Bosba PANH

Music

Roadside Grave


Sihyun Uhm (piano), Bosba (voice)
2014
Bosba

Story

­“Roadside Grave”  for soprano and piano

text based on translation of traditional Japanese hymn 

During winter break 2014, my father brought me a Japanese songbook and I remember leafind through it and stumbling on the translation of the Japanese text of a traditional hymn. The text was so poignant and grim that I decided to set it to music. Something changed in the way I started composing and this song marks my transition into experiencing with dissonances. I regard this piece as the first turn point in my composition process.

Lyrics

Roadside Grave (Japanese folk song)

If I die, bury me by the roadside

If I die, bury me by the roadside

Then every passer by will offer flowers at my grave

When I die, who will cry for me ?

Oh! When I die, who will cry for me ? 

What flower will it be?

Will it be camelia? or will it be the cicada?

In the pine mountains behind us?

If I die, bury me by the roadside

If I die, bury me by the roadside

Then all the cicadas and all the camelia will cry for me. 

When I die, bury me by the roadside

Then every passer-by and all the passers-by

Will offer flowers at my grave.