Blue & Grey

“Blue & Grey” is the 3rd track of Be, the BTS album released in November 2020. It was produced and written by Ji Soo Park, Levi, V, Hiss noise, SUGA, RM, j-hope, Metaphor.

V mentioned in their Comeback VLIVE that he has previously experienced burn-out, and he believed it was too much of a waste to let such feelings pass him by without making note of it. This song is the result. Feeling “blue”, he points out, is to feel down, and the motif of the colour grey has been used repeatedly by RM, especially in mono.

A line-by-line translation and explanation follows the clean version. English lyrics are italicised and the stanzas are left as they are in the original. One addition for this album: because so many of the lyrics clearly represent the member that voices them, I’ve made a note of the artist when they sing or rap alone.


Clean Translation

V
Where is my angel
Clouding a day’s end are 
Someone come and save me, please
only the sighs of an exhausting day
Jung Kook
It’s as though everyone’s happy 
Can you look at me? Cuz I am blue  grey
The meaning of the tears reflected in the mirror, 
hidden by laughter, are my colours blue  grey 

SUGA
I can’t figure out where it went wrong

In my mind from a young age was a blue question mark
Perhaps that’s why I lived as competitively as I did
But in looking back, in standing blankly,
that threatening blue shadow which swallows me whole
As ever, is this blue question mark
unease or gloom
Perhaps it’s an animal of regret
or a me, born of loneliness
I still don’t know. That threatening dark blue,
I hope it doesn’t eat away at me. I’m going to find it, the exit

Jin
I just wanna be happier

Melt me, a frozen me
Jungkook
My hand that I’ve stretched out countless times is
a colourless echo
Jimin
Oh this ground feels so heavier
I am singing by myself
V

I just wanna be happier
Would this also be a great greed?
Jin, Jung Kook
What I felt as I walked those cold winter streets,
the sound of my heart’s quickening breath,
I feel it still
Jimin, V
Don’t say it’s okay
because it’s not
Please don’t leave me alone, it hurts too much

j-hope
These streets are ones I always tread, this light one I always receive

But today, this scene somehow feels unfamiliar
Have my senses dulled? Or have I crumbled?
But it really is heavy, this lump of metal
An approaching grey rhinoceros
I stand, unfocused and alone
I don’t feel like myself in this moment
I’m just not scared

RM
I don’t trust in a god called certainty
Words like ‘colours’ makes me squirm
An expanse of grey is what’s comforting
A hundred million expressions of grey
When it rains, it’s my world
I dance above this city
On a clear day, for fog
On a wet day, always
for all the dust gathered here,
I toast in celebration

Jung Kook 
I just wanna be happier
Feel the temperature of my hands:
Jimin
they’re not warm so I need you more than ever
V
Oh this ground feels so heavier
I am singing by myself
Jin
If, in a far-flung future, I’m able to smile, 
I’ll tell you that I did

V
And having secretly gathered and bottled these words that wander through the air,
sleep takes me now at dawn, good night



Line-by-Line Translation

Where is my angel

하루의 끝을 드리운
Clouding a day’s end are 

Someone come and save me, please

지친 하루의 한숨뿐
only the sighs of an exhausting day

사람들은 다 행복한가 봐
It’s as though everyone’s happy 

Can you look at me? Cuz I am blue  grey

거울에 비친 눈물의 의미는
The meaning of the tears reflected in the mirror, 

웃음에 감춰진 나의 색깔 blue  grey
hidden by laughter, are my colours blue  grey 

어디서부터 잘못됐는지 잘 모르겠어
I can’t figure out where it went wrong 

나 어려서부터 머릿속엔 파란색 물음표
In my mind from a young age was a blue question mark
SUGA’s Interlude: These wanderings within my head that are only full of blue / The self-loating and pride that live in my heart / Though I, full of dreams, grew to achieve all my dreams …

어쩜 그래서 치열하게 살았는지 모르지
Perhaps that’s why I lived as competitively as I did

But 뒤를 돌아보니 여기 우두커니 서니
But in looking back, in standing blankly, 

나를 집어삼켜버리는 저 서슬 퍼런 그림자
that threatening blue shadow which swallows me whole

여전히도 파란색 물음표는
As ever, is this blue question mark

과연 불안인지 우울인지
unease or gloom
This could also be taken as ‘anxiety or depression’. I’m not avoiding use of these terms, but just like clinical depression is related to, but not the same as, depression or feeling depressed, so too is the Korean linked but distinguished from each other.

어쩜 정말 후회의 동물인지
or perhaps it’s an animal of regret 
Agust D’s “People“: 내가 보기에는 후회의 동물이 분명한데 (“As far as I can tell, it’s certain that [we’re] animals of regret”) 

아니면은 외로움이 낳은 나일지
or a me, born of loneliness 

여전히 모르겠어 서슬 퍼런 블루
I still don’t know. That threatening dark blue,

잠식되지 않길 바래 찾을 거야 출구
I hope it doesn’t eat away at me. I’m going to find it, the exit

I just wanna be happier

차가운 날 녹여줘
Melt me, a frozen me 

수없이 내민 나의 손
My hand that I’ve stretched out countless times is

색깔 없는 메아리
a colourless echo 

Oh this ground feels so heavier

I am singing by myself

I just wanna be happier

이것도 욕심일까
Would this also be a great greed?

추운 겨울 거리를 걸을 때 느낀
What I felt as I walked those cold winter streets,

빨라진 심장의 호흡 소릴
the sound of my heart’s quickening breath, 

지금도 느끼곤
I feel it still

괜찮다고 하지 마
Don’t say it’s okay 

괜찮지 않으니까
because it’s not 

제발 혼자 두지 말아 줘 너무 아파
Please don’t leave me alone, it hurts too much

늘 걷는 길과 늘 받는 빛
These streets are ones I always tread, this light one I always receive 

But 오늘은 왠지 낯선 scene
But today, this scene somehow feels unfamiliar 

무뎌진 걸까 무너진 걸까
Have my senses dulled? Or have I crumbled? 

근데 무겁긴 하다 이 쇳덩인
But it really is heavy, this lump of metal 

다가오는 회색 코뿔소
An approaching grey rhinoceros
Either he’s the lump of metal weighed down by his emotions with a grey rhino heading towards him, or the lump of metal is a streetlight that has morphed into rhino in his head.

초점 없이 난 덩그러니 서있어
I stand, unfocused and alone 

나답지 않아 이 순간
I don’t feel like myself in this moment 

그냥 무섭지가 않아
I’m just not scared
From racing through life, chased by the blue question mark of anxieties that as of yet feel like possibilities, to coming to an exhausted standstill, and now … a numbness? Or perhaps the rhino is someone else approaching him and he can finally feel at ease?

난 확신이란 신 따위 안 믿어
I don’t trust in a god called certainty 
확신 (‘hwak-shin’), certainty, is made up of two syllables. The second, 신, means ‘god’.

색채 같은 말은 간지러워
Words like ‘colours’ makes me squirm 

넓은 회색지대가 편해
An expanse of grey is what’s comforting 

여기 수억 가지 표정의 grey
A hundred million expressions of grey
RM’s ‘seoul’ describes the city as one with a ‘constant grey expression’ with buildings that are ‘a little of the same, a little different’.

비가 오면 내 세상
When it rains, it’s my world 

이 도시 위로 춤춘다
I dance above this city 

맑은 날엔 안개를
On a clear day, for fog 

젖은 날엔 함께 늘
On a wet day, always 

여기 모든 먼지들
for all the dust gathered here, 

위해 축배를
I toast in celebration 

I just wanna be happier

내 손의 온길 느껴줘
Feel the temperature of my hands:

따뜻하지가 않아서 네가 더욱 필요해
they’re not warm so I need you more than ever

Oh this ground feels so heavier

I am singing by myself

먼 훗날 내가 웃게 되면
If, in a far-flung future, I’m able to smile, 

말할게 그랬었다고
I’ll tell you that I did

허공에 떠도는 말을 몰래 주워 담고 나니
And having secretly gathered and bottled these words that wander through the air,
RM’s fancafe update 22nd January, 2019: “So today, too, I pluck and choose words that roam like air, and contemplate melodies that will leave for someone else’s mind.”
V’s “Scenery” speaks of bottling moments
.

이제 새벽잠이 드네 good night
sleep takes me now at dawn, good night 
V’s “4 o’clock” reflects the comfort of the blue world of moonlight, and is framed as a letter to the moon, with the song ending as he falls asleep with the blue disappearing and the red sun rising.

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doyoubangtan

hi! i'm wisha. find me at @doyou_bangtan!

5 thoughts on “Blue & Grey”

  1. Thanks for all the references! Definitely includes snippets of references from Mono and Tae’s solo songs 4 o’clock. It’s so descriptive about insomnia and depression.

    Like

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