애인 있어요 (I Have a Lover)

If you have watched enough korean variety shows and dramas, or have stalked enough korean singers on youtube, the song ‘애인 있어요’ (I Have a Lover), originally sung by Lee Eun Mi, would not be unfamiliar to you. The song was part of Goong S’s and The Last Scandal of My Life’s OSTs, and it left an especially deep impression on me when I watched the latter show because it was such a moving song. Talking about the agony of loving a person that one cherishes so much yet cannot reveal, even having to pretend to have a lover in front of that very person you love, the beautifully melancholic lyrics (see lyrics below) coupled with the heart-wrenching melody makes this song a favourite with anyone who listens to it. And this is perhaps why so many singers, artists, and even amateur performers, have covered this song.

Hear the lady, Lee Eun Mi, sing and be touched by her powerful vocals:

Singers like Seo In Young, Ilac, Taeyeon (SNSD), Tei, Davichi, Super Junior K.R.Y + Donghae, Kangin (SuJu) + Jay (Trax), Sungmin (SuJu), Younha, Alex (Clazziquai), Jo Kwon (2AM), Dia and even actor Lee Bum Soo have all offered their versions of this song. You can also find shorter versions of covers by the amazingly talented Lee Hana, 2PM’s Junsu, as well as a remix by DNT with an added rap for a new twist to the already popular song.

One of my favourite version would have to be the one by Seo In Young. Although she had a flu that day and was not able to hit the high notes, her rendition made me realise what an amazing singer she was and she certainly gave me goosebumps (in a good way) from hearing her sing.

Another popular favourite of netizens is Taeyeon’s version which she sang on her radio show ‘Chin Chin’.

Yet another version that appealed to me was Ilac’s unplugged guitar audio version which he sang on Maybee’s ‘Volume Up’ radio show. Am i wrong to say that Ilac is one of those under-rated talents that deserves a lot more love?

This is not to say that the covers by the other singers listed above do not deserve applause for their awesome renditions of this song. Tei and Davichi are renowned for their vocal abilities and they more than proved their abilities with their covers. DNT’s remix presents a soft rock flavour to the song that makes you appreciate the song in a new light. Jo Kwon concealed his crazy and attention-craving acts for once to showcase his singing talent and Alex made the song an easy listen with his soothing vocals. Junsu of 2PM reaffirmed the fact that 2PM is not simply a dance group and those guys from Super Junior too made their critics eat their words, disproving comments of SuJu being nothing more than a 13-member untalented mess. Younha shows that she is still that enviable young musical talent and Dia, like Ilac, deserves far more attention than she is given. Not to forget, there is Lee Hana who leaves me wishing for more from her as she has the loveliest, purest voice and personality that effectively conveys the emotions of the song directly to the listener.

And if you thought these versions are enough to wow you, you should also check out some of the covers by amateur singers and performers like Koffee and Len who prove that they are no less capable than professional singers. Here’s one by Len:

If you have not found an all-time favourite korean ballad that you absolutely love and would not hesitate to recommend to anyone, I think you can now proclaim that you have one because to me, Lee Eun Mi’s ‘I Have a Lover’ sure doesn’t disappoint.

Lyrics to the song:

아직도 넌 혼잔거니
물어보네요 난 그저 웃어요
사랑하고 있죠 사랑하는 사람 있어요

그대는 내가 안쓰러운 건가봐
좋은 사람있다며 한번
만나보라 말하죠
그댄 모르죠 내게도
멋진 애인이 있다는 걸
너무 소중해 꼭 숨겨두었죠

그 사람 나만 볼 수 있어요
내 눈에만 보여요
내 입술에 영원히 담아둘거야
가끔씩 차오르는 눈물만 알고 있죠
그 사람 그대라는 걸

나는 그 사람 갖고 싶지 않아요
욕심내지 않아요
그냥 사랑하고 싶어요
그댄 모르죠 내게도
멋진 애인이 있다는걸
너무 소중해 꼭 숨겨두었죠

그 사람 나만 볼 수 있어요
내 눈에만 보여요
내 입술에 영원히 담아둘거야
가끔씩 차오르는 눈물만 알고 있죠
그 사람 그대라는걸

알겠죠 나 혼자 아닌걸요
안쓰러워 말아요
언젠간 그 사람 소개할께요
이렇게 차오르는 눈물이 말하나요
그 사람 그대라는 걸

“Are you still alone?” you asked me
And I just laughed
“I am loving someone,
I have someone to love”

You seem to worry about me,
Telling me there is someone
that you would like me to meet
Do you know that
I already have a great lover?
Someone I cherish so much that I have to hide

That person, only I can see him
He is only visible to my eyes
His name will be sealed in my lips forever
Only the tears that fill my eyes know
That the person is you

I don’t want to have him
I don’t want to be greedy
I just want to love him

Do you know that
I already have a great lover?
Someone I cherish so much that I have to hide

That person, only I can see him
He is only visible to my eyes
His name will be sealed in my lips forever
Only the tears that fill my eyes know
That the person is you

You see now.. I am not alone
So don’t worry about me so much
Someday, I’ll introduce him to you
Can you hear the words of the tears that fill my eyes?
They say that that person is you

[Psst! If you want to learn how to play the song on the guitar, there's even a guitar tutorial here!]

His name will be sealed in my lips forever
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