[still more of that damn korean song]

아름다음 강산 (Beautiful Rivers and Mountains) by Lee Sun Hee (이선희)

Note: To view the videos, click on the links next to the light-blue words on the left, in the third section down from the top. Especially worthwhile is the third such link (이선희 - 아름다운 강산, 아카라카치, for those who read Korean or like to sqint) You will need to install an ActiveX control, and if you’re using Firefox, you’ll need to restart afterwards. IE is a better bet. Sorry it’s so much trouble!

Okay, you’re probably sick to death of hearing about “Beautiful Rivers and Mountains” by now, but here are three versions by the sexiest Korean woman ever, Lee Sung Hee, who has become something of a feminist hero simply for looking like an actual human being, with glasses and human hair, instead of like your typical K-pop starlets, who are all rail-thin and have fake hair. (I suppose it’s no surprise that prefer the nerdy girl in glasses with the powerhouse talent underneath to the vacuous beauty queens.)

Of particular interest is the third link in the list, in which Lee performs for a World Cup crowd in 2002. It’s kind of amazing to see this song, once regarded as a subversive attack on the state, performed as the centerpiece of a gigantic nationalist pageant. But then, it was also weird seeing thousands upon thousands of South Koreans urging each other to “Be the Reds.” As I have said before, a sense of irony is not Korea’s strong suit.