Welcome to the sixth article in our series, “K-Pop Lyrics Explained”, where we take a look at the lyrics to some of your favorite K-Pop songs. Previously, we explained WonHo’s ‘Blue’, WEi’s ‘Starry Night’, Park JiHoon’s ‘Serious’, BTS’s ‘Yours’ and Coldplay’s ‘My Universe’ featuring BTS. Today, we’re explaining ‘Trauma’ from SF9.
SF9 recently made an incredible comeback with the album “Rumination” and its first single ‘Trauma’, to the delight of FANTASY worldwide, just in time for Christmas. This album not only represented SF9’s sonic aesthetic, but also showcased the group’s unbelievable range and power. From the stunning concept photos to the music video, everything on this album screams “perfection”.
The best part of the song, however, is the way it’s packed with layers of meaning and depth. Read on for a full review and explanation of SF9’s ‘Trauma’.
The song starts by drawing clearly contrasting images so that we can delve into the dark and brooding world of SF9.
“Love once warm shatters / Cold as ice / Pushing me away / Tangled like cobwebs / Our connection comes to an end, oh no”
Too much of anything is never healthy or conducive to growth and the same goes for love. What was once hot has become icy, and the peaceful entanglement has become a chaotic tangle. Thus ends love.
“Tight to My Heart / Fragments of Your Memories”
Sweet memories that were made with love and care, tucked away in the safest corners of the heart, quickly take the monstrous form of shards of glass that threaten the house itself.
“To me, pain is stupid / A trap of rage and unquenchable fire / It’s burned out. It’s over.”
Just as it hurts the most to pull a sword after being stabbed, the pain born of rage soon numbs one. It’s much easier to contain it than to let it out. It is easier to suffer than to heal.
“You became my trauma… Oh, you are not my trauma”
The chorus cries out to the lover, begging them to come back simply because their past, filled with love, is frightening. Here, “trauma” is not just a casual metaphor. SF9 handles this sensitive subject with the utmost respect, highlighting the emotional turmoil a mentally injured person has to go through before they can recognize the path to healing.
“This trauma opens your eyes. You are the glow that fills my vision”
What seems like a very human separation one moment, turns into a cruel fate the next, and vice versa. The absence of rationality allows paranoia to fester, further delaying recovery. It’s only when someone is willing to work in their shadow that the light finally appears.
“I told you I’m the male version of Venus”
SF9 makes an incredibly clever allusion to the tale of Venus and Adonis here that elevates the song to a whole new dimension. Venus, the goddess of love, fell in love with Adonis, a deadly hunter. One night, Venus had a vision that predicted the death of her lover. She warns him against going hunting, but Adonis brushes her off. As fate would have it, Adonis is attacked by a wild boar, and Venus is consumed by grief upon discovering her lifeless form. With her verse, ZuHo shows how desperately he is trying to stop his lover from separating, assuring her that he will protect her.
“Let’s carry on / You know it too / We’re destined / Rewrite from the ground up”
When even the gods cannot overcome fate, mere mortals may try, but only in vain. When two people are destined to be together, not even the heavens can separate them. The key to mutual happiness, therefore, is to work on the relationship with sincerity and unadulterated love.
“Because you are not my trauma”
In the end, after all is said and done, one thing is certain: love wins, and that’s exactly the message SF9 delivers with the final verse. SF9 employs a variety of brilliant imagery, symbolism, allusions and more to create a richly illustrated world that you can’t help but be immersed in. This song feels more like a love poem than anything else and we have to praise SF9 for blessing the world with art of this level. The vividness of SF9’s worldview continues to transcend all imaginable imagination, and we’re thrilled to be able to witness it as it happens.
What did you take away from ‘Trauma’? Share your thoughts with Kpopmap in the comments section below. Don’t forget to let us know which K-Pop song or music video you’d like us to explain next!