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[Music in drama] Rekindle a love that slipped through your fingers

By Lee Jung-youn

Published : May 1, 2024 - 14:44

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"Queen of Tears," starring Kim Ji-won (left) and Kim Soo-hyun (tvN)

In retrospect, even the most steadfast commitments and promises of everlasting love can fade into the past.

"Queen of Tears," a love story about an estranged couple who once deeply cared for each other, set a new record as the most-watched tvN drama series of all time, with the show's final episode recording a local viewership rating of 24.9 percent.

Baek Hyun-woo (Kim Soo-hyun), who grew up in an ordinary household in the countryside, fell in love with Hong Hae-in (Kim Ji-won), the daughter of the owner of top conglomerate Queens Group. Amid Hae-in's battle with untreatable brain tumors and a conspiracy targeting Queens Group, they rekindle their love for one another.

Although the series contained several K-drama cliches, including a love story involving a conglomerate and terminal illness, it managed to maintain a sense of novelty with well-timed twists and humor.

And, while the latter part of the series may have faced some criticism due to unrealistic plot developments, its soundtrack and high-caliber acting performances still enchanted viewers, transporting them into the story.

Crush's "Love You With All My Heart" delicately encapsulates the emotional journey of the two protagonists as they navigate misunderstandings and feelings of resentment, ultimately rediscovering their love for each other.

The warm, lyrical melody suits Crush's gentle vocals, and the lyrics imply that the two protagonists had always longed for each other, despite having drifted apart:

"Still want you all the time/ I am still waiting for you/ Filling a room in the corner of my heart with longing."

Upon hearing the news of her illness, Hae-in goes to the place she and Hyun-woo visited during their honeymoon. Hyun-woo appears before her, and the two embrace, sincerely expressing their feelings for each other. Tears stream down their faces with the fear of losing each other, accompanied by the lyrics: "Feelings that I have forgotten and my belated sincerity/ I'm sorry for being so late.”

"Queen of Tears," starring Kim Ji-won (left) and Kim Soo-hyun (tvN)

The song "Fallin’," performed by Hong Isaac, winner of the third season of JTBC's “Sing Again,” is poignant, contributing to the story with its dramatic melody. Hong's solemn voice, combined with the strings and escalating chorus, creates the perfect ambiance.

"Fallin’" was used in a key scene in episode 14, where Hyun-woo smashes the window of a burning car with his bare hands, mistakenly thinking Hae-in had been in an accident. As Hyun-woo sheds tears and tells Hae-in that he was so afraid thinking he had lost her, Hae-in embraces him and promises to survive for him. Here, the lyrics of the soundtrack resonate strongly with the audience:

"Without you, I am nothing/ I won't save any days left without expressing my heart/ I will give them all to you."

Kim Soo-hyun immerses viewers in the story through his outstanding performance in the lead role, as well as his voice.

"Way Home" brings the series to a beautiful end, complementing the story of the two protagonists whose love survives through all odds. Featuring the acoustic guitar and the actor’s gentle voice, it is the first song on such a soundtrack performed by Kim Soo-hyun since 2013 hit series "My Love From the Star."

As Hyun-woo and Hae-in smile and hold hands in a vast lavender field, the song's lyrics flawlessly express, "The only miracle in my life was the time we shared."

"Queen of Tears," starring Kim Ji-won (left) and Kim Soo-hyun (tvN)

This series offers a multifaceted look at the soundtracks of hit Korean drama series, shedding light on how the music enriches the stories -- Ed.