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tuannyriver

Website & blog of Tuan Hoang, Pepperdine University

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Music

Lullaby of Birdland over the years

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pc cdandlp.com

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Song of refugees #1 – Một Chút Quà Cho Quê Hương (A Few Gifts for the Homeland)

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Song of refugees #2 – 1954 Cha Bỏ Quê, 1975 Con Bỏ Nước (Father Left Home in 1954, Son Left Country in 1975)

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Haiphong 1954 ~ Northern Vietnamese leaving for the south ~ pc flick.com

Continue reading “Song of refugees #2 – 1954 Cha Bỏ Quê, 1975 Con Bỏ Nước (Father Left Home in 1954, Son Left Country in 1975)”

Song of refugees #3 – Ai Trở Về Xứ Việt (Who Are Returning to the Viet Land?)

This song is most interesting because the original lyrics were written in Paris by the writer Minh Đức Hoài Trinh – in 1962.

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Minh Đức Hoài Trinh in Europe during the 1960s ~ pc minhduchoaitrinh.wordpress.com

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Song of refugees #4 – Anh Vẫn Mơ Một Ngày Về (I Still Dream of Returning One Day)

Ask Vietnamese to name Vietnamese female singers that they love, and you can expect to hear many names.  Ask them to name a Vietnamese female songwriter, and just about everyone will be stumped by the question.  For there has been little recorded popular music written by Vietnamese women.  I have no explanation for the wide discrepancy.  But such was the case, at least in South Vietnam and the postwar diaspora.

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Song of refugees #5 – Đêm Chôn Dầu Vượt Biển (Hiding Diesel at Night for the Boat Escape)

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cf son-trung.blogspot.com

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Song of refugees #6: Bài Hát Học Trò (A Student Song)

My last post notes a fire that I experienced in Minnesota back in the 1980s. After I posted the link on Facebook, a fellow former refugee responded that he remembers people ran out of the building that night and carrying “nothing but boomboxes.”

Funny, you say, but it is illustrative of two things.  First, Vietnamese music was very, very important to the refugees. Second, after automobiles boomboxes were the most valuable possessions for many refugees back then, especially men in the twenties and thirties, some of whom populated the apartment building that was burned down.

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A boombox from JVC manufactured in 1982… JVC and Sony were the hottest brand names for Vietnamese refugees at the time. ~ pc eBay

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Song of refugees #7: Tôi Với Trời Bơ Vơ (Me and the Lonely World)

This popular song did not cross my mind at all when I first conceived this list.  A passing comment from Jason Gibbs, however, made me think more about it.  Later, reading a published comment from the song’s composer prompted its inclusion.  It is the least conventional choice for this list, since there isn’t anything overtly about refugees.  Yet for reasons below, it speaks subtly about the experience of adjustment to the new land by Vietnamese refugees in the U.S. and elsewhere during the 1970s and 1980s.

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Song of refugees #8 – Hát Cho Người Ở Lại (Sing for Those Staying Behind)

This post is the only one in the series without a YouTube video.  In fact, here is the only online link to the recording that I could find, and the upload is hardly perfect.  It’s true that I’d like to throw in one or two obscure songs in a list of mostly well-known tunes.  Even there I was quite surprised at the Internet neglect of this song.

December 1, 2016: The link above still works, but I’ve just uploaded the song on YouTube and it has better audio quality.

Continue reading “Song of refugees #8 – Hát Cho Người Ở Lại (Sing for Those Staying Behind)”

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