[FOUNTAIN]Kim Dae-jung's Serenade

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[FOUNTAIN]Kim Dae-jung's Serenade

In the second act of Mozart's opera "Don Giovanni," Giovanni sings, "Serenade for Elvira," to his lover in front of her house. His song, accompanied by his mandolin, moved Elvira. How many women can close their ears and heart to a man who loves her, singing outside her window in the falling dusk?

The word "serenade" originated from sera, which means evening in Italian. It is a song sung by a love-struck man accompanied by an instrument under the bright moonlight. In the 17th century, serenades were widely used during courtship. In Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet," Romeo sang, "Open your windows, my love, Juliet." The serenade took a new form as bright and cheerful instrumental music in the 18th century, as in Eine Kleine Nachtmusik by Mozart, but it was still a popular song by a male vocalist in the tone of courtship.

"My song in the dark is calling you secretly. Come to me, my love. Waiting for days of our happiness, I am waiting for you desperately." The fourth song of Franz Schubert's book of songs, Swan Song or Schwanengesang, is a famous example of a serenade. There are more. Enrico Toselli and Francesco Paolo Tosti also composed serenades, and in the fourth act of Gounod's Faust, Mephistopheles also sings a serenade.

People are talking about a cartoon by painter Kim Sang-taek published on the JoongAng Ilbo's front page. Outside of the North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's bedroom window, President Kim Dae-jung is singing a serenade with a guitar in front of an open bedroom window. Behind President Kim, former president Kim Young-sam opens his window and screams, "Please go to sleep!" Lee Hoi-chang, chairman of the Millennium Democratic Party, is passing by with a smile.

On the first anniversary of the talks between Kim Dae-jung and Kim Jong-il, Kim Dae-jung sang a serenade asking Kim Jong-il to visit South Korea in return for the South Korea's leader's visit to the North last year. Five times this month President Kim urged Kim Jong-il to visit, including June 6, our Veteran's Day, and during an interview with CNN. Lee Man-sup, speaker of the National Assembly, cautioned the president not to been seen as begging for Kim Jong-il's visit; the president should wait with dignity rather than plead repeatedly.

No women can help being moved by a serenade, but woman usually do not respond to them. If Mr. Kim carelessly keeps singing his serenade, his voice will become hoarse and people will complain about the noise. If the president does not stop serenading, perhaps it is because he believes in an old saying, "Ten tries can accomplish anything."



by Bae Myung-bok

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