In the Korean alphabet called Hangul, the word “Kieuk” (ㅋ) sounds like “K” in English. In Korea, “ㅋ” is used to express laughing sound, which is similar to English expression “LOL”. But it implies wide variation and context of laughter, from happiness to sneering.
My heart’s been ‘Koong Koong’ (pounding) all day
웬종일 쿵쿵대는 내 맘을
I wrote ‘Si Si Kol Kol’ (Every little thing from A to Z) about that and text it
시시콜콜 적어 전송했지만
But you slept ‘Kool Kool’ (ZZZ) while I sent it
너는 쿨쿨 자다가
And replied with only one letter, ‘ㅋ’ (Kieuk)
아주 짧게 ㅋ 한 글자만 찍어서 보냈다’
And, it’s quite obvious that the person who sings the song is in love and doesn’t use the letter “ㅋ” in positive meaning. That makes “Kieuk”, the first single off South Korean rock band Kiha & The Faces’ fourth album, interesting and cute.
With a load of Kieuk-rhyme wordplay and humorous guitar/synthesizer, the band successfully sing about a poor guy who fell in love in smartphone era.
Kiha & The Faces (장기하와 얼굴들) have been well known for their ability to mingle creative Korean lyrics into their 70s-oriented rock music.
And on the recent album, “There is No One Who’s Specialist to Own Love” (내 사랑에 노련한 사람이 어딨나요), it seems like their wordplay skill finally reached atop the South Korean music scene.
Photo: Park Ja Wook / Vogue Korea