Whalien 52: uncovering the hidden meaning

BTS' The Most Beautiful Moment in Life (Hwayangyeonhwa) Pt 2 album cover
BTS' The Most Beautiful Moment in Life (Hwayangyeonhwa) Pt 2 album cover
BTS' song Whalien 52 is an emotionally charged piece that delves into the idea of loneliness and isolation. The lyrics tell the story of a whale, named "52," who can't communicate with other whales due to the unique frequency of its call. The song is a powerful exploration of feeling alone, even when surrounded by others.
The writing of the track was inspired by a recording of a whale's song that BTS members heard during their trip to the United States. The whale in the song represents the members of BTS, who feel like they can't communicate with others due to their unique position as celebrities. This makes the song a deeply personal one, with the lyrics reflecting the members' own experiences.
The original Korean lyrics of the song contain several lines that capture the feeling of loneliness and the struggle to connect with others. One of the most poignant lines is "I shout out, but the wave of sound doesn't reach" (난 소리쳐도 소리는 바다에 사라져). This line speaks to the frustration of trying to communicate with others, but feeling like your words are falling on deaf ears.
Listen to BTS' Whalien 52:
The musical structure of the song is a combination of EDM and hip-hop elements, with a strong beat that drives the song forward. The arrangement includes electronic instruments like synthesizers and drum machines, as well as traditional instruments like guitar and piano. The use of these instruments adds depth and complexity to the song, mirroring the emotional journey of the lyrics.
There have been several impressive covers of Whalien 52 over the years. One standout cover is by the Indonesian band RAN, who added their own spin to the song by incorporating traditional Indonesian instruments into the arrangement. Another notable cover is by the South Korean band DAY6, who gave a stripped-down, acoustic version of the song that highlighted the emotional vulnerability of the lyrics.
The quiet power Whalien 52 is in its universality, speaking to the very human experience of feeling alien, disconnected, unheard. Through its use of symbolism and personal experiences, Whalien 52 uncovers the raw emotion of isolation and encourages listeners to connect with each other on a deeper level.
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