Bicycle (RM)

Produced by RM, John Eun

Written by RM, John Eun

 

Note: John Eun (Eun Heeyoung) is a Korean singer-songwriter. RM previously shared John Eun’s songs – Walkin’ on Twitter (August 2019) and Heart on Weverse (May 2020), and later lent his vocals to Eun’s November 2020 single Hope along with eAeon and Han All. Shortly after the release of Bicycle, John Eun posted on his Instagram: “The feeling of making music is always exciting. But the feeling of making music with someone who makes you feel that you are profoundly connected is something that is hard to come by. I feel extremely lucky and blessed to make music with this friend that I resonate both musically and personally. Thank you RM for your friendship and for always keeping me motivated to be a better musician/human. I couldn’t have asked for a better mate.”

 

Translation of RM’s letter:

Always, I’ve wanted to write a song about bicycle.
As it’s already been almost three years since I put out mono, and as myself was getting tired preparing the next series that has no hard plan, I decided to use Festa as a great excuse(!) to make and share a bicycle song.
After many twists and turns, I laid out melodies and lyrics on the guitar played by Heeyoung hyung while wandering from place to place on a bicycle in February and March.
The lyrics were actually written while I was riding a bicycle.
I can’t even remember how many times I crooned the song to myself..
For the cover artwork, I made the request in person to artist Moon Sungsic, who I’ve admired. I think the artwork came out great in his own drawing style.
I send my thank-you to Heeyoung hyung and artist Moon Sungsic for getting on board with this childish decision.
Riding a bicycle always makes my heart flutter, but when placing my two feet on the pedals, I always feel somewhat sad. Perhaps it’s because there are many things I long for.. But the reason is not clear even to me. Maybe it’s because I haven’t driven a car since I don’t have a driver’s license. Anyway, when riding a bicycle is the time, one of the rare times, when I feel the freest physically.
I wanted to portray the vague, impalpable scenery that I have always thought of when riding a bicycle since the trainee days. Feelings that are sad but exciting, a little cold but warm.
I hope this song stays on your playlist for a long time and becomes your bicycle song.
I would be the happiest if you listen to this song and accept it as if it’s a small gift from me.
The days are getting better and better.
When sad, let’s ride a bicycle !
I too will do so, always.

– Namjoon

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두 발을 구르며
Getting it roll with my two feet,

볼 수 없는 그댈 마주해
I face you who I can’t see

언제나처럼 날
As always,

맞아주는 몇 센치의 떨림
greeting me is the few centimeters of trembling
Note: 떨림 can be used to describe physical shaking or emotional excitement/nervousness.

 

I wanna keep the bass down low

벌써 내 마음은 주말 mode
My mind is already in weekend mode

I don’t see no open cars, no open bars

나쁘지 않아 온전히 혼자인 road
It’s not too bad, completely alone on this road

섬처럼 떠있는 사람들의 마음 [maeum, shortened to mam]
Hearts of people that are floating like islands

어쩌면 오지 않을 듯한 밤 [bam]
A night that feels like it may not come

지평선을 걸어가 [georeoga] 또 굴러가 [gulleoga]
We walk along the horizon, rolling along,

우리가 정한 저 소실점으로
towards the vanishing point that we set

 

슬프면 자전거를 타자
When sad, let’s ride a bicycle

바람을 두 발 아래 두자
Let’s have the wind blow beneath our two feet

오 자전거를 타자
Oh, let’s ride a bicycle,

두 팔을 자유로이 벌리며
with our two arms spread out freely

 

나 나나나 나나나
Na nanana nanana

나나나나나
Nanananana

나나나 나나나 나나나
Nanana nanana nanana

나나나나나
Nanananana

 

가끔은 굴러가게 둬
Sometimes, just let it roll on its own

자전거 바퀴처럼
like bicycle wheels

찾을 게 있어
There’s something I have to find,

오후의 간식처럼
like an afternoon snack

이 작은 순간을 위해 살아온 것 같아
It feels like I’ve lived for this little moment

두 바퀴 위에선 다 사사로운 한낮의 꿈
On the two wheels, everything is just a trivial daydream

Feel the roof, smell the truth

멀지 않아 기적은
Miracle isn’t far away

어떤 얼굴을 해도 지금은 괜찮아
Whatever face I’m making now, it doesn’t matter right now

진짜 소중한 건 눈에 보이지 않아
Things that are truly precious are not to be seen with eyes
Note: This circles back to the first two lines: “Getting it roll with my two feet, I face you who I can’t see.” This little moment that feel like a miracle, the vague, impalpable scenery in RM’s mind, and the feelings that are sad yet exciting and a little cold but warm are all not to be seen with eyes but to be felt with heart.
Side-note: “And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It Is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” (The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry)

땅에서 발을 떼 [dde]
I lift my feet off the ground

저 새를 닮은 태 [tae]
I spread my arms like that bird
Note: A literal translation is “the form/posture that resembles that bird.”

섬처럼 떠있기로 해 [hae]
I decide to stay afloat like an island
Note: “Hearts of people that are floating like islands.”
Side-note: The island metaphor, combined with the fact that RM likes to bike along the Han river, reminded me of Reflection. In Reflection, he raps, “when I hate myself so much, I come to Ttukseom.” In Bicycle, he sings, “when sad, let’s ride a bicycle.”

바람을 따라 춤춰 [chumchweo]
I dance to the rhythm of the wind

Yeah 울어도 돼 [dwae]
Yeah, it’s okay to cry

원래 행복하면 슬퍼 [seulpeo]
It’s only natural to feel sad when happy

 

슬프면 자전거를 타자
When sad, let’s ride a bicycle

바람을 두 발 아래 두자
Let’s have the wind blow beneath our two feet

오 자전거를 타자
Oh, let’s ride a bicycle,

두 팔을 자유로이 벌리며
with our two arms spread out freely

 

나 나나나 나나나
Na nanana nanana

나나나나나
Nanananana

나나나 나나나 나나나
Nanana nanana nanana

나나나나나
Nanananana

나나나 나나나
Nanana nanana

라라라라라
Lalalalala

나나나 나나나
Nanana nanana

라라라라라
Lalalalala

 

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