While many K-Pop songs are happy and upbeat, that doesn’t mean they don’t have deep and important meanings. Fans of the genre know its diverse sounds and talents produce some inspiring songs that help get us through the tough times. Check out some of the most beautiful and inspiring lyrics in K-Pop songs – although this is definitely NOT an exhaustive list, with hundreds more songs with lyrics worthy of the title “beautiful”!
1. “I’ll never die, no pain, no gain, I hold it in again, no rain, no rainbow, no hurricane, tornado can ever stop me.” — Epik High featuring Bom of 2NE1, “Up”
While Epik High‘s powerful songs could fill a list of their own, these lyrics in “Up” tell listeners to endure the pain because you’ll come out better for it. There’s no way but up, and nothing can stop you. The lines are beautiful in their simplicity and motivational power – but the whole song is sending a strong message that you can’t be beaten by others.
“Though I crawl on the ground today
Tomorrow I’m going up to the sky
Though the rough winds blow, I’m goin’ up.”
2. “Eventually a day to smile will come.” — U-KISS, “Someday”
U-KISS‘s song is a reminder that things aren’t going to be difficult forever, and even if it’s hard right now, it will get better.
“When you fall down, when you get up
Although tiring, there will be days to smile.
Eventually a day to smile will come.”
3. “My face is more round than V-line, I like it, it’s my own special thing.” — Mamamoo, “Yes I Am”
MAMAMOO‘s “Yes I Am” celebrates uniqueness and finding your own style, loving yourself. The members are confident in themselves and their self-love. It’s a song with such a positive message for young girls and has some beautiful lines that are only fully understood when heard together.
“My face is more round than V-line,
I like it,
It’s my own special thing.
Instead of double eyelids
I like my momo eyelids.
When I smile, my indian dimples
And wrinkles on my nose,
I compliment them.”
4. “Receiving love doesn’t mean you have it, covering time doesn’t mean it passes, breathing doesn’t mean you live.” — Tablo featuring Taeyang, “Tomorrow”
This song is telling us not to take for granted our loved ones, because once they are gone there will be no tomorrow for us. We have to be active in our relationships to make sure we live and love – it isn’t guaranteed just because we have it.
5. “Strong girl, you know you were born to fly.” — Taeyeon featuring Verbal Jint, “I”
Taeyeon is telling listeners that even if right now you feel as if you’re getting no recognition for your efforts, don’t worry – eventually they’ll see you fly. Although the world can be cruel, sometimes you have to take a stand to become the person you’ve always wanted to be, and that could mean making a change.
“A story I’ve heard often somewhere;
Ugly duckling and swan, a butterfly before it flies.
People don’t know, they don’t see your wings.
A new world you’ve met could be cruel,
But strong girl, you know you were born to fly.”
6. “Run, run, run again, it’s okay to fall, run, run, run, again, it’s okay to get hurt.” — BTS, “Run”
“Run” expresses the hardships of being in between youth and adulthood, and speaks of the mistakes that you’ll make, the hurt you’ll feel, and how that’s okay – keep trying, keep running.
7. “When I’m not a kid or an adult, when I’m just me, I shine the brightest.” — IU featuring G-Dragon, “Palette”
A beautiful coming-of-age song, IU‘s “Palette” speaks of coming to terms with your self and truly being comfortable in your own skin.
“I got this,
I’m truly fine.
I think now I know who I am a little.”
8. “You can make mistakes from time to time; everyone else does too.” — Lee Hi, “Breathe”
This song reminds us to make mistakes is human, and that it’s important to breathe and continue on. You’re not alone, everyone has to stop to catch their breath.
“It’s okay if your breath gets short,
No one is blaming you.
You can make mistakes from time to time;
Everyone else does too.”
9. “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, “Time and Fallen Leaves”
Instead of lamenting the passing of time and changing stages of life, this song celebrates the memories that are left from the past, whether good or bad. It’s reminding listeners to be thankful for the people and the experiences in your past and present, and Akdong Musician sung it beautifully.
“I’m walking barefoot through the memories
I’m letting go of people I haven’t been able to forgot.
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.”
10. “I want to hide somewhere, I want to escape, I think I’m ugly and nobody wants to love me; just like her, I wanna be pretty.” — 2NE1, “Ugly”
This song speaks of the feeling of never feeling good enough, not only physically but emotionally, the need to escape the world that is “full of lies”. The lyrics are not only beautifully written, they’re raw and relatable – everyone compares themselves to someone else.
“Don’t look at me, I hate this feeling right now,
I want to hide somewhere, I want to escape,
This world is full of lies.
I think I’m ugly and nobody wants to love me,
Just like her, I wanna be pretty, I wanna be pretty,
Don’t lie to my face telling me I’m pretty.”
11. “If that comment is nothing to you, if that hatred is nothing to you, you’re not normal, you’re abnormal.” — BTS, “Am I Wrong?”
BTS is known for their comments on social issues, and this song is a powerful one. It’s commenting on modern society, where many people not only feel powerless, they act like it. Those who hear about what’s going on in the world but they don’t listen; those who watch the news everyday but they don’t really see it; and those who can’t feel empathy because they’re desensitized.
“Have ears but don’t listen, have eyes but don’t see…
My name is selfish, selfish.
If you don’t feel anything when you watch the news,
If that comment is nothing to you
If that hatred is nothing to you
You’re not normal, you’re abnormal.”
12. “Be alert, this delusion has swallowed you, in the grey city, polluted air and cold temperature infect rotten brains and spines, realize the tainted truth.” — B.A.P, “Wake Me Up”
B.A.P makes a strong point in this track, which is about mental illness and society’s refusal to acknowledge its existence as a legitimate health concern. It also critiques society’s failure to help those who suffer from mental illnesses, and it’s written in a poetic, powerful way.
“Vive la Revolution
Be alert, this delusion has swallowed you
In the grey city
Polluted air and cold temperature
Infect rotten brains and spines
Realize the tainted truth
It’s a shell within a fractured subject
FREE, LOVE, REAL, ILL”
13. “Just like a pair of scissors need two blades, lean on me, I know you always got my back and you know I always got you right back.” — The Ark, “The Light”
The lyrics talk about a person who used to care about herself but suddenly discovers true happiness when she begins to live more selflessly. Its about relationships and love, and being kind to the people in your life, because you never know what might happen (see the MV!)
“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, and you know
I always got you right back.”
14. “Don’t give up, understand? Don’t let tomorrow get too far away.” — BTS, “Tomorrow”
This song is telling young people not to give up, no matter how hard it is right now. Like a lot of BTS’s lyrics, it tells us to follow our dreams no matter what and to always have hope for a better tomorrow, because the hardships of today will become yesterday’s.
“The tomorrow we’ve been waiting for becomes the name of yesterday at some point
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…. so don’t worry
This isn’t a stop but just
a pause in your life for a break.”