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Special Features, Original Features
Posted by LorraineYe AKP STAFF Monday, September 25, 2017

15 of K-Pop's Most Meaningful Songs

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1. G-Friend's Glass Bead
"Don't be nervous, does it seem like a dream?
I am shining for you
I'll hold your trembling hand
I'll warmly hold you"


G-Friend's 'Glass Bead' is a song all about being strong for someone you love! Though it has more of a generic pop sound, the song's lyrics are a bit more dynamic than many assume. In addition to being a well-written song lyrically, 'Glass Bead' has been used in South Korea to represent LGBT rights at events such as the Seoul Pride Parade.
2. Girls Generation's Into the New World
"Don't wait for a special miracle
There's a rough road in front of us
With unknowable future and obstacles, I won't change
I can't give up"


This perennial classic has lasted the test of time as one of the best hits in K-Pop history. However, its usage extends far beyond the individual enjoyment of K-Pop fans! In fact, the song has been used in a number of protests when the removal of the South Korean President was underway. University students across Korea danced peacefully to this track to unify people across the nation.
3. BTS' Tomorrow
"The tomorrow we've been waiting
for becomes the name of yesterday at some point
Tomorrow becomes today, today becomes yesterday,
tomorrow becomes yesterday and is behind me
Life isn't about living along but living through
As you live through, you'll disappear some day
If you keep spacing out, you'll be swept away,
if you ain't no got the guts, trust
It'll all become yesterday
anyway so what's the use?"


Early BTS songs are known as some of the most provocative lyricism in K-Pop with direct references to modern issues going on in Korean society and the rest of the world. Tomorrow has lyrics that encourage the listener to trudge on for a better tomorrow despite the hard days that seem never-ending. A better tomorrow is just around the corner.
4. gugudan Sejeong's Flower Way
"The world is so cold
Colder than when I lived in you
You gave me enough love and when I felt
That it was too much I became an adult
To raise a single flower
How much rain fell in your eyes?"


Sejeong of gugudan's song 'Flower Way' is a gorgeous song about mothers and how important they are to us in our life's journey into adulthood. Her lyricism is dainty and gorgeous and holds a genuine sentimentality for mothers and their roles in everyday life.
5. IU ft. G-Dragon's Palette
IU: I got this, I'm truly fine, I think I know a little bit about myself now.
GD: Past twenty, not yet thirty, in between, right there. When I'm not a kid or an adult, when I'm just me, I shine the brightest.


A gorgeous coming-of-age single by IU ft. G-Dragon, the lyricism for 'Palette' is relatable for many! This song serves an autobiographical track for artist IU who released this song after being in the industry for close to a decade. Her personal growth is seen in her lyricism as she proudly states she is 25 and later says she's 'got this'!
6. Jonghyun's Let Me Out
"Someone please hold me,
I'm exhausted from this world.
Someone please wipe me,
I'm drenched with tears.
Someone please notice my struggles first.
Please acknowledge the poor me.
Please help me."


From the chorus to the high note, 'Let Me Out' by Jonghyun is an incredible track, but we think that the lyricism is what makes the track so successful! Jonghyun's raw emotion and apparent distress is captured perfectly in the song as he shouts out for anyone to help him. The song is much darker than the average song and seeing Jonghyun in such a vulnerable light is eye-opening as well!
7. Tablo's Expiration Date
"I'm afraid I'll be a book that no one reads
Music that no one listens to anymore
I'm afraid I'll be abandoned like a movie playing in an empty theater"


Tablo's 'Expiration Date' touches on the fear that most of us have in our lifetimes that we will not make an impact on the world around us. There is an innate fear that we, as humans, will be alone or be abandoned with no recollection from others of who we are or once were. The lyricism of this song revolves around that idea time is fleeting. Tablo's provocative song-writing is apparent not only in this song but other songs of his such as 'Home', 'Airbag', 'The Tide', 'Dear TV' and much more!
8. Song Jieun's Don't Look At Me Like That
"When the lights start to turn off, I quietly go to meet you
A flower blooms in the world that's only filled with thorns
Why? Why not?
They whisper and go against us
Why? Why not?
We're so in love"


Song Jieun's 'Don't Look At Me Like That' is one of the only tracks that declares love is valid in all its forms. The track was specifically stated that it was about both homosexual and interracial relationships and love! This song and its lyricism are particularly special as it blatantly touches on issues that are otherwise untouched by the music scene.
9. B.A.P.'s Wake Me Up
"Vive la revolution
Snap out of it, I thought I swallowed you
In this gray city,
There's stale air and coldness
Contaminating the rotten brains and spines
Be aware of the corrupt truth
And the outer layer of the broken subjects
Free, love, real, ill"


Mental health is incredibly stigmatized in modern day society. B.A.P.'s song 'Wake Me Up' touches on mental illness and society's refusal to acknowledge it's existence as a legitimate health concern. It also critiques society's failure to help those who suffer from mental illnesses! The lyrics to this song are extremely well-written and succinct in functioning as a strong and dynamic track, as well as a powerful way of relaying a message to the masses.
10. BTOB's It's Okay
"Look forward to this melody you liked
The voice that will flow out of the radio
The only thing I can do, Is to sing the lyrics of this song
Even if things are hard It's ok, it's ok, it's ok
Everything will be ok, I believe in you"


BTOB's 'It's Okay' is a song of encouragement for those who are feeling that they've hit a low in their lives. It's Okay serves as help for those who have had a bad time, reassuring the listener that it will be okay again soon. This song has helped many K-Pop fans through anxiety, pressure, depression and other hard times. BTOB's performance of this fantastic lyricism is moving and relatable for fans all over!
11. f(x)'s 4 Walls
"Love is 4 Walls,
The Mirror Mirror that's filled up by you
Love is 4 Walls,
The mysterious maze, maze"


Upon first listen to f(x)'s 4 Walls, there's an obvious dancey electronic melody accompanied by gorgeous vocals from the group. However, the song has a more meaningful question between the lines in the lyricism! As f(x) proudly proclaims 'love is 4 wall's, it is left to the listener to decipher whether these walls form together to create a prison or a safe haven. Which one is it?
12. Lee Hi's Breathe
"It's alright if you run out of breath
No one will blame you
It's okay to make mistakes sometimes
Because anyone can do so
Although comforting by saying it's alright
Are just words"


When Lee Hi wrote the song 'Breathe', she was suffering from a slight panic disorder which caused her to constantly feel short of breath. Because she frequently felt the feeling of suffocation, she wrote Breathe for people who were exhausted of fighting the same problems as she had. The song's lyrics hold deep meaning and symbolize Lee Hi's struggle to maintain her ability to sing despite her panic disorder.
13. AKMU's Time and Fallen Leaves
"Time passes like water flows
I'm building a dam called memories
There are memories that I couldn't hold onto
It's the reason why I look beyond the horizon again today"


Akdong Musician has touched the hearts of many with their melodic songs and harmonies! This song focuses on the beautiful moments in your life that have elapsed as time goes on. Rather than a negative focus, the song takes a positive outlook on these moments and the singers 'build a dam called memories' with all these past experiences and moments.
14. The Ark's The Light
"1 is loneliness and 2 is company
Together we're the A team,
a match and gasoline
Just like a pair of scissors need two blades
Lean on me
I know Always got my back back, and you know
i always got you right back"


'The Light' by The Ark was released one year after the tragic Sewol Ferry incident and the MV pairs perfectly to the lyricism of the song. The lyrics talk about a person who used to care about herself but suddenly discovers true happiness when she begins to live more selflessly. This is portrayed in the MV between the relationship of a mother and her daughter. The song speaks about interpersonal relationships between people regardless of who they are. Try not to cry while watching the MV!
15. Taeyang's Eyes, Nose, Lips
"Your black eyes that only saw me
Your nose that held the sweetest breath
Your lips that whispered
'I love you, I love you'… I…"


The lyricism to 'Eyes, Nose, Lips' can be considered some of K-Pop's best when it comes to powerhouse ballads! Taeyang's track is about a person yearning for the love of his past relationship. This song comes from Taeyang's heart as he writes an honest tale about a very personal story. The authenticity of the lyrics gives the song an increased amount of depth. No wonder why it was such a hit!
16. What are your favorite meaningful K-Pop lyrics?
Let us know what song lyrics are your favorite in the comments below!

SEE ALSO: K-pop Songs Dedicated to Fans

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