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The First Dance

Caught a glimpse of Thien Kim’s live show (on DVD that is) and her performance of Ngo Thuy Mien’s “Niem Khuc Cuoi” takes me immediately back to our first dance. All that I can say is that Thien Kim’s rendition is nowhere near Thu Hoai’s. From articulating the words to capturing the emotion, Thu Hoai sang like a man in love, something not easy to accomplish from a female vocalist. It was a wise choice that she didn’t switch the roles from his to her like Thien Kim did, which ruined the intention of the song.

A few guests had questioned our song choice. The title, “Niem Khuc Cuoi,” alone is already sad and some of the lyrics are even sadder. We picked the song for both its sweet and bitter content. We wanted to share both sides of love, not just the good side. We had our ups and downs and I am sure more down moments in the future are inevitable. We have to recognize the reality of love in order to work out our conflicts.

Our initial plan was to go with Thuy Vu’s rendition on CD. It was the version that we first danced together over an intimate dinner at her apartment back in Beacon, New York. Unfortunately the mixer didn’t work at our wedding. The sound was badly distorted even from the original album, so I requested Thu Hoai to cover it and she didn’t disappointed us. She was right there inside the music and I could felt her every word. Where is Mr. Truc Ho? Scoop her up, please.

While we danced, my wife whispered in my ears, “I love you and we will be together forever.” The only thing I could do was to hold her tight and kiss her. That particular moment has filmed inside my mind. Every time I hear this song, the sound, sight, and sweet lips begin to play. It was simply unforgettable.

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