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Tue Jul 20, 2021, 10:23 PM

"돌아와요 부산항에 Come back to Busan harbor

등려군 "돌아와요 부산항에 Please come back to Busan harbor

Teresa Teng ( 등려군 ), the great Chinese singer from Taiwan, did a performance of the original version of this song. The video above is a performance in Japan, sung in Japanese. There are English subs. It's very beautiful, an extraordinary performance by one of Asia's great 20ih Century popular singers.

Below is Jo Yong-pil's adaptation which made the song a big hit in South Korea:

This audio is the 1980 version performed by Jo Yong-Pil. Lyrics and melody credited to ( 황선우 ) Hwang Seon-roo. There is an earlier version of the song performed and recorded in 1969 by Kim Hae-il, called ( 돌아와요 충무항에 ) Come back to Choong-mu port that was essentially a very similar song and melody. Hwang Seon-roo had collaborated with Kim Hae-il in producing the original song and melody. This was the basis for the later plagarism suit after Jo Yong-pil made "Come back to Busan Port" a hit. Kim Hae-il had died an early tragic accidental death in a hotel fire during leave from military service in 1971. When Jo Yong-pil's version of the song became famous, Kim's family filed a plagiarism suit. Kim's version of the song had not been commercially successful. Kim's military service and early death resulted in the song languishing until Jo Yong-pil and Hwang seon-roo adapted and successfully revived it, apparently about 1976. The suit was subject to a settlement with Kim's family. In addition to some other details "my dear" is changed to "my brother" in the lyrics and obviously Choong-mu port near Tangyang where Kim Hae-il was born (about 2 hours west of Busan on the South Sea) was changed (back) to Busan port in the title and lyrics. Allegedly, Come back to Busan Port was the original title of a version written by Hwang before Kim Hae-il adapted it in their 1969 collaboration. In 1972 Hwang tried to produce it with Jo Yong-pil when he was working with the Kim Trio in 1972. The Jo Yong-pil effort finally succeeded in 1976.

These lyrics bring to mind the colonial period when Koreans may have traveled to or been transported to Japan for labor or military service. Also during periods of domestic hardship and repression after the Japanese defeat in WWII and the Korean War where such distress may have prompted such travels back and forth by Koreans.

Reference: 돌아와요 부산항에

This song is an exemplar of similar favorite songs like 눈물 젖은 두만강 Tumen River of Tears and 목포의 눈물 Mokpo's Tears.

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