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Sae Taryeong (새타령)

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Sae Taryeong is one of the most well-known folk songs of the southwestern region of Korea. It transports us to a hillside, where we hear birds singing on a spring day. We can hear the bird’s melodies and call back to them, learning their tunes along the way. The song is led by the gayageum player and vocalist Kyungso Park, alongside Gamin on piri and Nathan Koci on accordion, trumpets and french horn.

See full lyric video playlist on YouTube

Listen & Create

"You can only see straight ahead, but you can hear in all directions at once."

There are so many great resources for learning and listening to bird calls. I'm borrowing some pointers from The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, which has this great advice: 

When listening to bird calls, try to focus on one quality of the sound at a time. Many birds have a characteristic rhythm, pitch, or tone to their song. Once you zero in on it, you’ll have a better sense of the bird’s identity:

RHYTHM: Is the tempo or speed of the call fast or slow?

PITCH: Does the bird call sound very high or low? Does the pitch go down or up?

REPETITION: Does the bird repeat a sound over and over? How many times?

TONE: Is the call clear, harsh or scratchy? Liquid and flute-like, or a clear trill?"

CREATE: Take a note of what you hear, and learn more about bird calls!

Record your own bird call and try to turn it into a musical phrase. 

You can also listen to bird calls from all over the world on xeno-canto:

A Music Video!

By Natacha Diels

See full music video playlist on YouTube


Traditional, english verses by Elena Moon Park


새가 날아든다 웬갖 잡새가 날아든다

Sae-ga nal-a dun-da, wen-ga chapse-ga nal-a dun-da
새 중에는 봉황새 만수문전에 풍년새

Sae joong-eh-nun boong-hang-sae, man-su mun-john-eh poong-nyun sae

이 산으로 가면 쑥꾹 쑥꾹

Ih san-uh-loh ga-myun, sook-guk, sook-guk
저 산으로 가면 쑥쑥꾹 쑥꾹

Cho san-uh-loh ga-myun, sook-sook-guk, sook-guk
어허- 어히-어허 어허 어허 좌우로 다녀 울음 운다

oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, jah-ooh-loh da-nyuh-ooh-lum un-da

See the birds fly, two by two over the hillside (cuckoo, cuckoo)

Hear the birds cry, sounding the call of springtime (cu-cuckoo cuckoo)

Sing the songs of the birds, the songs of the birds

파랑새가 운다, 쑥꾹, 쑥꾹

Parang sae-ga oon-da, sook-guk, sook-guk

Robin calls, sook-sook-sook, sook-sook

앵무새가 운다, 쑥쑥꾹 쑥꾹

Eng-mu sae-ga oon-da, sook-sook-guk, sook-guk

Bluebird calls, sook-sook-sook, sook-sook

울새가 운다, 쑥꾹, 쑥꾹

Ool sae-ga oon-da, sook-guk, sook-guk

Sparrow calls, sook-sook-sook, sook-sook

두루미가 운다, 쑥꾹, 쑥꾹

du-ru mi-ga oon-da, sook-guk, sook-guk

Hummingbird calls, sook-sook-sook, sook-sook

Sing the songs of the birds, the songs of the birds

See the birds fly, two by two over the hillside

새가 날아든다 / Sae-ga nara-dun-da

Hear the birds cry, sounding the call of springtime

새가 날아든다 / Sae-ga nara-dun-da


Kyungso Park, vocals, gayageum

Nathan Koci, accordion, trumpets, french horns

Gamin, piri

Yoshi Waki, upright bass

David Cossin, percussion

Sonia De Los Santos, harmonies

Elena Moon Park, jarana, vocals


Kyungso Park & Elena

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  • Bandcamp
  • YouTube
  • Spotify
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