One kpop tradition I’ve come to love is the farewell song that kpop idols record before they go into the military. Being a fairly new kpop fan, the ones I’m most aware of come from SHINee and BigBang (lo, the reach of BigBang!). So enjoy below five goodbye songs from some of my favorite boys.
BigBang — “Flower Road”
I came into kpop just as BigBang was leaving for the military, so I heard a LOT of squealing over this song. The lyrics contain a beautiful goodbye to their fans, and make T.O.P.’s homecoming earlier this week that much more poignant (Sometimes it’s pretty weird/You meet a dumb guy like me/Could I love someone again/If not for you, I would not be…You’re my music’s motive).
Onew — “Blue”
Onew was the first member of SHINee to enlist in the military, leaving behind his album Blue for fans. It seems to express how he’s lonely, and he knows that his fans will be lonely too. It’s a soulful way to connect with his fans, and that’s what Onew does best — soulful.
Key — “I Wanna Be”
Trust Key to be both upbeat and offbeat with his song and style! This song seems to be about Key’s desire to be with fans/the girl in the song all the time, but accepting that he can’t be, even though he’ll be lonely without her.
MinHo — “I’m Home”
Honestly, I’m not quite sure what to make of this one. The lyrics imply that MinHo is tired and lonely, even when he’s home, and that everything he’s done seems meaningless. OH! It’s a breakup song. He’ll be lonely without her/the fans.
JongHyun — “Only One You Need”
Yep, I went there. JongHyun’s death rocked me to the core and it was a long time before I could listen to SHINee again, much less the solo tracks that JongHyun left behind. According to one news report, JongHyun said that “Only One You Need” was meant to comfort people when they’ve lost a loved one. Even in death, he was incredibly thoughtful.
So that’s my experience with kpop goodbye songs, drama fans. Tell me, what are your favorite “going into the military, please don’t forget me” songs? I want to hear about them!
Until the next track spins, I remain —
Karie the Maknae
Dramas with a Side of Kimchi