The Korea Herald


[What to play] Musical tributes to family in the month of family

By Lee Jung-youn

Published : May 11, 2024 - 16:01

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The album cover for “Mother to Daughter” by Yang Hee-eun and Kim Kyu-ri (Vibe) The album cover for “Mother to Daughter” by Yang Hee-eun and Kim Kyu-ri (Vibe)

May is known as the month of family in South Korea. With Children's Day on May 5, Parents' Day on 8, and Married Couples' Day on 21, it is a month for spending time with loved ones and thinking about the meaning of family.

Why not take a moment under the pleasant May sunshine to reflect on the gratitude we hold for our families with some comforting songs?

“Mother to Daughter” – Kim Kyu-ri & Yang Hee-eun

Singer Yang Hee-eun's "Mother to Daughter," released in 2015, delves into the complex relationship between mothers and their daughters.

Since 2014, Yang has been collaborating with younger singers on various projects, and "Mother to Daughter" is the fourth project in this series. In the song, Yang represents the feelings of the mother, while Kim Kyu-ri expresses the daughter's emotions. The lyrics portray a daughter who feels both appreciative of and burdened by her mother's advice, and a mother who tries to find the best way to support her daughter.

The album also includes a rap version of the same track, featuring rapper Tymee, allowing listeners to explore a different perspective. Singer-songwriter and pediatric psychiatrist Kim Chang-ki composed the song.

In the song's music video, Yang Hee-eun's sister, actress Yang Hee-kyung, plays a mother raising her daughter, a message to every mother who struggles to protect their daughters.

From left: Yang Hee-eun, Lee Chan-hyuk and Lee Su-hyun (Yang Hee-eun's official blog) From left: Yang Hee-eun, Lee Chan-hyuk and Lee Su-hyun (Yang Hee-eun's official blog)

“The Tree” – AKMU & Yang Hee-eun

“The Tree” is the eighth song from Yang Hee-eun's collaborative project with young artists. Yang collaborated with K-pop sibling duo AKMU to create another heart-warming ode.

Lee Chan-hyuk, a member and producer of AKMU, composed the song after he visited his grandfather who was ill at the time. The song captures a grandson's imagination of the days his grandfather lived, likening his wrinkled hands and bent back to a tree. The song's lyrics are set against a warm melody.

Yang's resonant voice is accompanied by an acoustic guitar, and Lee and his sister Su-hyun's warm and clear voices join in to create a dramatic chorus.

Kim Jin-ho of SG Wannabe (Melon) Kim Jin-ho of SG Wannabe (Melon)

Kim Jin-ho – “Family Portrait”

“Family Portrait” by Kim Jin-ho, a member of R&B group SG Wannabe, is another song that reflects a deep gratitude and respect toward one’s parents who spent their youth raising their children.

Released on Feb. 14, 2013, as part of Kim's first solo album, "Today," "Family Portrait" was written and composed by the singer in just 5 minutes, and was inspired by his family photos. Kim's father passed away when he was in his second year of middle school, and, lacking a proper family portrait, he created the song after seeing a photo of his mother and himself with his father's photo attached.

When Kim sang the song on the special episode of the KBS2 variety show "Immortal Songs" in 2014, both the audience and fellow singers were brought to tears.