The song LỆ BIỂN (Ocean Tears) was written in 2004 to commemorate half a million Vietnamese who have died on their way to seek freedom, with the majority of them drowning or killed by pirates on the South China Sea or in the Gulf of Thailand.
LỆ BIỂN (Ocean Tears), lyrics by Ngô Đình Vận, music by Lại Minh Thuận, with the soprano voice of Kim Tước. Extracted from the CD: "Nhạc Tình Xa Xứ" (P) & © 2006 by Thuan Minh Lai & Van Dinh Ngo. Library of Congress Registration Number: SRu631-699.
LỆ BIỂN (Ocean Tears) Drop in the Eastern Sea A black stone slab to serve as grave marker To record my tears crying for you Drop in the blue waves A pink carnation Which I once gave you Drop in the black ocean A burnt out incense stick For a love I mourn, a tragic one Drop in the ocean depths A handful of yellow sand To commemorate those poor, unjust deaths Strangers and acquaintances They all die, out of hunger, out of thirst In every which way Drowning, sinking Holding grudge or innocently They all die tragically On their way to seeking a land of peace I cry muffled, noiselessly I cry for human destiny For a lifetime on earth Thats tragically full of thorns I cry muffled, noiselessly Praying to the sacred powers To come back with the dawn And awaken our land. Original Vietnamese by Ngô Đình Vận Put to music by Lại Minh Thuận English translation by Nguyễn Ngọc Bích (March 22, 2010)