There’s nothing quite like having someone thank you simply for the fact that you exist. The feeling that elicits radiates throughout your entire body; it takes over your soul and changes the way you walk, the way you perceive the world around you. When that sort of gratitude comes from a lover, it lifts your spirits to new heights. As Jonathan Larson wrote in his modern-day La Bohème, that sort of love gives you a new lease on life.
There are copious amounts of love songs in K-pop. In fact, many could argue that’s pretty much what K-pop’s all about—the evergreen love song. However, saying thank you for that love is truly something special. With the oversaturation of first loves and loving from afar, it’s nice that there are a few artists and groups who’ve managed to put a little magic back in the idea of romance.
Most recently 4Men and Eddy Kim have both expressed how their loves deserve gratitude for simply being in their lives. 4Men’s track “I Was Thankful” is a tabernacle jubilee expressing exactly what that special someone really means. They take the trope further to apologize for lacking as men, going so far as to admit they don’t deserve the affection she’s given them: “I want to say thank you for loving me. I want to say that I loved you, I loved you so much. I’m sorry that I’m such a bad person, I’m sorry that this is me. I just want to say thank you.”
Eddy Kim outlined the perfect way in which someone should express his affection for the one he calls lover. He, in fact, created an entire manual for the perfect day to commemorate the moment you realize the person sitting next to you is the one you’ve been waiting your whole life for. Everything from going off on flights of fancy, to sitting around with a bottle of soju, warm in your lover’s presence. At the end of the day, he suggest, “When you are going to bed, tell her in a soft voice I’m so thankful once a day, every day.” Of course, ending the day “walking home slowly” makes way for the opportunity to “tell her in a gentle voice you love her.”
In May, group MR.MR. made their comeback with song “It’s You,” a very clear tribute to one’s significant other. It’s a song that picks out even the most annoying attributes of a lover, describing her sweet smile as “fresher than lemon scent,” then even admitting her nagging is “sweeter than chocolate.” Though this is another song that seems a bit regretful for not always showing the proper gratitude and respect for his loved one, in the end, it simply expresses how much of a privilege it is for him that she’s never left his side:
I’m sorry I couldn’t treat you better, I’m so thankful
I keep thinking of the times we spent together, I guess I still can’t let you go
It’s you, it’s you, you’re my melody
It’s you, it’s you, the person I dreamed of every day
Thank you for being with me
Then there are those songs that are just pure old-fashioned “Thank you for existing and for allowing me into your world” tunes, one of those songs where our lovesick storyteller promises to always show his gratitude for everything his lover has given him. As one of DBSK’s earliest songs, “Thanks To” showcased their vocals, but more than that, it highlighted a different side to the never-ending trend of pretty boys singing about being in love—for the first time or any time in their lives. This was a song that was about just saying thank you, simply showing that everything one’s love interest has done will always be appreciated and paid back with endless devotion:
Now give me a chance to live for you
I will even love your pains
Hold out your hands so that we could feel together
Look into my eyes, and see that you’re inside of me
I know you were waiting for me
So I thank you for the love inside you
I’m always next to you…now I promise
Love is a theme that’s always in season, one that will never fade so long as there are human beings on this earth who are drawn by some magnetic, inexplicable force to each other. However, sometimes it’s okay to just be grateful—grateful that someone loves you, grateful that someone will always be by your side, that someone is there for you, was there for you at your best times and even more so at your worst. These few songs highlight that desire to simply say thank you. Obviously this isn’t an exhaustive list. I’m sure there are other artists who’ve left an impression on others for the way in which love is appreciated. But these are some of the few that left a great impression on me for their sincerity, fervor, and simplistic beauty.