Jindo Arirang: 89 Verses Is a Bit Much

This post is old, so what you see here may not reflect my current opinion and mindset, certain information may be outdated, and links may be broken.

I admit that I am definitely more Americanised than I am Korean. My American idealism constantly clashes with the Korean’s deeply rooted Confucian beliefs (which I agree with some but definitely disagree with his whole MEN IS THE BEST philosophy). Often times, I really do not like my Korean heritage (nor my US heritage, but that’s a different story all together). However, if there’s one aspect of Korean culture I like, it is their music, especially their percussion ensemble.

Now as someone born and raised in South Korea, I’d have to really live in a cave of ignorance to not know “Arirang“, the ever popular Korean folk song. Apparently there are many different variations of this song, mostly differing based on the regions in Korea, and my favourite happens to be “Jindo Arirang”. This version appeals to me the most because it’s fun, catchy, and it originates from Jeollanam-do, where my mum is from. I discovered that I wanted to try and sing this myself, but I don’t exactly know the lyrics. So I went on a lyrics hunt today and discovered this list of verses.

. . . Really, I think 89 verses is a bit much *sweatdrops* Granted, they are short verses, but still I don’t think I’ll ever memorise all of them. Though, some are humorous! One verse goes like this:

#71: 죽었다네 죽었다네 서울영감 죽었다네 며느리 몰래 콩볶아 먹다가 부랄이 데어 죽었다네.

Translation: Already died, already died, this man in Seoul already died! Behind his wife’s back, he stir-fried some beans, tried to eat them, and burnt to death.

Something like that. Don’t ask me what that’s supposed indicate, but it’s funny! But here’s a Youtube video to give you an auditory example. The actual video is crap, but this is the closest in terms of how the song goes I could find. :D

Catchy, ain’t it? Maybe I’ll really get into it and start belting these 89 verses out in public performances. That’s only when Pluto expands in size and becomes a planet again. Anyway, to conclude his entry, I’ll post up a video of the “regular” version of “Arirang”. Only it’s a “piano concerto” piece with Joe Hisaishi (Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke composer) playing the piano. This is perhaps the prettiest arrangement I’ve ever heard! So pretty that I really want an mp3 recording of this!


  1. Hey, you can convert the video into an .mp3 at MediaConverter.org (which is what I did). If you just want me to upload the .mp3 I have and send it to you, that works too. :)

  2. I’ve sent it to you in an email!

  3. HAha that is a lot of verses to remember!! Whoa. That is pretty cool though.

  4. Lol @ verse 79.

    Wow, the piano concerto piece is absolutely beautiful. LOVE LOVE LOVE.

  5. Cynthia on

    OMG, lol. … “aigoo” My mom says that all the time and now I say it. I was born in the province right in the middle of Jeollanam-do (Kwangju) so I keep imagining these old harabochi and halmoni just sitting there on a porch overlooking a rice patty singing to some kind of a stringed instrument. (Kind of like southeners with their farms haha)

  6. A Korean Folk song…a catchy Korean folk song at that! How cool is that and kudos to you for tackling all of those verses! I’m certain I wouldn’t be able to do it…but at least there’s music to help you memorize it. I always write a little song to help me memorize things and it seems to help!

    Good luck!

  7. Very catchy indeed. Now I can’t get that tune out of my head, though not knowing the lyrics, but I just mumble something. (in my mind, that is)

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