but you wouldn’t use this phrase like this in a real conversation. Trust me. I’ve tried and it didn’t go over well at all. The 5 year old student with whom I was practicing Korean as we waited for the crosswalk light to turn green just looked at me and said, “what the hell?!” in English when I said the phrase as it is in the song.
As I came to find out, using each phrase independently is much more common:
- “다리가 땅겨(요).” = The back of my legs ache/feel sore.
- “뒷목이 땅겨(요).” = The back of my neck feels tight/sore.
- “뒷골이 땅겨(요).” = I have a headache (from worrying too much).
- “무릎이 시려(요)” = My nose feels cold. …etc.
Well, that’s all I have for now. Thank you for reading this post and I hope you enjoy the song! Please leave me a comment in the section below or on Facebook if you have a specific song or lyrics you’d like me to go over in future posts.
Until next time!