Blue & Grey

Produced by Ji Soo Park, Levi, V, Hiss noise
Written by Ji Soo Park, Levi, V, Hiss noise, SUGA, RM, j-hope, Metaphor

Spotify | Apple Music

V reached out to Paul Kim and asked Kim to hook him up with NIve (Park Jisoo), the composer/lyricist of Paul Kim’s The Reason for My Spring. The two met, which became an impromptu melody/lyric writing battle that V shared on Twitter in April 2020. NIve also posted his cover of Dynamite on Twitter in September 2020.

A snippet of this track was played on EP. 5 of In the SOOP BTS ver. during V’s canoe ride.

During the global press conference for “BE,” V said this track expresses gloomy and anxious internal emotions as the colors blue and grey, and although the lyrics can be dark, the guitar sound gives a warm feeling. He described himself as someone who experienced and knows burnout. While previously he absorbed it and suffered from it as a result, he thinks he’s grown now as he writes it out. He feels accomplished by writing a song that contains the emotions he feels from burnout, and it’s the thrill he gets after completing a song that helps him recover. I highly recommend his Weverse Magazine interview for more details.

On his YouTube channel (English subtitles are available), NIve shared how he and V started working on this piece and walked the listeners through the production process. V had suggested NIve that they write a song about “gloominess,” which can nonetheless deliver a message of hope and comfort. Among many deliberate choices NIve made was to insert the sound of heartbeats into the track to give “warmth” to the song. 

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Where is my angel

하루의 끝을 드리운
At the end of the day, casting its shadow

Someone come and save me, please

지친 하루의 한숨뿐
is only the sigh of the exhausting day

 

사람들은 다 행복한가 봐
It seems like people are all happy

Can you look at me? Cuz I am blue & grey

거울에 비친 눈물의 의미는
The meaning of my tears that are reflected on the mirror

웃음에 감춰진 나의 색깔 blue & grey
is the color that is hidden under my smile, blue & grey

 

어디서부터 [eodidseobuteo] 잘못됐는지 잘 모르겠어
From when it went wrong, I’m not really sure

나 어려서부터 [eoryeoseobuteo] 머릿속엔 파란색 물음표
From when I was young, there’s been a blue question mark in my mind
Reference: from SUGA’s Interlude, “In my head, these wanderings that are only full of blue.”

어쩜 그래서 치열하게 살았는지 모르지
Perhaps that’s why I lived fiercely 

But 뒤를 돌아보니 여기 우두커니 서니
But, as I look back, standing here absently,

나를 집어삼켜버리는 저 서슬 퍼런 그림자
that ferocious shadow that engulfs me 

여전히도 파란색 물음표는
The blue question mark that still exists

과연 불안인지 우울인지 [woowoolinji]
Would it be anxiety or depression
Unease and gloom; not to be confused with clinical anxiety (불안증) or depression (우울증).

어쩜 정말 후회의 동물인지 [dolmulinji]
Could it be that humans are really the animals of regret
Reference: from People, “Who said that humans are the animals of wisdom To my eyes, it’s obvious that they are the animals of regret.”

아니면은 외로움이 낳은 나일지 [nailji]
or, is it just me who was created by loneliness

여전히 모르겠어 서슬 퍼런 블루 [beullu]
I still don’t know, the ferocious blue

잠식되지 않길 바래 찾을 거야 출구 [chulgu]
Hoping I don’t get eaten away, I’ll find the exit

 

I just wanna be happier

차가운 날 녹여줘
Please warm me who is cold

수없이 내민 나의 손
My hands that I reached out countless times

색깔 없는 메아리
The echo that is colorless

Oh this ground feels so heavier

I am singing by myself

I just wanna be happier

이것도 큰 욕심일까
Would this also be greed

 

추운 겨울 거리를 걸을 때 느낀 빨라진 심장의 호흡 소릴
The sound of my heart breathing faster that I felt while walking on the cold winter streets,

지금도 느끼곤 해
I would still feel it

괜찮다고 하지 마
Don’t say you’re okay

괜찮지 않으니까
because you aren’t

제발 혼자 두지 말아 줘 너무 아파
Please don’t leave yourself alone, it hurts so much
Side-note: Objects and subjects are often missing in the Korean language. The above line can therefore be interpreted as “Please don’t leave me alone, it hurts so much.” I chose to translate it as “Please don’t leave yourself alone,” because of the preceding two lines, “Don’t say you’re okay because you aren’t,” and because the whole song is about the self. I took the three lines as a monologue (“you” = “I”), where “I” convince myself (“you”) not to ignore the pain I (“you”) have and not to leave myself (“you”) alone in the darkness.

 

늘 걷는 길[gil]과 늘 받는 빛 [bit]
The road that I always walk along, the light that always shines on me 

But 오늘은 왠지 낯선 scene
But, the scene that feels unfamiliar today for some reason

무뎌진 [mudyeojin] 걸까 무너진 [muneojin] 걸까
Would it be that I became numb to it, would it be that I collapsed

근데 무겁긴 [mugeobgin] 하다 이 쇳덩인
But it does feel heavy, this lump of metal

다가오는 회색 코뿔소
A grey rhino that comes toward me
Note: “Gray rhino” is an economics/finance term used to describe a highly probable high-impact threat that is often neglected. Like a gray rhino, the threat (“gloomy and anxious internal emotions” in this song) comes to one in a visible, obvious way.

초점 없이 난 덩그러니 서있어
Absently, I stand with vacant eyes

나답지 않아 이 순간
It’s not like me, this moment

그냥 무섭지가 않아
I just have no fear

 

난 확신이란 신 따위 안 믿어
I don’t believe in god that’s called conviction
Wordplay: 확신 (pronounced hwaksin) is conviction, assurance, or confidence, and 신 (pronounced sin) means god/God.
Side-note: I’ve received questions regarding the use of 신 (god/God). Here, 신 is used solely for the purpose of wordplay and rhyme; meaning-wise, you can read this line as “I don’t believe in the concept of conviction.”

색채 같은 말은 간지러워
Words like “color” make me feel cringey

넓은 회색지대가 편해
I feel comfortable with the vast grey area 
Reference: From forever rain, “
I want to live in an ashy world, knowing that there is no such thing as eternity.”

여기 수억 가지 표정의 grey
Here, the grey that has hundreds of millions of facial expressions

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

이 도시 위로 춤춘다
I dance upon this city

맑은 날엔 안개를 [angaereul]
On a clear day, give it some fog

젖은 날엔 함께 늘 [hamkke neul]
On a rainy day, together and always,

여기 모든 먼지들 [meonjideul] 위해 축배를 [chukbaereul]
raise a glass for all these dusts here
Note: RM describes people who make up the world as dust particles that make up the vast gray area.
Side-note: This made me think of his Fan Cafe post back in February 2016 (my brain really does impressive things when it comes to Bangtan), he shared a post on the “fine dust” (Korea suffers from a severe air pollution that is characterized by microdust) in his usual “rambling” style. The second half of the post goes like this: “[…] But also, sometimes I feel sorry for the dusts because they are thrown and carried away just because they made the fault, that is not really fault, of existing. Just by breathing, they become the unwelcome guests, the harm. How sad the life of dusts is. There isn’t anyone who treats precious and stores a dust particle. While I think it’s not possible, but if it’s possible that dusts become to have personality — would that be called dustnality? –, wouldn’t all dusts in the world gather in one place and build a city of dusts, the dust republic? Would then the world, without dusts, will just be clean and refreshing? I don’t know. Even aside from the real dusts, there are so many dusts floating around among people. Perhaps we could just be big chunks of dusts. To this universe, a dust of what color would I be? Tonight as well, I blow this dust-like day away.”

 

I just wanna be happier

내 손의 온길 느껴줘
Please feel the warmth of my hands

따뜻하지가 않아서 네가 더욱 필요해
It’s because they are not warm that I need you even more

Oh this ground feels so heavier

I am singing by myself

먼 훗날 내가 웃게 되면
In the distant future, when I get to smile,

말할게 그랬었다고
I’ll tell you that there was such a time
Side-note: we now know that “the distant future” has arrived because they are singing about the time (telling us about the time).

 

허공에 떠도는 말을 몰래 주워 담고 나니
After secretly collecting words that wander around in the void,

이제 새벽잠이 드네 good night
now I fall asleep, at dawn, good night

 

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