22 December 2006

Hùng Ca (Hu`ng Ca)

My re-kindled interest in Vietnamese music continues unabated with the help of the web. I've been searching for more tunes that I heard when I was in my teen or when I first came to the U.S. One particular tune I like is Trên Đầu Súng Quê Hương (or TDSQH for short), which in English means "On the Muzzle of the Nation's Gun". I must have heard it on some propaganda TV show some time before 1975. (As you may recall, April 30, 1975 was the day the South Vietnamese government was defeated by the Communist army from the North.) TDSQH is the type of music called Hùng Ca in Vietnamese, or Majestic Music. Something to rally the troops, to extol the virtues of the soldiers, to gain support for the government's war effort.

Tunes like these are not likely to be found in your typical music store, so I didn't even bother with iTunes Music Store this time. The best place I've found for these majestic Vietnamese tunes is http://www.bdqvn.org/ , where BDQVN stands for Biệt Động Quân Việt Nam or Vietnamese Rangers. The web site pays tribute to the special force Vietnamese Rangers and includes a page of popular majestic music. The tunes are in .WMA format, but the dynamic duo of Audacity and iMic took care of the work for me.

Feeling somewhat patriotic toward the late South Vietnam government, I sought and found the South Vietnam national anthem, or Quốc Ca. On the other hand, I also obtained the tune Hận Đồ Bàn, which is about Chàm, an old kingdom that was conquered by the predecessor of today's Vietnam. I think someone told me that the song was banned by the South Vietnam government. Maybe that was why I liked it - a forbidden fruit has its attraction.

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