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A Love Song for South Korea

Updated: Feb 27, 2021

There are seven days left until I leave South Korea.

This morning I found myself in tears thinking about my life here. Not only my life as a teacher, but as a tourist, and a student too. Contrary to some of my critiques in previous blog posts, I don't hate South Korea.

When I studied at Hanyang University in the summer of 2015, we took a trip to the Cheonggyecheon Stream in Seoul. We were told by our tour guide that if we threw a coin and it landed in the center of the well, we would return to Korea again. (Have I told this sory already?)

I got a double portion! Once, to travel for my birthday, and again to live in this great country.

My first night here in 2015 was one of the scariest times of my life. The realization of how far I was from home had me shaking in my boots.

Now, six years later, I have matured into someone who that twenty-two year old girl would look up to, and aspire to become.

So I can write, with confidence and conviction, that South Korea raised me.

I grew up here. I learned here. I laughed here. I cried here. I met myself here. I met God here.

South Korea held a mirror up for me. I looked at myself and hated what I saw. But instead of looking at myself, I was made to look at God. And His gracious love for me is the truest reflection of who I am.

So for every minute I've spent in this country, let the record play...

Here are the songs that will always remind me of my life in South Korea:

1. Ella Mai- Boo'd Up

The first time I heard this song was in a steppin' video I saw on Facebook in March 2018. I've been hooked ever since! Every time this song played at the clubs, me and my friends were the most lit! Sadly, I haven't been able to find the original Facebook video again, but its still a bop!

2. Lil Dicky feat. Chris Brown- Freaky Friday

And speaking of clubs...This song was probably one of the most consistently played songs in every club in 2018. And a favorite among my friends. We even sang this song when we would go to noraebang (karaoke room).

3. Childish Gambino- Redbone

There is a very specific memory associated to this song. We spent a few hours at a club one night (I know! Again lol) Once we got outside this song started to play, and we danced outside the club for a few more minutes. This song will always be the happy memory of friends dancing in the street.

4. SiK-K pH-1 and Jay PArk - IFFY

Again, another club banger that reminds me of my friends. Pre-game or in the club this song always got the party started! I promise I could list 99 problems I have with the Korean clun scene. This song is not one of them!

5. Jonathan McReynolds- God is Good

If you've been following this blog, you know I've had some bad days. Days where I felt like Mr. Krabs was playing the world's tiniest violin just for me. This was my go to song on those days.

6. The Mississippi Mass Choir- Having You There

I saw the southern belle and chef, Dani Rose AKA StoveTopKisses lip syncing to this song on her instagram page. I watched this video at least twice a day for two weeks after. There's nothing like a good ole choir singing an A-selection for and about the Lord!

7. Keith Sweat- Twisted

From now until forever I cannot hear this song and not think about Chumi! Whether it was in my apartment, or at the Lake Park, we sang along with full voice to this hit. I don't know why, but I guess we just have a mutual understanding that this song right here, this the one! Do you know anyone else who whinned with this level of finesse? I think not.

8. Crush- fall

This emotional song is an ode to how I felt after leaving Korea the second time in 2016. This song is a great complement to the short story in my first book entitled, Quiet Truths. Press play and turn on the closed captions. You're welcome!

9. Crush- With You

Crush's From Midnight to Sunrise album was released in December 2019. I had the pleasure of attending that concert at the end of the same month with my good friend Wendy. In the hours leading up to the concert we kept playing this song on repeat. I think of it as our song and its my favorite track on the album! The video is really meaningful too!

10. Boyz II Men- End of the Road

End of the Road = 노래방 18번! What does this mean? It means that this is my favorite song to sing at karaoke. And I will sing both verses, the pre-chorus, and the interlude! I just need my friends to hold down the chrous backgrounds for me. This song has everything I need to execute an amazing karaoke performance! Emotion! Emotion! Emotion!

11.마커스 Markers- 부르신 곳에서 (At the Place Where You Call)

As you know, I was in the worship team at my church here for a few months. During that time I learned some amazing Korean worships songs. This is one of my favorites. The meaning of this song is so simple but so amazing! Because it's all Korean, I put the English lyrics below and I encourage you to sing along:

God of love and kindness

Your presence in me

You cover me with peace

In your loving embrace

I want none but You

Light of truth and love

Shining in me

You cover me with peace

In your loving embrace

Your love is all that I see

At the place where You call

I worship You Lord

Wherever I am

I give You my praise

At the place where You call

I worship You Lord

Wherever I am

Oh Lord I worship You (repeat)

Everywhere I go I praise you

Everything I do I lift up

My life to you I worship you (repeat)

12. 어노인팅 Anointing- 예배합니다 (I Will Worship You)

I present to you, my favorite Korean worship song, I Will Worship You. Again, this is a simple song but the beauty is in its simplicity. I provided this version because they sing it in both Korean and English. The song is originally written and performed by Anointing as I listed above.

That's all folks!! The next time I update this blog, I will be State-side, God willing!! Say a little prayer for me! Until next time!


Miya Marie~

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