website & blog of Tuan Hoang, Pepperdine University



The Vietnamese equivalent to the Beatles’ Yesterday

Comparisons of music in different languages and styles could be a hazardous affair.  Even at its best, a comparison could be pretty inexact because one could locate as many divergences and differences as parallels and similarities, if not more.  And the differences may be too strong to render similarities ineffectual.  With this caveat, I nonetheless wish to give this comparison a try.


A few months ago, I suggested that the Vietnamese equivalent to Where Do I Begin?, the theme song of the movie Love Story, is a ballad by Trần Thiện Thanh about a young couple in wartime.  The song was based on a true story, albeit the deceased at the end is the man rather than the woman as in the novel and movie.  There was also temporal proximity, as the Vietnamese song was written and produced two or three years after the release of the sentimental American movie.  In other words, both songs came out of the early Seventies.

Continue reading “The Vietnamese equivalent to the Beatles’ Yesterday”

The perfect Beatles love song

Here’s my first blog post ever from ten years ago this week, when I was in grad school.  How time flies! It’s slightly edited with added links and photos.

One of my fondest memories of last year was getting together every now and then with two grad friends to strum acoustic guitars and sing Beatles songs. Frequently enough, we did “Here, There and Everywhere,” with art historian Jen in lead vocal, fellow Americanist Matt in solo guitar, and me on rhythm guitar and backing vocal.

We rendered the song as close to the original recording as possible, and at the end of one such rendition, the normally low-key and quiet Matt let out, “It’s the best Beatles song ever!” KEEP READING!

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: