A song about Hanoi

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Hanoi with its classic beauty has always been the endless inspiration for many song writers and composers. No other place in Vietnam has ever been mentioned in such large amount of Vietnamese songs. And not only Hanoi born composers wrote about Hanoi but Southern composers also expressed their love to Hanoi with numberless lovable melodies. One song by An-Giang born writer Hoàng Hiệp had become so popular to Hanoians that many of us got the habit to call it “Hanoi’s song” for a very long period of time..

The song was chosen to be the official rhythm of Hanoi TV Channel everyday in many years and was loved by so many Hanoians. Although we don’t listen to it often nowadays any more we always feel deeply touched whenever the melody’s played and then find ourselves mumble along the rhythm “Wherever we go, Hanoi always stays in our heart..” And below comes the beautiful melody of “Nhớ về Hà Nội” (Memory about Hanoi) by singer Hồng Nhung.

The video below combined two versions of the the same song recorded in 1989 and 2009. I myself always prefer the first version with the pure voice of the singer and the well-played instrumental by the orchestra.

The lyric of the song is very dear to all Hanoians as it mentioned many beloved things in our daily life. Below is the rough translation of the lyric:

“Wherever we go, Hanoi always stays in our heart. Our dear Hanoi, the beloved capital, that has undergone war and peace.
Memory of the ancient streets shaded by trees, lulling sounds of the cicadas in summer noons.
Memory of the newly built parks, your footsteps on the path were still there clinging.
Memory of the gorgeously green Sword Lake reflecting the Turtle Tower; the ancient citadel of Thang Long, the soul of the sacred land with its solemn mark.

Memory of the long winter rains, coats and blankets couldn’t keep us warm enough.
Memory of the bombs shaking the land. But you were still riding bicycle peacefully on the streets, and I was looking for a new melody.
Our song was a marching song and together we looked towards Ba Dinh Square with an unshaken faith.
Memory of the dikes with the bike traces and footprints.
Memory of the clinking trams going to Dong Da, Cau Giay every dawn and dusk.
Memory of those years when we fought the enemies, protecting our ancestor’s land with a fire of patriotism burning since Thang Long reign.

Memory of Quang Trung and Nguyen Du streets in the night milky flowers spread their charming fragrance.
Memory of the familiar faces, the voices we have been so dear with.
Memory of the year-end day (30 Tet) when flowers and peach blossoms were in full bloom, the streets were crowded with people happily waiting for the new coming year, and at that holy moment we were listening to our beloved Uncle Ho’s poems..

Hanoi oi..

Wherever we go, Hanoi always stays in our heart..”


6 thoughts on “A song about Hanoi

    My First Card said:
    January 5, 2011 at 10:13 PM

    I love all Hanoi songs. What a beautiful post and pictures. Thank you so much for sharing 🙂

    Vietnam720 said:
    January 7, 2011 at 3:40 PM

    Do a video post and sing that song for us Mien 🙂

    West Lake Review said:
    January 9, 2011 at 8:52 PM

    @Vietnam720 what a novel idea! I’m looking forward to it.
    Your perspective is an interesting contrast to how many expats here view Hanoi and the topics they choose for their blogs. Sometimes its refreshing to see a post dedicated to all the great things about this city. Thx for the post.
    The West Lake Review

    Pham Hoang Mien responded:
    January 10, 2011 at 12:29 PM

    Hey thanks Thuy, Ben and Zac for the nice comments 🙂

    The thing is that expats would never see the city like the way we see it.. Probably sometimes it’s a kind of love-hate but overall, it’s our city, our home with lots of memory that expats can never fully understand.. 🙂 (sorry Zac, I know you really wanna be a Vietnamese :-P)

    Vietnamitas en Madrid said:
    April 14, 2011 at 4:04 AM

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