In a 2016 live stream, RM from BTS talked well about how the words for human, live, and love were similar in the Korean language. “They sound similar too. As humans, we’re bound to love. Whether it be romantically or love for our parents, friends, and teachers. I think long ago when Korean was first made, human and love was made similarly on purpose— because you can’t live without love.”
Fast forward two years later and RM releases a track, performed on his own, through BTS' album Love Yourself: Answer. The title, aptly named, is a celebration full of love.
RM’s intricate lyricism was met with little to no surprise by anyone who’s known him and his work. The song, colorful and bright, with an assortment of wordplay and loving confessions, is a celebration of the strong love he feels. RM begins, unsure of how to describe what he feels. After all, love is what we all feel when we feel human. Even the best of us struggle to put it into words.
너무 많은 말이 날 돌지만
There are so many words circulating around me,
내 마음 같은 게 하나 없어
but none feels like how I feel
I can just feel it
해가 뜨고 나면 꼭 달이 뜨듯이
like the moon surely rises after the sun rises,
like fingernails grow,
겨울이 오면 나무들이 한 올 한 올 옷을 벗듯이
like the trees undress themselves layer by layer when the winter comes,
넌 나의 기억을 추억으로 바꿀 사람
that you are the one who will give meaning to my memories
RM describes love as something natural, something that’s part of the ever-going cycle of Earth. He talks of love as something that happens without thought but happens without doubt anyway.
It is waking up sure that the sun will rise even before it’s risen. It is something that comes easy to us as breathing and something we never think of twice unless someone points it out to us.
널 알기 전 내 심장은 온통 직선뿐이던 거야
Before knowing you, my heart was filled with straight lines only
난 그냥 사람, 사람 사람
I’m just a human, human, human
넌 나의 모든 모서릴 잠식
You erode all my edges
나를 사랑, 사랑, 사랑으로 만들어 만들어
and make me a love, love, love
RM’s genius wordplay comes here when he speaks of how love has softened all his hard edges and turned him into something softer, almost putty. He speaks of how love has eroded all his edges, turned him warm. He is a person 사람 [saram] after all and love 사랑 [sarang] has gently rounded him into someone special.
RM then continues,
우린 사람, 사람, 사람
We are humans, humans, humans
저 무수히 많은 직선들 속
Among those countlessly many straight lines,
내 사랑, 사랑, 사랑
my love, love, love
그 위에 살짝 앉음 하트가 돼
When we gently sit on it, it becomes a heart
Here RM speaks of how sitting together and giving each other support could turn the ㅇ in 사랑 [sarang] into a heart full of love.
I와 U의 거린 멀지만
Though the distance between I and U is long
모든 글잘 건너 내가 네게 닿았지
I crossed all the letters and reached you
봐 내와 네도 똑같은 소리가 나잖아
Look, mine [nae] and yours [ne] also sound the same
그렇다고 내가 넌 아니지만
Though that doesn’t make me you,
너의 책장의 일부가 되고파
I’d like to be a part of your book
너의 소설에 난 참견하고파
I’d like to get involved in your novel
as your lover
All in all, Trivia: Love is a romantic proclamation of love. It is RM fearlessly admitting what love does to him and what loves makes him want to do.
In a live stream for their album, RM explained that Trivia: Love was a song made so everyone could feel happiness and sing along.
RM described Trivia: Love as a song that showed the development of love, when you’re so immersed in it, you feel like you’re drowning in it. When he was assigned to write the song, he wondered if it would be a cliche, “Do I do another dark song?” He asked himself, listening to an older release of his titled, Reflection. “During our tours, I wanted to interact with the audience when I sing. I wanted it to be exciting. Trivia: Love is a song of concert, for concert and by concert. It's a song for the audience to sing along.”
His performance live, with hundreds of proclamations of love translated into different languages through AR, showed us how the song was perfect for it. Fans sing along as lights turn purple every time RM emits the word love. The song if anything reminisces the audience of a festival.
Trivia: Love is a proclamation of what it means to be human and what it feels like to accept the love we deserve. There is beauty in being known, in loving, in making sure the people you love know you do. It is a proclamation of how there is no single kind of love and it exists everywhere.
RM admitted to writing the lyrics in a parking lot while they filmed an advertisement. He spoke of how he wished Trivia: Love was sung back to him while he performed, “When this song comes out in concert,” RM said, “You’ve got to sing along. I know you will.”
Trivia: Love is a reminder of the different forms of love that exist. To be loved and to love is what makes us human, in the end. It is what makes us all feel alive.