Maryam Mustansir, Secunderabad, Telangana
The song ‘Winter Bear’, sung and directed by BTS‘ Kim Tae-hyung, got instant admiration and praise from ARMYs, the official name of the fandom, upon its release on August 9, 2019. This song is co-written and co-composed by Kim Tae-hyung along with Hiss Noise, Adora and BTS’ RM.
It not only boasts of a beautiful melody brought to life by Tae-hyung’s deep soothing voice but also has some meaningful lyrics that will melt you. When I first heard the song, I thought it was written for his grandmother who passed away in September 2016.
At the beginning of the song, it seems like he is calling the ‘blue parrot’ to fly to him. A blue parrot is said to be an extremely rare bird and is likely to represent luck, comfort, and happiness which was probably how he felt when he was with his grandmother. He says that he wishes to have good days, which he may have had if his grandmother would have been with him. This line clearly expresses how much he misses her.
He adds that imagining her face and thinking of greeting her, help him overcome difficulties and hardships in life. At one moment, there is a sudden change in technique – a shift to a falsetto that adds to the melody and makes this part of the song truly touching. He also wishes her good night and sings softly, telling her to sleep like a winter bear, in other words to rest in peace.
Well, this was my theory and interpretation which I deduced after listening to the song. There is another theory that says that he dedicated this song to the ARMYs as he released it on the 1000-day anniversary of the time when he coined the phrase ‘I Purple You’. Explaining the meaning of the phrase at a concert, Tae-hyung said, “Purple is the last colour of the rainbow. Purple means I will trust and love you for a long time.” It was a phrase he had made up to express the strong bond shared by the group and the fandom that he believes will last forever. The phrase is often used by the members and ARMYs to express their love for each other.
According to another theory, ‘blue parrot’ is also a reference to the ARMYs who bring him comfort, luck, and happiness. In the music video, he is seen walking around the streets of the cities he had visited with the members while they were on their world tour. It could mean that even though he was far from home and was most likely missing the comfort of his home, seeing ARMYs’ faces and greeting them put his troubled heart to ease.
I can’t say which one of the two theories is more accurate, but one thing is for sure that the song itself is a masterpiece as it calms and comforts the listeners and also sounds like a soothing lullaby. ARMYs, and anyone who has heard Tae-hyung’s compositions, can easily feel the emotions that run deep through his soulful voice. His hard work is also evident as he dons different hats for this song. Jung Ho-seok, another member of BTS, also praised this song and pointed out how he has come a long way since he started working on his first song, ‘4 O’clock’.
Since then, Tae-hyung has also come out with ‘Inner Child’ that was a part of BTS’ recent album ‘Map of the Soul: 7’ (2020), and has also worked on ‘Sweet Night’ for Itaewon Class (2020). The multi-talented artist also has 11 songs officially registered under his name as per the Korea Music Copyright Association (KOMCA).
So, what do you think of Tae-hyung’s artistry? Share your thoughts with us.