The soul of olden Vietnamese songs

Whenever I sing or listen to olden Vietnamese songs, PP comes by and inquires if the singer was crying, because to his non-Vietnamese ears, the Vietnamese tunes I love leave a trail of sorrow that is of equavilence of one’s weeping heart. 

This passage has somewhat put PP’s observation in perspective. I have a similar thought about the soul of these tunes but could not articulate this thought until I read these lines. 



The voice of Thái Thanh, despairing and tender, soared through the speakers, mourning love’s end. The songs we Vietnamese loved were about farewell and separation, spiraling sadness, rainy nights, and solitary souls. Even before the calamity of country lost, sorrow was deeply carved and deeply felt in Vietnam’s soul. A strange grief had long ago roped itself around the country’s neck, leaving deep, inedible marks on its flesh. 

The Lotus And The Storm, a novel by Lan Cao. 

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2 thoughts on “The soul of olden Vietnamese songs

  1. This is quite a coincidence as I am reading that very book right now. Well, actually, off and on for the last couple weeks — could never seem to find the time to really sit down and read it.

    1. Sorry for the late response to your comment. How interesting that we are reading the same book at the same time. I am about half way to the end and there are some parts I found interesting while other parts seems a bit bland to me. Anyway, no spoiler here but can’t wait to get your thoughts and feelings about this novel.

      But I must admit that her writing is wonderful crafted.

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