Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Khánh Ly + Trịnh Công Sơn (Vietnam, 1968)

"Ru Ta Ngậm Ngùi"

"Khanh Ly, born Nguyen Le Mai(Mai Nguyen) on March 6, 1945 to a traditional family, grew up in the northern regions of Vietnam. As a child, she would fall asleep to her father's soothing voice. His serenades planted inside her a love for music, which grew stronger every day against her family's wishes....

Mai's musical career did not officially begin until she debuted at Club Anh Vu on Bui Vien Street in Saigon when she was only 17 (1962). At this point, she adopted the stage name Khanh Ly, a combination of KhanhKy and Yeu Ly, both are characters from Three Countries, her favorite novel. By the end of 1962, she relocated to Da Lat and stayed there for four years performing at various clubs and resorts. Night after night, she serenaded lovers, tourists, and the youths of Vietnam.

On a rainy night in 1964, she met Trinh Cong Son (TCS), at that time a young composer, at a club in Da Lat. They became fast friends. Fascinated by her seductive voice, Trinh had asked her on several occasions to accompany him in his performances in Saigon. Still in love with the romantic hills of Da Lat, she declined.

During a trip to Saigon in 1967, she ran into Trinh on the busy streets of Le Thanh Ton. After several serenades and coffee at a small shop called Quan Van, the legacy of Khanh Ly and Trinh Cong Son has begun.

Within the next several decades, Khanh Ly and Trinh Cong Son sang together at small coffee shops, clubs, and even on the steps of Van Khoa University in Saigon (a liberal arts school). During the escalation of an unwanted and bloody war, his anti-war lyrics in the Yellow-Skin Songs and her luring voice appealed to those who grew weary of the battles and bloodshed..."(


gilhodges said...

Doesn't it always begin on a rainy night? Lovely stuff.

Holly said...

Via youtube, here's the translation of lyrics to 2nd video:

Noon, I walk the hills/
Now I sing the dead/
On the roads, I have seen, I have seen/
Each one has one, this one screams//

Noon, I walk the hills/
Now I sing the dead/
I have seen, I have seen, garden here:/
Dead tired ma holds her dead girl//

This ma claps above her child/
This ma claps for peace, for peace/
Here some clap for life, for life/
Here some clap for end of life//

Noon, by berry groves/
Now I sing the dead/
By a road, I have seen, I have seen/
Old man hugs his stone cold son//

Noon, by berry groves/
Now I sing the dead/
I have seen, I have seen, ditches, shelters/
Filled with bodies, his and hers//

This ma claps, lets have more war/
This one clap, no more, no more/
Here some clap for hate, for blame/
Here some clap to shake off shame//

(translated by Patrick Gallagher)

AwL said...

anyone know if this (or anything like it) is available for d/l? this stuf is crazee entrancing

Anonymous said...!download|117tl|114787062|H_t_Cho_Qu__Huong_Viet_Nam_1.rar|103673|R~0

Holly said...

Thank you, anonymous

Holly said...


Synchronous, in a way. Very different but recommended

Warning: there is a photo link embedded in above article that's nsfw. And sickening, but needs to be seen.

AwL said...

thanks anon, thats shite's the goodness

Anonymous said... beautiful. Thanks

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