"Tell Me" / "Lies"

There are two songs in Korea that have been topping the charts and dominating radio airplay for months: “Tell Me” and “Lies”. These two songs, by K-pop (Korean pop) girl band Wonder Girls and boy band Big Bang, respectively, are inescapable. We here them in stores, in clubs, in classrooms during lunch time, or as cell phone ring tunes. Literally, everywhere, all the time. As annoying as it is to hear the same songs over and over, I have to admit they're both catchy songs.

I've had to eliminate tell me from my classroom vocabulary because those two little words would cause thirty teenage female students to simultaneously erupt into song. “Tell me! Tell me! T-t-t-t-t-tell me!” And then they'd ask me, “Teacher, do you know the dance to Wonder Girls?” Then I'd spent the next five minutes just trying to get back on track.

On the other hand, mentioning Big Bang as part of an example for whatever lesson I’m teaching instantly makes me a 'cool' teacher. “So, girls, we use present simple verbs to talk about facts and routines,” I glance around at all the blank stares and stifled yawns, “for example, ‘I ride the bus to school everyday.’ ‘I like Big Bang.’” And the yawns turn to smiles and laughter. Score.

This video is from their concert special on KBS TV (aired 5 October 2007) when Wonder Girls and Big Bang performed both of their huge hits for a large crowd. Listen to the synchronized “Tell me, tell me, t-t-t-t-t-tell me” from the audience; it's my favourite part.

Here are the English translations I've found online for these two K-pop classics:

"Tell Me" Wonder Girls

I did not know you to like me
I feel so good, oh so good
I thought it was a dream
Maybe I should pinch my cheeks,
I just feel so good

I thought maybe you didn't like me
I spent nights pondering about it
But now I know that you like me
Oh my, tell me again

Tell me, tell me
Tell-tell-tell-tell-tell-tell me
That you love me, that you waited for me
Tell me tell me
Tell-tell-tell-tell-tell-tell me
Tell me that you need me, tell me
Tell me, tell me
Tell-tell-tell-tell-tell-tell me
I want to hear more, keep on telling me
Tell me, tell me
Tell-tell-tell-tell-tell-tell me
Say that it is not a dream, tell me

I don't know why my heart is beating so much
My chest is about to burst
When you see me I feel like a person shocked with electricity

I don't know how long I've been waiting
I don't know how long I've been dreaming
But now I know that you love me
Oh my, tell me again

Tell me, tell me, tell me you
Want me, want me, want me too
Tell me, tell me, tell me you
Love me too, love me too

*   *   *

"Lies" Big Bang

Yeah (Love is pain)
To all my broken-hearted people (Come again)
One's old a flame, scream my name
And I'm so sick of love songs, yeah
I hate them love songs, memento of ours

It's raining late at night, it brings you here,
I run at the end of memories
I could live fine without you, even if you beg it will come to no use
I drank the alcohol I couldn't drink,
I even drank up the night that burned my heart
I hate it, a day without you is too long,
I beg to finally forget about you (It's all lies)

Without you, I have no smiles
No tears well up
I don't want to live anymore

You're like a [unknown]
It makes me mad
I think I'm going insane at the thought of you
I want to see you, but they say I can't, it's all over, I'll be right there

I'm so sorry but I love you, it's all lies
I didn't know, but now I do, I need you
I'm so sorry but I love you, sharp words on a whim
I didn't even know, I sent you off
I'm so sorry but I love you, it's all lies
I'm so sorry (I’m so sorry) but I love you (I love you more, more )
I'm so sorry but I love you leave me and could you forget me slowly so I can hurt

That song I sang you that I put everything into (People probably don't know)
By myself, so that nobody else knows (Yeah, the words that I said were all lies)
Now I'm being left alone, the sight of me not knowing what to do
The crinkled note in my pocket that told of separation
I have folded (Where are you, that habit of mine of calling you)
I want to change, I want to laugh it all off now

Oh oh oh oh oh for everything to be a dream
Oh oh oh oh oh because I'm nothing more than this
I still can't forget you, even if it takes forever, even until I die
I wonder if that hurt I gave you has healed
I'm sorry because I didn't do anything for you