Spring Day by BTS & Sewol Ferry Incident
Sewol Ferry Incident
Sewol Ferry incident is a ferry disaster that happened in South Korea 16 April 2014 while taking the student to the Jeju island trip which caused over 300 of students to die that day. The major cause of this incident is the corruption and negligence of the government.
BTS or Bangtan Boys
BTS is a boy band group from South Korea which became the most successful band, and became well known worldwide after they hit number 1 on the Billboard 200 with their new album “BE” and also became the fastest group to set three number 1 on the Billboard 200 since the Beatles. One of their popular song, which is currently about 400 million view on YouTube, is 봄날 or Spring Day.
Then, in the next part, I’m going to demonstrate to you readers the theory about how BTS’ song Spring Day relates with the Sewol ferry incident throughout the MV analyzing.
Music Video Analyze
Taehyung or V in this scene represents a survivor of the Sewol ferry incident. He feels guilty about why he survived, but his friend needs to die. So, he kneels putting his ear on the rail to hear the train sound to committing suicide. Many people who have faced the lost or traumatic event like this, likely committed suicide believe that they will meet their friend again in the afterlife. Moreover, you can hear the train sound that is very similar to the ferry signal in this scene.
Jungkook is another survivor from the incident looking out the window thinking about his friends, he lost due to the ship sinking.
In this scene, starting with the lyric 보고싶다 or bogoshipda which means I’m missing you while Jimin sitting on the beach looking at the sea. This scene can be interpreted as him coming back to the beach to recollect his time with his lost friends.
In this scene with Namjoon or RM, you can see that there are many bags and clothes lying around without any other person. These represent the students’ belongings that were abandoned after they drowned.
This scene of Jin looking up the stairs, represents that Jin is a student who died during the incident. He is looking at his friends going up the stairs meaning they are growing up, but Jin is dead stucking at the bottom of the stairs and can not grow up and run up the stairs like his friends.
In this scene is Jungkook standing in front of the merry-go-round, this can be represented as a loss of their childhood.
Cutting back to Jimin, he picks up the shoes and carries them everywhere that symbolize the students’ shoes and he still missing them.
This scene takes place in the laundry which can be represented as the sinking of the Sewol ferry. Looking at the washing machine, the clothes refer to the students and the porthole of the washing machine also refers to the ferry’s porthole. Thus, the clothes that are being washed inside the washing machine resemble the students that were stuck inside the ferry.
In addition, listening to the lyrics 머물러줘 or meomulleojwo which mean stay there, this can refer to the captain of the Sewol ferry that told the students to stay where they are, but he abandon the ship instead. This was one of the causes that made the students die because they listened to the captain’s order till they drowned.
Moreover, at the porthole of the washing machine there are stickers labeled “Don’t Forget”, it symbolizes that the family of the students and the survivors will never forget about this incident as they said that people never disappeared, they will live inside your memory forever, just don’t forget about them.
Next scene is Suga lying on the pile of clothes, this refers to the art of Christian Boltanski’s art, which are piles of clothes and the crane above it. He defines that the crane represents the god and god does not care about us. “He is blind” said Christian Boltanski. He said that God sees us as an insect and can easily kill us. Another idea of this art is that the clothes represent the people’s identity, if they are mixed up inside the mountain of piles, there is no more identity. It is because it is all mixed up you can not really see what type of clothes it is.
Furthermore, as the light shines above and the dark surrounding him and the mountain piles of clothes, it represents how the students are sunken down under the sea with no light around them other than the top of their head. It is also like when the rescuer flashing the light under the sea to find them but it was so dark that they couldn’t help.
In this scene, it is Jungkook standing in front of the merry-go-round, but you can see that there are many yellow ribbons tied on the merry-go-round. This refers to the campaign: Sewol Ferry Ribbon that the students of the Danwon high school, which is also the school of the passed away students in the Sewol ferry incident, tied the yellow ribbon at their school gate and symbolized it as a solidarity and hope for the unfound students and their families.
This scene Jungkook is wearing a different outfit, it resembles the moment the students in the incident faced before the death. Everything seems darker, the fear and confusion in his eyes wanting to run to run away from this situation.
He runs out of the train and also passes the laundry which is symbolized as the sinking of Sewol ferry till he meets the other 6 and starts to run together, but it is the right moment when the train passes by right in front of their face. He sees himself still sitting on the train which symbolizes that he is the soul that is already out of his body.
As the train goes into the tunnel, it can be symbolized as the pathway to the afterlife. The light is dimming as Jungkook and RM close their eyes and face down like they are accepting their fate. And a match that Jungkook was holding went out, symbolizing that the students have passed away.
According to the tale Little match girl, the girl will see her deceased beloved again if she lights up the match. In this scene, before Jungkook lit up the match there were no other members, but after the match litten up every member showed up.
In this scene, the mountain piles of clothes do not have the dark surrounding as before, but it is like they are on a high place in the sky. This symbolizes the students that passed away going to heaven.
Jungkook wakes up and sees all of the group members and they have arrived. The destination of this ride is to the tree where they will hang the students’ shoes. By hanging the shoes is to commemorate the death of 300 students that were passed away due to the sinking of the Sewol ferry.
Furthermore, the train in the music video also refers to the Snowpiercer film in 2013 which is about the last remaining humanity who couldn’t stop global warming and created a snowball earth, so they are living inside the Snowpiercer train. The humanity inside the classification of the citizens on the train, at the front are the high-class like the government or the elite and at the tail is the low-class that doesn’t get treated the same at the front. Thus, the tail-section of the train wants to rebel against the front. Snowpiercer can be referred to the low-class being oppressed by the high-class resembling the student that followed the captain of the ferry’s order till they drowned.
If you listen to the lyrics at this scene you can hear that RM mentioned Snowpiercer.
Next is when RM runs up to the top of the train, it is like the protagonist of the Snowpiercer movie that wants to go up to the top to take back their liberty.
Yet, running to the top of the train, RM gets obstructed, resembling the protagonist of the Snowpiercer that gets obstructed by the top-section passengers to protect their power against the tail passengers.
This is just a theory according to the BULLETPROOF VIBE YouTube channel combined with my opinion. In fact, Spring Day song was written by RM and Suga based on their experiences. It is a song about missing someone. When you are missing someone it feels lonely like winter weather, but you know that ahead of this winter the spring day will come and this lonely moment will end as the winter passes. They said that they wrote it thinking that anyone would relate to this song and feel what they want to deliver, but the mv itself and some of the lines in lyrics does have the components that can refer to the Sewol ferry sinking. Even Though they didn’t answer about how Spring Day can represent the incident publicly, most of the audience and their fans can see what they really try to say in the mv.
On the other hand,
Nevertheless this song did not make for this particular incident, it still mesmerized everyone about this incident that it happened and to not forget about the lives that have been lost.