Rimsha Seher, New Delhi
They say that there’s an untold story behind a person’s favourite song – a reason why they like the song so much that its name rolls out of their tongue every time they’re asked about their favourite song. Could it be that they can relate to the lyrics? Or is it because they are enthralled by the melody? The reason behind a song being someone’s favourite can only be answered by the person, just like how only I can describe why ‘The Truth Untold (ft. Steve Aoki)‘ from BTS‘s album, Love Yourself: Tear, is my favourite song.
Released on May 18, 2018, ‘The Truth Untold (ft. Steve Aoki)’ is the third track in the album. The song is produced by Steve Aoki and performed by the vocal line of the group which comprises of Kim Seok-jin, Park Ji-min, Kim Tae-hyung, and Jeon Jung-kook. The lyrics talk about concealing one’s true self and emotions and refraining from opening up to any individual. This is because one is under the impression that they will only be left alone in the end once again because of their ‘ugly’ side. So, they either think it is better to not open up at all or mask their inner struggles despite desperately wanting to unveil themselves and their true feelings.
As a person who suffers from alexithymia, a condition, where a person is unable to recognise own emotions, my inabilty to communicate or put my thoughts into words, made it difficult for me to explain to others why I felt immensely sad at times or incompetent or simply had low self-esteem. As a result, I pushed people away and kept myself consumed with my thoughts because it was easier that way than shaping my thoughts into words.
When I first heard the song, I realised that what I had been feeling all this while couldn’t have been expressed in a better way. The way the song is portrayed with ineffable, sad melody, and melancholic lyrics made me close my eyes, and I found myself completely immersed in the captivating composition. In addition to that, the four vocalists uplift the song with their breath-taking vocals and soulful singing, and one can feel their cry. For me, it was nearly impossible to tell what gave the song such an ambiance – the music, the lyrics, or their voices.
The song draws reference from a legendary love story surrounding the flower smeraldo that bloomed in the La Citta di Smeraldo in Northern Italy. It narrates the story of a man who considered himself ugly and lived in a secluded castle. To protect himself and his heart from the cruelties that the world showered on him, he shut himself from everyone, only to find comfort in the smeraldos he grew in his garden. Soon after, he fell in love with a girl who would pluck the flowers from his garden but he never had the courage to confront her. Later, he realised that she had died, and his love and sincerity remained undelivered.
This BTS’ song also starts with Tae-hyung singing about isolating himself and building walls to not let anyone come close. To me, it seems like he is trying to punish himself in probably the worst way known to the social animals – loneliness. He is living in solitude just like the man in the story because he despised himself immensely. However, while the story talked about being ugly on the outside, this song talks about being ugly on the inside.
As the song advances, the lyrics describe an unknown person entering the place, destructing his solitude. He gets accustomed to the person being there, but due to his consciousness about being a displeasing person, he cannot get close, afraid that he might scare them away. To meet the person, he wears a mask or hides his true self. Slowly, he wants to tear away the mask and reveal who he is but stops in the fear of losing the person. He ponders over the thought of giving the person a flower, possibly the smeraldo flower, which stands for the ‘sincerity that could not be delivered’. His overwhelming frustration of not having the courage to reveal his real face makes him cry. Even so, the last words of the song are ‘I still want you‘, something which remains an untold truth to the person along with his true identity.
This composition is so powerful that it will keep you hooked until the end. You’ll hold on to every word that is sung, wishing with your heart that its sincerity is delivered. For those who love getting goosebumps from mellow melodies and angelic high notes, this song is worth listening to.
What do you think of ‘The Truth Untold (ft. Steve Aoki)’? Share your thoughts in the comment section.