rambling on sweet night by a lesbian who loves love
You may wonder why I found the fact that I’m a lesbian an important enough fact to include it in the title ; you see, when I first read the translations to Sweet Night my heart hurt and I, without really meaning to, internalized the lyrics as expressing exactly what I’ve been feeling with the (inevitable) huge crush I had on my straight best friend. This may seem like just an anecdote, but as I moved on from my crush, the first feelings I associated it with didn’t leave me, and it became less about this specific person than about the feeling of yearning. Since one experiences a song in a very different and very intimate way, I wanted to include that part of myself, since this is just going to be a personal rambling. I first felt this song through the experience of having an unrequited crush on my friend, but now that this crush is (mostly) faded, what I feel listening to Sweet Night is this intense feeling of yearning and longing, in a beautiful way. Of course, this rambling is very personal and my own interpretation. It doesn’t reflect the song in a factual way, but it reflects through my eyes.
There’s the very intimate feeling of the song being a confession : « On my pillow / Can’t get me tired / Sharing my fragile truth », sings Taehyung, in his distinctive low and soothing voice. This gives the feeling of something that can’t really be talked about other than in the dead of the night, whispered to someone while they sleep, not truly knowing if you want them to be awake to hear it. There’s a hesitation to confess ; this truth is « fragile », delicate, can be broken easily, should only be entrusted in the hands of someone who will handle it with care. A confession of love (love in all of its forms, whether romantic, platonic, between a lover, a friend, or family) is something so scary. Sweet Night is courageous ; it tells honestly of a raw and terrifying feeling, the feeling of loving someone. Sweet Night entrusts this feeling to the listener ; which maybe explains how intimate this song feels to me. When I listen to it, I feel like I share a secret feeling with the song ; it understands.
This hesitation continues in the second verse : « I wonder / If you are too good to be true / And would it be alright if I / Pulled you closer ». This makes me think of another side to the feeling of love, other than the delicate and scary part of it : the feeling of curiosity, wide-eyed admiration for someone, this joyous bright feeling of timidness, meeting someone’s eyes and looking away, with rosy cheeks. Tip toeing around someone you like, and that you think likes you too ; when every fleeting touch sets off butterflies in your stomach. While there’s this remaining hesitation, through the two verses, I discover two different sides of the feeling of loving someone, of yearning for someone’s love. It’s scary, and yet exhilarating.
The chorus is perhaps the most emotional part of the song : « How could I know / One day I’d wake up feeling more / But I had already reached the shore / Guess we were ships in the night ». It’s hard for me to even try and explain how these lines make me feel ; I especially think, first and foremost, that these are lines meant to be felt personally and intimately, just like the song offers. There’s a hint of desperation and sadness; Sweet Night asks a question that doesn’t have an answer. « How could I know » expresses regret, a realization that comes too late, although Sweet Night is not harsh. Through the delivery of the line, the question comes off more as bittersweet then angry, or hurt. The idea that two people were ships in the night is particularly telling of the feeling of yearning to me. Ships in the night, two ships that pass each other but never stop, an ephemeral moment. Destinies that were meant to come close and intersect, for a brief moment. Ships, who were maybe guided by the other’s light through the night, unknowingly helped by them, to never cross paths again. This imagery should be sad, but it’s not ; Sweet Night shares it gently, in an accepting way. Sometimes the yearning is stronger than the love that could’ve resulted of it ; sometimes, someone is only meant to be your light for the night, only to disappear at dawn. And that’s okay. Sweet Night acknowledges love in its rawest form, the one that is not meant to be forever, but the one that lights a spark in the night.
Sweet Night is but one of the songs written by Taehyung that makes me feel so much. Through Taehyung’s voice and lyrics, his songs always go straight to my heart. As a lesbian who loves love, Sweet Night expresses perfectly one part of it, the yearning, the longing, and the love that doesn’t last but makes an eternal impact, something I’ve felt with my best friend and will probably keep feeling. « Now my forever’s falling down », sings Taehyung, and it makes me wonder what my forever is, and if it truly exists. I think the forevers we create are made through love, in all of its ugly and beautiful forms. Sweet Night cradles love in its very core ; resulting in a beautiful masterpiece that lives through me evermore.