Learning Korean through music: 이런데서 주무시면 얼어죽어요 by 자우림

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A post from another site of mine that I originally wrote on 2004.01.05. Remember, the translation is done as literally as possible, in order to help the student.

Here's a live version of the song.



Original post from 2004:

The name of this song is 이런데서 주무시면 얼어죽어요, which means "If you sleep there you'll freeze to death". This one's not a serious tune; it's about an old man who is passed out and sleeping in the street on a cold day. Notice though, that because he's an old man they're using extra-polite expressions. This song repeats a lot and is catchy so it's good for study, though musically I like others better.


Lyrics

5)아저씨 어서 일어나요 길에서 자면 큰 일나
무슨 일이 있었나, 빗속을 거닐었나 저 까만 발로
꿈꾸고 있는 걸까, 뭐 할 말이 있을까 어디 얘기를 들어볼까
길에서 주무시면 얼어죽어버릴 거예요
아저씨, 일어나, 기운내요

Hey mister, get up... It's dangerous to sleep in the street
What's going on? Is he wandering in the rain with those black feet?
Is he having a dream? Does he have something to say? Maybe we should talk to him?
If you go to sleep in the street you'll freeze and die...
Hey mister, wake up, keep going...

아저씨-Mister.
어서- Come on. Used before a command or request.
일어나다-Get up.
길-Street.
큰 일-Big problem.
비-Rain.
속-In, inside. Inside the rain adds a ㅅ and becomes 빗속.
거닐다-Wander.
까맣다-Black.
발-Foot. (Note: his feet are black because he has no shoes)
얘기(이야기)-Story. 얘기 is an abbreviation of 이야기.
주무시다-Rest (polite form). Regular form of rest is 쉬다.
얼다-Freeze.
기운 내다-Keep going, do one's best.

어서 - This is often used in gentle commands, like 어서 와 - come here. The word 이리 is also used in the same sense - 이리 와.
큰 일 나다 - 큰 일 is a big problem, and 큰 일 나다 means to have a big problem. Often used in the sense of 'Now I've done it!' 'I've really done it this time!' 큰 일났다! ...
아, 숙제 까먹었어~... 큰 일이야! Oh no, I forgot my homework, now I'm done for!
얼다 - As above, adding ㅁ to a verb turns it into a noun. By turning 얼다 (freeze) into 얼음, we get the word ice.
얼어 죽다 means to freeze and die, or freeze to death. In the song, however, they say 얼어 죽어 버릴거예요. The last verb there, 버리다, literally means 'throw away', but can be used after another verb to show that it's a bad thing (same as Japanese shimatta for those that know). For example, if we say:
갔어요, it means that somebody has gone, but
가 버렸어요 means that somebody has gone, and it's a bad thing. Perhaps there was an arrangement to meet this person but he took off early...
죽었어. - (he/she) died.
죽어 버렸어 - (he/she) died (more regretful).

And the -거예요 in 얼어 죽어 버릴거예요 is the uncertain/future tense. This is polite. Impolite would be 죽어 버릴거야. This 거 is pronounced as '꺼' and therefore sometimes gets written with two ㄲ's.

무슨 일이 있었나 - Is there something wrong, is something going on? Once again we have 나, which is used to form questions, often when the speaker is wondering vaguely about something.
어디 갔었나? Where did he/she go?

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