Song in a Train to Ho Chi Minh

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It was a long train ride from Da Nang to Ho Chi Minh City: more than 17 hours! I departed from Da Nang station on the 23rd February at 09.00 with the Reunification Express SE 6 and was scheduled to arrive at Sai Gon station the next day at 2.47 in the morning.

In short, after quite an exhausting trip (I couldn’t sleep very well during the train ride) I finally arrived at Ho Chi Minh City. Interestingly, moments before the train arrived at the station, a song was played on the speakers that were attached on the walls of the carriage. Through that mono speaker with that unique sound, I recorded the song along with the sound of the train engine that was slowly stopping. The song sounded so interesting and patriotic. The song was played with high volume. I presumed, it functioned as a wakeup call for the passengers or as an announcement that the train had reached its’ destination: Ho Chi Minh City.

When I was about to write this part, I asked my Vietnamese friend, Ye Ni Chao about the title of the song. The title was quite long in Vietnamese: “Mùa Xuân Trên Thành Phố Hồ Chí Minh”. In a message, my friend wrote:

“The title of this song means “The spring in Ho Chi Minh city”, which is the most beautiful season in Vietnam. This melody is really famous in my country, especially to those who had been through the wartime. The composer Xuan Hong wrote this song as he strongly inspired by the reunion of North and South Vietnam in 1975. The beautiful spring in Ho Chi Minh city symbolizes the beauty and the recovery of the nation after the long war: ‘The flag is flying high, those painful years has passed. And after 30 years being apart, now we are reunited with tears of joy’. The writer also shows his respect for the heroes who bravely fought and were willing to sacrifice for the peace of the union of our country, Vietnam”

Wow, as it turned out this song which sounded cheerful for an instant had such deep meaning to it. An experience that was engraved in my memory. Especially because I heard it for the first time in my journey in the Reunification Express Train that connected North and South Vietnam. This version is the new version that was covered by the female vocal group, Mây Trắng. Here is one part of the song lyrics and its’ translation in English :

Mùa Xuân này về trên quê ta
Khắp đất trời biển rộng bao la
Cây xanh tươi ra lá trổ hoa
Chào mùa Xuân về với mọi nhà.

Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh quê ta
Đã viết nên thiên anh hùng ca
Thiên anh hùng ca ngàn năm sáng chói
Lưu danh đến muôn đời.

Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh năm nay
Mùa Xuân về rợp bóng cờ bay
Nước thêm trong dòng sông Bến Nghé
Chợ thêm đông chợ vui Bến Thành.

Mùa Xuân trên thành phố Hồ Chí Minh quang vinh !
Ôi đẹp biết bao, biết mấy tự hào
Sài Gòn ơi cả nước vẫy chào
Cờ sao đang tung bay cao
Qua hết rồi những năm thương đau
Xa ba mươi năm nay mới gặp nhau
Vui sao nước mắt lại trào.

This spring on my hometown
Across the vast sky
Fresh green plants flowering leaves
Welcome spring to every home.
 
Ho Chi Minh City is my hometown
Wrote epic poem
Magnificent epic thousands of years
Remember forever.
 
Ho Chi Minh City this year
Spring is full of flags and balloons
Extra water in the Ben Nghe river
More crowded markets, fun Ben Thanh.
 
Spring in Ho Chi Minh City glory!
Oh how beautiful, how much pride
Dear Saigon, the whole country waved
Star flags are flying high
Over all the painful years
Thirty years away to meet
Funny why tears welled up.

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