History of the Salaryman releases musical MV…

… and I don’t care what anyone says. I think it’s crazy awesome! True, I’m more than ever confused as to what the tone of this drama will be, but this music video alone had me rolling around laughing at its sheer absurdity. From the parody of Pak Se Ri’s iconic shot from a pond (here portrayed as a puddle) to Lee Bum Soo’s dead serious zombie dance, what’s not to love?

As the music video is set to Yang Hee Eun’s classic “Evergreen Tree” (“상록수”), I decided to be resourceful and kill two birds with one stone by featuring the song in this week’s “Beautiful Lyrics series.”

“Evergreen Tree”
Singer: Yang Hee Eun
Song written and composed by Kim Min Gi
Lyrics translated by Blue1004


저들의 푸르른 솔잎을 보라
Look at the green pine needles on the field
돌보는 사람도 하나 없는데
Although no one tends to them,
비바람 맞고 눈보라쳐도
Even when rain, wind, and snowstorm hit
온누리 끝까지 맘껏 푸르다
They remain green to their heart’s content till the end
서럽고 쓰리던 지난날들도
The bygone days of despair and pain
다시는 다시는 오지 말라고
May they never come again
땀 흘리리라 깨우치리라
I shall sweat, I shall awaken
거칠은 들판에 솔잎되리라
I shall become the pine needles of the rugged field


우리들 가진것 비록 적어도
Although we do not have much,
손에 손 맞잡고 눈물 흘리네
With hand in hand, we shed tears
우리 나갈 길 멀고 험해도
Although our road is long and weary
깨치고 나아가 끝내 이기리라
We shall overcome and be victorious 

About the song:

Like Kim Min Gi’s “Morning Dew,” since its release in 1978, “Evergreen Tree” became the de facto anthem of the pro-democracy protesters of the 1980s. (For more info about the songwriter, go here.) And then during the 1997-1998 Asian Financial Crisis, the song was featured in a public service advertisement using the scenes from Pak Se Ri’s first LPGA win in which she took a shot while standing ankle deep in a pond.

Here’s a clip of Yang Hee Eun singing the song live, and funny man Shin Jung Hwan parodying Pak Se Ri’s ad.

And more recently, after the passing of late president Roh Moo Hyun in 2009, the song was sung at his memorial service. As a human rights lawyer who participated in the pro-democracy movement of the 1980s himself, it was widely known that “Evergreen Tree” was one of his favorite songs.



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  1. Laica

    Bwahaha. I thought this when I saw it earlier, too, but this is so ridiculous it’s gold. I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time. The actors seem to be really enjoying themselves too. At 3:25 you can see Jung Kyeo-woon trying not to laugh. I wonder how takes they had to do to get everyone with a straight face. I would have loved to witness the shooting. :)

    I had thought this would be a serious drama, but I guess it’s going to be more of a satire, which I can really get behind. Can’t wait, since I LOVE the cast.

    1. blue

      LOL, thanks for pointing that out about JGW. I can’t imagine how the actors were able to keep a straight face during the filming! I’m still not sure how I feel about the premise of this show, but the MV is gold. And the cast is great, of course.

  2. supah

    Waah! Love you blue, I really do. I was listening to this same song on repeat last night a) cos I love it so b) because I wanted to try translate it to show how it ties in with the visuals and I thought — blue is awesome at things like this…
    Et viola! The next morning you’ve not only translated it but also told us the history behind it. Le genius!

    1. blue

      Keke, and I love you too, supah! And you have a blog? Why didn’t you tell me?! Do you mind if I link to yours?

      1. supah

        Course I don’t mind, blue, and thanks. Also sorry about the late response, I blame absolutely everything, ever, on the flu I’ve been battling…

  3. Grinchmas!

    Personally, I think that the first trailer was much more ridiculous that this MV, although the MV is pretty amusing. I kept getting wacky rom-com vibes from the trailer, with the soundtrack and the inane dialogue.

    I really appreciate that you went back and covered the history of the song to give it some context. I finally understand why the golfer took her sock off and stepped in the puddle (before, I just looked at my screen in befuddlement). Hopefully, the political nature of the song and the nostalgia factor actually have a significant impact on the tone of the drama as well.

    I’m really hoping that this will be a satire, and with the team from Giant, I think we can expect great things. Now, if they could make a sociopolitical satire that was ALSO a musical, I would be in drama heaven.

  4. missjb

    that trailer is ridiculous… but i loved it!! I have no idea what kind of plot they want to deliver? It just so funny! LOL I hope the drama itself will be as funny as the MV itself…

  5. oozzeee

    What gets me is Lee Bum Soo’s deadpan face while doing the zombie dance. Also, I think I also Jung Ryeo Won trying not to laugh at one scene (too lazy to look up at what time it was)

  6. mrmz

    well if it was meant to be attention grabbing it totally won me over!!!! :P I’m really curious as to what kind of show it’ll be, and as crazy as the video is.. I love it and its gloominess!!! :P

  7. miishii

    Thanks for writing about the background of this. I watched it and knew it was supposed to be funny, but no where to find the answers. Only found your explanation so far. So thanks!

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