* This post is written by Maria Margareta, one of the Korea Blog’s Worldwide Korea Bloggers.
Arirang is Korea’s most representative folk song. Like many other folk songs, nothing about its exact history is known. Arirang has decended from mouth to mouth. There are many version of Arirang composition base on the region. The most famous version is Gyeonggi Arirang.
Besides that there are many different versions of Arirang such as :
정선 아리랑 Jeongseon Arirang from Gangwon province.
진도 아리랑 Jindo Arirang from South Jeolla province.
밀양 아리랑 Miryang Arirang from South Gyeongsang province
and many others.
Arirang does not mean just one particular song. It stands for any song containing a refrain with word such as arirang or arari.
Gyeonggi Arirang song lyric :
아리랑, 아리랑, 아라리요…
아리랑 고개로 넘어간다.
나를 버리고 가시는 님은
십리도 못가서 발병난다.
Arirang, Arirang, Arariyo…
Arirang gogaero neomeoganda.
Nareul beorigo gasineun nimeun
Sibrido motgaseo balbyeongnanda.
Many versions of the song open by describing the travails the subject of the song encounters while crossing a mountain pass. “Arirang” is one name for the pass and hence the title of the song. Some versions of Arirang mention Mungyeong Saejae, which is the main mountain pass on the ancient Joseon Dynasty road between Seoul and southeastern Gyeongsang Province.
There are apparently a number of passes in Korea called “Arirang Pass”. One such is a pass among some hills in central-northeastern Seoul. That Arirang Pass, however, was originally called Jeongneung Pass and was only renamed in 1926, to commemorate the release of the film Arirang. Older versions of the song long predate the movie.
Arirang Pass (아리랑 고개) is an imaginary rendezvous of lovers in the land of dreams, although there is a real mountain pass, called, “Arirang Gogae,” outside the Small East Gate of Seoul. The heroine of the story from which the Arirang Song originated was a fair maid of Miryang. In fact, she was a modest woman killed by an unrequited lover. But as time went on, the tragic story changed to that of an unrequited lady-love who complained of her unfeeling lover. The tune is sweet and appealing. The story is recounted in “Miss Arirang” in Folk Tales of Old Korea (Korean Cultural Series, Vol. VI).
Arirang on Jazz versions :
Arirang-Korean-folk-song-Melody-lyrics-and-chords on http://www.scribd.com
Video credit :
Korea – Songs of Kyonggi District – Arirang Uploaded by theprof1958 on Youtube.
Gwangondo Arirang by Youn Sun Nah Uploaded by mrakoplasovozadlo on Youtube.
Jin-Do Arirang_진도 아리랑.wmv Uploaded by yeopyeop2 on Youtube.
밀양아리랑 – 김연자 [민요] Uploaded by ekftkfkd on Youtube.
Arirang – Piano Composition Uploaded by Vanze42 on Youtube.
정선 아리랑 (Jeongseon Arirang) – 김길자 Uploaded by luvjay88 on Youtube.
Lisa Ono – Arirang Uploaded by coolcoolmusic on Youtube.
An Illustrated Guide to Korean Culture.