‘White Summer’ – a dream of Trinh Cong Son

'White Summer' - a dream of Trinh Cong Son 3
'White Summer' - a dream of Trinh Cong Son 3

White Summer was written by Trinh Cong Son in 1961, after a strange dream amid the bright, burning sun of the summer afternoon of Hue.

Waking up, his whole body drenched in sweat, Trinh Cong Son realized he had just come out of a strange dream.

From that midday summer dream, four poems about a white-clothed beauty walking in a cloudless afternoon began to take shape.

Trinh Cong Son and his music lover, Khanh Ly.

A week after his illness ended, Trinh Cong Son visited a friend’s father who was dying.

The touching story of an old love haunts Trinh Cong Son deeply.

The song begins with images from a dream filled with the scent of lychee and the wistfulness of a person who has been dreaming all his life:

“Call the sun on your thin shoulders and your clothes will fly away

The sun shines through sad eyes, the heart of flowers and butterflies is intoxicated

There were no clouds on my way home

The road is filled with sunshine during the season.`

The image of a young girl with a crane and apricot body has returned again and again in Trinh Cong Son’s works.

“I don’t know if your footsteps are coming back

Call me until the sun dies on the long river.`

It is undeniable that the life-and-death love of two old men that the musician witnessed inspired them to compose the poignant lyrics: `Life will last forever, the sun will not call me sad / Old clothes, even if they are wrinkled, will still last forever.`

Many lovers have come and gone in his life, but that doesn’t make Trinh Cong Son less lonely in the world.

'White Summer' - a dream of Trinh Cong Son

Khanh Ly successfully performed `White Summer`.

Over the past half century, the worries and torments in the life of the talented Hue musician are still voiced by many generations of Vietnamese singers.

Khanh Ly’s magical, haunting voice naturally became a boat filled with all the regrets, sadness, and melancholy of the wandering life that Trinh Cong Son went through.

The white summer may make us think more or less of Han Mac Tu’s anxious poems: `Here, the mist and fog obscure human images / Who knows whose love is strong?`.

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