'March for our Beloved,' composed in Gwangju, South Korea, in 1982, is a song initially dedicated to the soul wedding of Yoon Sangwon and Park Kisoon. Yoon was a spokesperson of citizen militia and died at the hand of martial forces while protesting at the May 18 Democratic Uprising. Park, a labor activist who ran workers’ night class in Gwangju, died from briquet gas poisoning in late 1978.

The May 18th Democratic Uprising was a response to Chun Doo-hwan’s suppressive military regime at its peak. University students in Gwangju protested for 'Abolition of Martial Law' and 'Eradication of Military Forces,' and it lasted for ten days between the 18th and 27th May, 1980. The military blockaded the city and nobody was allowed to enter or leave Gwangju. The government strictly controlled the city’s press so little information was known about the uprising in the rest of South Korea. By presidential order, the military and police fired upon protesters and Gwangju citizens with a helicopter.



Geumnam-ro during the May 18 Democratic Uprising. Citizens and students occupy the plaza in front of Jeonnam Provincial Office and appeal for citizens' unity. [Photo: Chosun DB]



College students protesting in peace in front of the fountain square of Jeonnam Provincial Office. [Photo: The May 18 Memorial Foundation]



Two years after the uprising, Hwang Seokyoung, Kim Jongryul, Jeon Yongho, and Oh Jeongmook secretly gathered at Hwang's place and hid under the military regime's radar to record this song. In his dark room with all of the windows covered with blankets to prevent sound from escaping, Oh's voice flew into an old cassette recorder. A total number of 2000 tapes were secretly distributed throughout the country. Singing and listening to this song was banned, therefore labor movements circulated the song by word of mouth. For those who witnessed and survived the May 18th massacre rather than an uprising, this song saved people from despair and helped them reunite. Since then, this song appears in every critical movement in Korean history from the 80s until now, including labor movements and impeachment rallies of the former president in 2016.

This iconic song was duplicated onto cassette tapes and spread throughout Asian countries, including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Cambodia, and China. During this process, the original lyrics were either translated or rewritten in accordance with the political climate of each country. The song was first introduced in Hong Kong in 1982 through youth exchange meetings between South Korean students and the Hong Kong Christian Student Association. Later in 1984, the Hong Kong Christian Student Association translated this to Cantonese. In 1988, a Taiwanese activist learned of the song and the South Korean labor movement when a massive strike arose in Masan during his brief visit to the country. Later, he translated and rewrote the piece for the workers in Taiwan.


In Cambodia in the late 1980s, the song was sung by residents who opposed forced evictions. In China, in 2002, a worker-artist group translated and rewrote the lyrics as a 'Labor Hymn' and it was released as a soundtrack. Following on, they sang this song with migrant workers during the labor movement in Beijing's suburb. In the 1990s, the Thai workers' band 'Pradon' replicated this song under the title of 'Solidarity.' It is also said that the song was introduced and sung in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Burma. However, there isn't any reliable documentation regarding those cases to prove that. This is something that needs to be examined in further research.





'March for our Beloved(1982)'
Composed by Kim Jongryul
Lyrics by Hwang Seokyoung
Performed by Oh Jeongmook
Based on the original poem 'Moetbinari' by Baek Giwan




Korean


사랑도 명예도 이름도 남김 없이
한평생 나가자던 뜨거운 맹세
동지는 간데없고 깃발만 나부껴
새 날이 올 때까지 흔들리지 말자
세월은 흘러가도 산천은 안다
깨어나서 외치는 뜨거운 함성
앞서서 나가니 산 자여 따르라
앞서서 나가니 산 자여 따르라

Composed by Kim Jongryul
Lyrics by Hwang Seokyoung
Performed by Oh Jeongmook
Based on the original poem 'Moetbinari' by Baek Giwan



Cantonese
︎ Link to the video

雨傘 行進曲

榮譽理想歡欣希望

沉沒了不見陽光

無言但記初裏不變

路上那抗爭與誓言

同志一一的倒下

旗上血跡染泥沙

牢籠沒去將火幽禁

爲下烟勇者照亮吧

歲月忘了的色彩

交給山與海

信有晴朗的一天

愛與夢遠在

我將不屈不拾葉

跌致倒傷過又再起

來吧, 挽手往前走

同行共生死


Translated and performed by Gum Gum, a singer and an activist from Hong Kong


Mandarin
1.
全國的勞動者啊

勇敢地站出來

為了我們的權利

不怕任何犧牲

反剝削爭平等

我的同志們

為了明天的勝利

誓死戰鬥到底

殺殺


Translated by Ke Zhenglong

2.
︎ Link to the video

Translated and performed by Mingong, migrant workers in the People's Republic of China

3.
︎ Link to the video
勞動者戰歌 台灣的勞動者啊 不要再空等待
為了我們的權益 勇敢地站出來
不要有鴕鳥心態 也不做西瓜派
若想要怎麼收穫 就先要怎麼栽
反抗壓迫求生存 退縮不應該
消滅剝削爭平等 怒潮正澎湃
團結不怕失敗 直到敵人垮台
戰鬥的種子灌溉 勝利的花兒開


Translated by Women’s song club at Federation of Taiwanese Trade Unions




Bahasa Indonesia

Kami tak akan meninggalkan
kehormatan, cinta, dan ketenaran
Kami akan terus bekerja,
selama kami hidup
Rekan-Rekan terkasih tlah pergi
bendera kita tetap berkibar
Saat bekerja tuk masa depan,
kami tak akan gentar
Sungai dan gunung mengingatnya
walau bertahun-tahun lamanya
Ruh yang terbangun memanggil kita
dengan teriakkannya
Kami terus berbaris; percayalah dan bergabunglah
Kami terus berbaris; percayalah dan bergabunglah

Translated by Zada


Telugu

మేము ఎటువంటి గౌరవాలను,
ప్రేమను, కీర్తిని వదిలిపెట్టము
మేము జీవించేంతవరకు పని
చేస్తామని వాగ్దానం చేసాము
ప్రియమైన కామ్రుడ్స్‌ పోయారు
మా జెండా ఇప్పటికి అలలు
రాబోయే రోజులు పని చేస్తున్నప్పుడు,
మేము తడబడము
సంవత్సరాలు గడిచినప్పటికీ
ప్రవాహాలు మరియు పర్వతాలు
గుర్తుంచుకుంటాయి
ఈ కేకను అరవడంతో వేకెన్‌ స్ప్రిట్స్‌
మమ్మల్ని పిలుస్తున్నారు
మేము కవాతు చేస్తున్నాం
విశ్వాసం ఉంచండి
మరియు మమ్మల్ని అనుసరించండి
మేము కవాతు చేస్తున్నాము
విశ్వాసం ఉంచండి
మరియు మమ్మల్ని అనుసరించండి

Translated by Clara Gari and Tulasi Kolli



Japanese
︎ Link to the video

愛も名誉も 名も残さずに

命かけようと 誓いは燃える

同志は倒れて 旗のみ靡く

やがて来る日まで 怯むことなく

時は行くとも 山河に響け

我らの叫び 尽きない歓声

立ち上がれ友よ かばねを超えて

いざ前に進まん かばねを超えて


Translated by Nore no Kai


English

We will leave no honors, no love, no fame.

We promised to keep working on, long as we shall live.

Dear comrades have gone; our flag still waves.

While working for days to come, we will not be swayed.

Streams and mountains remember though the years pass by.

Waken’d sprits are calling us as they shout this cry:

‘We are marching on; keep faith n follow us.

We are marching on; keep faith n follow us.’


Translated by Gwangju Cultural Foundation in cooperation with Gwangju International Center


Khmer
 ︎ Link to the video


Burmese
 ︎ Link to the video


Thai
︎ Link to the video  


BACK