More Music for the New Year

Last week, I presented a collection of Thanh Thuy. Today,’s music box plays tet-related tunes Ngoc Lan had covered. Listening to their versions of “Canh Thiep Dau Xuan,” I like both of their unique approaches. While Ngoc Lan gives it a light feel with her angelic vocals, Thanh Thuy thickens it with her dark-voiced qualities. They have warmed up my heart and soul in this cold, bitter winter and given me that wonderful vibe for the New Year celebration.

On an unrelated note, I come across a well-written essay, “Crystal Sunshine,” in which the author, Thomas D. Le, discusses Trinh Cong Son’s “Nang Thuy Tinh” in great details. He writes,”Going over the lyrics again and again, I slowly realize that this song comes closest to being a painting, an expressionist painting. I have to come to grips with it on its own terms if I am to gain any kind of appreciation.” He has some interesting point of views, and he has done a superb job in translating the lyrics into English. I would say French too, but I don’t know the language, so I don’t pretend that I do. After reading his piece, I went back listening to Ngoc Lan’s rendition of “Nang Thuy Tinh,” and all I can say is that who could articulate the beauty of sunlight better than the sweetheart with a crystal voice and sparkling eyes herself? The way she phrased the lyrics made it seemed as if she knew Trinh was painting her portrait:”…your eyes round with ectasy / Scintillating in the sun’s crystal golden shrouds.” The experience is breathtaking, especially with the support of Thanh Lam’s exquisite, colorful sax sound.

Back to Vietnamese New Year, I wish everyone a less-stressed year ahead. If you weren’t stressed this year, you are one lucky soul.