Disclaimer: All lyrical references are quoted from Color Coded Lyrics. I don’t own the rights to them. Check out their website to see the full lyrics.
Hey! I want to start a series where I talk about meaningful Kpop lyrics since most people, even Kpoppers, seem to be unaware of the important issues being highlighted by Kpop artists. These are in no particular order and I’ve chosen those that struck me the most.
Abracadabra by Brown Eyed Girls
Iconic doesn’t even begin to describe this badass song, its controversial MV and of course, the point dance that Psy used for Gentleman (ft. Ga In of Brown Eyed Girls) . Not only is the production simply fantastic but the lyrics are powerful! Abracadabra is a story about a woman who is begging her lover to stop cheating on her with another woman. Cheating is a soul-crushing experience that leaves a lot of trauma especially trust issues. You might think that love songs aren’t meaningful but cheating is directly tied to depression for millions of people. The song introduces us to a decent woman who loses her moral sense in trying to possess her lover’s loyalty.
I used to be nice, soft and tender,
but if I keep going crazy like this
You’ll change me into something bad
She talks about him being her fantasy and how she’s casting a spell (hence the title) to make him love her. This woman has been taken to the point where she feels helpless and will do anything to gain control even if it means turning another person into a puppet.
I’ll cast a spell again
I`m like a supervisor
I control you, I am the emperor
You cant get away from me From me
In the MV, instead of a Voodoo doll, she actually attaches a time bomb to him. Funnily enough, the MV concludes in both women falling for each other and their male lover dying. Twisted but awesome 😀
TT by TWICE
I bet you didn’t see this coming! The first time I realized what the lyrics were saying was when I translated this song for its Urdu lyric video (here). I’m sure everyone interprets it differently but the line that convinced me was, “Slap slap slap slap the innocent doll” and the fact that they were playing fairytale characters. The history of fairytales is filled with examples of men stealing credit from women and removing feminist elements from the original stories #foreversalty. Basically, washerwomen used to tell each other these tales of caution especially for young girls. Nannies would tell them to the rich children they were caring for. Many fairytales warn young girls about predatory males most prominently Little Red Riding Hood and Bluebeard. TT is about a young girl whose life is falling apart because she’s being abused by a boy whom she is madly in love with. The fairytale characters also represent them living in a fantasy of love while being abused in reality. The girl is unable to speak up for herself.
You say I’m ridiculous,
That I don’t live up to my looks
Doesn’t cheer me up at all ba-ba-ba-baby
I’m going crazy in all this mess
Why do I feel hungry?
I eat all day and am still hungry
She thought that she was old enough to make her own choices but this relationships is spinning out of control. The boy, possibly older, is taking advantage of her feelings for him while leaving her without any love or even self love. She feels empty. Even her mother notices the change in her. Their story progresses from crush to relationship but she remains trapped till the end.
If You Do by GOT7
One of GOT7’s best eras, If You Do is lot more than just angst and anger. The focus in on inequality, being blamed for everything and losing your voice in the process. There are actually female dialogues in the song that show her lack of empathy and respect towards her boyfriend.
How can you always say that I’m wrong
You always want to win
I was attracted to your confidence at first
But every day I went down on my knees
You magnified even my minor mistakes
And pushed me to the edge of the cliff
Well I love you anyway,
that’s why I put up with you
So, you can see how the man sacrifices everything for the woman’s ego. This is an accurate representation of narcissism. Good signs to look out for if you are trapped with such a person. She makes him lose his self respect but still isn’t satisfied. Till the very end, she holds him hostage with his love for her and keeps threatening him with breaking up to shut him up.
Egotistic by MAMAMOO
As the title suggests, this song is about a selfish lover who thinks that the world revolves around them. From the beginning, the woman is fed up of them and lists all the ways that they have hurt them with their behaviour.
I’m your satellite, revolving around you
But that doesn’t mean you’re the sun
But you become the center anyway
But you shouldn’t do whatever you want
Her lover is so absorbed in their own thoughts and feelings that even a major reaction results in zero interest from their end. The woman feels like her words and emotions hold no value for her lover.
I have nothing to say, go away
What more can be said?
Even if I get mad, that only hurts my lips
So do whatever you want
The best thing about Egotistic is that the woman actually breaks free of this toxic relationship and finds self-love again.
Now I need to take care of myself
Because I won’t break down just cuz you’re not here
I wanna escape from your arms
I wanna live however I want
You know where trash belongs, right? 😉
Damaged Lady by KARA
KARA is iconic no matter what these women do. The title of this song is ironic because of the taunts the man was always giving the woman.
Fine, I can’t do it
I can’t be a saint,
I can’t be a lady
The theme of Damaged Lady is changing yourself to become the partner whom your beloved wants you to be. Still, your lover is’t satisfied and says that you are not good enough. The MV is just perfection ❤ They leave their boyfriends, look at what he has made them become in the mirror and then go change into styles that they are comfortable in (not at all ladylike from society’s perspective). Them sitting on thrones like the queens that they are just shows how they are at a higher level and have recovered their dignity which was stolen by those twisted men (who keep flirting with the waitresses ugh!). They also take revenge on them instead of “letting it go” and being gentle calm ladies.
I tried to be good and hid my personality
to match yours and held many things inside
I was proud and amazed at myself,
I feel sorry for myself who went through so much for all that time
The song starts with when the woman has been dumped for exactly this reason. This is why she admits to not being a saint or lady which was the man’s standard. It’s no more Ms. Nice Girl. She curses him hoping that everything goes wrong for him and that his next partner does the same to him that he did to her. The lyrics of Damaged Lady are very liberating. She’s not graceful or understanding at all the way “ladies” are expected to be during a breakup.
Just like you said, I can’t be mature
and laugh over it with a big heart
I feel bad for myself, I feel sorry for myself,
even during our breakup, I was controlled and held by you
We can assume that the man created situations that were unbearable for her yet he wanted her to just laugh it off and act “mature”. Her real thoughts, feelings and reactions were completely suppressed. Throughout the song, she feels very sorry for herself because she lost her identity for a man who couldn’t care less about her. The lesson here is to stay true to yourself and never trust a partner who tries to turn you into someone you are not for his own sake.
Someone Like You by Dalshabet
One of my favourite breakup songs ever ❤ This shares some elements of Damaged Lady but it’s a different story. You know how they say, “only in it for the chase”? Well, that’s what this song is about. The MV adds to the narrative by revealing that man has been dating all of them at the same time. The best thing here is that the women decide to walk out once they realizes what’s happening. They also take revenge muahahaha! Take notes, kids.
I found no interest
You were not my style
But you kept calling me
and following me
Asking me for a date
Asking me to chat
You’re the one who hit on me and took my heart
Now, she’s foolishly in love with this good-for-nothing stalker and he’s treating her like she doesn’t matter at all. When she’s had enough of his BS, she walks out with her head held high and a curse on her lips.
Someone just like you
Someone as terrible as you
How I felt
I hope you get to experience that
She doesn’t pretend to be nice to him at all. Of course, he should get what he deserves but the girls decide to leave it up to karma. They dress up in their finest, give him a scare and dance the night away because he isn’t worth a single fuck! Also, those pants and that choreo DAMN!!
Toy by BlockB
I saved the best for last! If there was ever a perfect Kpop song, this is it for me ❤ The MV is absolutely brilliant and everyone acted so well. The title is self explanatory. The starting verses set the tone for the entire song which is exposes the reality of an abusive relationship.
Who cares about my emotions
You can play with me until you’re sick of me
You can break me if that’s what you want
Because I’m a toy, toy
The man is at his lowest of lows. He doesn’t even feel human anymore. That’s the extent to which his self worth has been ignored. Obviously, he’s being sarcastic but his emotions are genuine. The man has given her “everything which he didn’t even have” and now he wants to leave her because it’s a hopeless situation. He says that he’s “ending it before it even began” because they “can never be equal”.
I can’t tell you anything
My silent lips
Already wrote several letters to you
To you I’m probably a light sadness
But I still want you to hurt
Girl use me while you can
I’m all yours
I recommend reading all the lyrics of Toy yourself because it’s such a masterpiece. I’d have to quote the entire song 🙂
There you have it! My little list of Kpop songs that show different perspectives on abusive relationships. Please feel free to share recommendations in this category for me and others ❤ See ya!