Terri’s Take: “The Best Present”

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— Cloud cover by: Terri, Managing Editor :-}

I think Stephe said it best in her own words: “Rain’s voice is of the heavens. The song is DOPE. The choreography is SICK.  The music video visuals are to die for.”  All I can say is AMEN to that.  I would, however, like to share my own take on the subject of Rain’s newest release, “The Best Present.”  Hopefully, you won’t mind.  :-}

Some of you Cloud USA newbies may not know me.  Why?  Well, I’m kind of quiet.  I have a demanding job and work long hours (sort of like Rain, only I don’t dance and sing, and if I did either of those things in front of you, you would definitely regret it).  So, I usually leave the blog in Stephe’s extremely capable hands.

On the other hand, that doesn’t mean I’m not around.  I’m constantly working on things behind the scenes here at Cloud USA.  I keep our website maintained, answer emails, work on long-term projects, pay the bills.  That sort of thing.  I guess you could say I’m basically the silent partner.  (Or rather the NOT-so-silent partner, as Stephe would likely say.  :-P.)

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When the music video for “The Best Present” came out on January 15th, I happened to be off work and had nothing to do.  Literally.  No errands, no chores, no family obligations.  For three whole days.  (Nirvana).  So, of course, what do I do?  I get busy working with a translator to get the English lyrics to “The Best Present” just right, so that I could post the song and its English translation on our discography as soon as possible.

I don’t know much Korean, and I certainly can’t speak it.  I can, however, understand a few commonly used Korean words when I hear them.  Words like “promise,” “wedding dress,” “eternal” and “ring.” As I worked and watched and listened to the song over and over, it dawned on me that this song was not your regular old love song.  Instead, it was a wedding/proposal song.  The fact that it also seemed to be crafted to such perfection made me wonder if there might be a heck of a lot more behind this song than just a Rain comeback.  Oh. My. Goodness.

But then I thought, Stop it.  Don’t be silly.  It’s just a really romantic song.  I mean, after all, PSY was the producer of the song, for goodness’ sake. Rain didn’t write it.  Then on one show Rain mentioned a collaboration on the lyrics of the song.  On another he mentioned it again.   As a consequence, even as I posted up the final English translation, one thought kept creeping into my head:  This music video is so well put together and so intentionally crafted that it’s spooky.  Something’s up.

Of course, after the big announcement, the subsequent wedding, and the following Cloud panic all over the world, I knew I had been right. This gorgeous song, although certainly intended to entertain his fans, wasn’t ours alone.  It also had been created to honor that special someone in his life, someone he was about to walk down the aisle with–Kim Tae Hee.  It was a gift not just for us and not just for himself.  It was a gift to her, given in the best way he knew how at the most perfect time–through song and dance and four days before their wedding.

It was only then, after my work was done and after everything had calmed down a bit, that I began to examine the song and video more closely.  As I did, I found myself appreciating it even more.  PSY’s musical composition was carefully crafted to let Rain’s breathtaking vocals shine.  The music video production was directed in a way that brilliantly accentuated Rain’s dancing expertise.  What I was most thrilled with, however, was the choreography itself.  Not only was the choreography masterful in a technical sense, it was also exceptional in a symbolic way.

After discovering all of that, I thought there was no way that anyone who watched that music video could misunderstand his blatant message.  Apparently, though, I thought wrong, because even today I’m still seeing comments on social media from people who still don’t get it.  No, no, no.  The music wasn’t about a proposal to his girlfriend.  It wasn’t about HER.  It was his comeback.  It was a song to his Clouds.

Well.  Yes.  Yes, it was.  It was a song to his Clouds.  It was a song so romantic that Clouds all over the world swooned and watched it over and over and over again.  Clearly, they are still watching it, because the music video now has almost 3 million views on YouTube.  However, it was also something much deeper than a comeback video,  much more than a song for his fans.  This song–especially the music video–was pure, unadulterated love.  Really.  You want me to prove it?  Okay.  Here goes.

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The music video opens with Rain’s silhouette–a fedora on his head and his broad shoulders enhanced by back-lighting–perfectly emphasizing the man’s choreographic prowess.  Many were immediately reminded of Michael Jackson.  This is certainly an apropos comparison, because in Rain’s youth, before he became an entertainer, he idolized Michael Jackson, and was desperate to become as good of an entertainer as Michael was.  In past years, Rain has often directly paid homage to Michael (who actually passed away on Rain’s birthday [June 25] in 2009) by performing Michael Jackson songs during his shows.  So, basically, here we are seeing Rain in his past.

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When the dancing begins, however, we are instantly transported to the Rain of today.  Today, in his present, Rain is a professional dancer, singer, actor–a solid entertainer with 16 years of experience.  Yet, even now, people tell him that he’s nothing, a nobody.  Except for the woman in the video he is singing to, who tells him, instead, that he is her everything, her only one.  The thought of her being there for him–no matter what–touches him so much that he actually beats his chest.

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Then comes his future.  The chorus begins with his imitation of a violinist.  Violins are used in wedding music.  In literature, a violin usually symbolizes something angelic, something “heavenly.”  It also portrays serenity or peace. With this, Rain is saying that for him, this girl–no this woman–represents all of these things.  She is a heavenly gift.  A gift from God.  And her presence brings him peace.  He even points out at the audience in the video, to emphasize that he’s talking about her (neo/you) specifically.  

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The video continues with the big reveal–his confession that not only is his dream the same as hers, but also that her name “Tae Hee” will forever be his “greatest happiness.”  In Hanja, or Chinese characters, which Koreans use in their naming tradition, Tae Hee’s name literally means 泰 =Tae=big/greatest and 希=Hee=hope/happiness.  With these lyrics, he clearly identifies who “neo” is for him.  The woman he is singing to (a.k.a. proposing to) is his beloved girlfriend (now wife), Kim Tae Hee.  He wants to take the next step in their relationship and…well.  You know.  Get married.  :-}

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The proposal goes on with him making promises he knows she needs to hear.  He holds up his left hand, the hand people make vows with, the hand people swear to tell the truth with, and he swears to do everything he can to keep her safe.  Next, he holds up the little finger on his left hand, the finger you would use to link with another’s to make a promise, a “약속 (yagsog),” and he promises to hold her in his arms.

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You’d think that by this time, if the woman still hasn’t said yes, she’s an idiot, right?  But wait!  The song is only halfway over.  :-}  Wherever she goes, he’ll be there.  She’s the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen, especially in that wedding dress.  Finally, he cries heartfelt tears, puts a ring on her finger and closes the deal by promising her everything–eternally.

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Whew.  I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted.  And ready to marry the fella myself.  Like, right now.  LOL.  Seriously, though, most of the time I don’t even think about the details of a music video–even Rain’s.  Usually, I just sit back, relax, listen to the music and enjoy the lovely view.  This time, though, it was different.  It was different because this time I knew–without a doubt–that the love, the passion and the heart I was feeling when I listened to this song was real.

Two days later, Rain’s letter to his fans announcing his impending marriage was posted on his Instagram account (@rain_oppa).  As you can imagine, I wasn’t surprised.

After all, he had already told us–in his own special way.

Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Jung Ji-Hoon.  May you live well and happily together, and may God bless you with an abundance of joy.  ♥

Terri :-} and Stephe ^@@^

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~ by Cloud USA on January 21, 2017.

15 Responses to “Terri’s Take: “The Best Present””

  1. C’est vrai, c’est une belle chanson J’ai aimé la chorégraphie et le son tout de suite , je me doutais aussi de qui il parlait dedans .
    Merci Terri pour ton analyse , du coup j’ai regardé la vidéo en pensant à tes commentaires 😉 Très bien .
    Ravi de vous avoir lue Terri cela à fait longtemps .
    Bisous de France .

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  2. Great analysis 🙂 I kind of do something like this as my job (haha, not about Rain though), and it’s brilliantly written 🙂 What made me love him, was his sincerity, and when I heard/saw/read the song, I was sure he means it. I immediately believed that it isn’t a romantic fiction, but reality…. and he even said it in that interview to the song and the Knowing brothers show – that it’s a proposal song. The best love story ever 🙂 (which confirms that he is the best man…)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your kind words and comment.

      Yes, he does seem to be a good man, doesn’t he? IMHO, just the fact that he revealed his impending marriage to his fans proves that he actually cares for us all very deeply.

      Marriage is certainly a very private thing and, in truth, he really wasn’t obligated to say anything to us about his private life at all. But because he knew that some of his Clouds would be extremely upset at the news, and because he had promised to do so awhile back, he chose to share their upcoming wedding with us himself–in a heartfelt, handwritten letter. As a long-time Cloud, and as a person who has experienced so many broken promises in my own life, his keeping that promise meant a lot to me.

      All I can say is that the news was certainly exciting to those of us who knew this day would come at some point. After all, he dated KTH for 4+ years. Why in the world would he date her that long and not be serious about her?

      Terri :-}

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  3. When Rain received the song from PSY~ he said he really did not like the style of the music so he changed it to fit his style and added his own words to it. Made it his way, coincidence that I was on line at the same time same location ~ when he just made the announcement of the engagement ~ I thought that was interesting to say he was engaged then the next day he posted he was married….lol…just coincidence we had a one to one conversation while he was posting on Facebook. It is usually so difficult to know who is real and who is pretending to be Rain,,,lol…since so many people are using his PHOTOS as ID’s. Your description of his dance is well done.. great insight…!! I wondered why steph did not like the dance or what was going on in her mind. I think perhaps there is more songs that is coming out in the near? future with more surprises and a complete album he is working on~~a new style as he is working on ????he said R&B…hip hop…smile…

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  4. I remember reading a past college textbook that explained just how much Rain uses symbolism in his visual projects and on stage (a LOT). So, this fits right in with that. A cool read, Terri.^^

    Stephe ^@@^

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  5. I’ll keep my comment brief tonight and agree with the consensus. Awesome insight into this video Terri. *2 thumbs up and a high 5*

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  6. Terri, as if I had not cried enough both with joy(for his happiness) and sadness( I felt like I was losing a son) after reading the translation and watching the video again. You had to go and confirmed everything I love about him. From his early videos and interviews I have seen a young trying to prove himself and honor his mother, grow into a confident and mature man, who have found the his soulmate. Buckle up we ain’t seen nothing yet. My curious boy has finally let go of the past and his new horizon is limitless. When I heard the opening bars I knew this was something different. The melody has stayed with me.

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  7. Hi Terri – thanks for giving me an excuse to watch the video again! I love their love story, and the sincere but discrete way they have shared it with their fans.

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  8. Well said. And at the same time, I feel that the song is kind if sad… That’s whst I feel, I don’t know why. Hahahha (≧▽≦) Byt every one have his own interpretation. I like your analysis, so coherent and reasonable♥

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    • Hi, RC El Salvador!

      Thank you for your comment.

      I think what you may have been feeling was that it felt bittersweet. Rain loves his Clouds very much. I’m sure the thought of hurting any of us in any way, truly weighed on him.

      Can you imagine what it must have been like for him to know that the moment we realized what that video was about (him and KTH) many of his beloved Clouds would be crying? Heartbreaking.

      Terri :-{

      Like

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