The White Dove’s Song

The White Dove's Song

Today, rather than opinions or politics I would like to share a song.

The song, ‘Pi Dul Gi Ya, Nop I Nar A Ra’ (비둘기야 높이 날아라) or ‘White Dove, Fly High’ was written in North Korea in the 1990s by native songwriter Sin Un Ho (신운호) and composer Ri Jong Oh (리종오). It was chosen for the American band Casting Crowns to sing when they were invited to North Korea in 2007 to perform in the annual Spring Friendship Art Festival in the capital city of Pyongyang. They returned two years later to perform again, this time recording the song for their upcoming album (listen above).

Nine of 23 million North Koreans are starving and the entire population is almost entirely cut off from the outside world, forced to adhere to a ‘personality cult’ which reveres the country’s current president and elevates his deceased father to God-like status. Free speech is an ideal rather than a reality.

‘White Dove’ is possibly propaganda; both for the people of North Korea and the outside world. But the sentiments of peace and hope expressed in the song are completely unexpected. That something so beautiful could come out of a country of such hardship is staggering, and haunting.

푸르른 하늘가에
pu reu reun ha neul ga aeu
희망의 나래 펴고
hi mang ieu na rae pyeo go
한없이 자유로이
han eops i ja yu ro i
춤추며 날으네
chum chu myeo nar eu ne

비둘기야 비둘기야
pi dul gi ya pi dul gi ya
더 높이 날아라
deo nop i nar a ra
내 조국의 푸른하늘
nae jo guk ieu pu reun ha neul
흐리지 못않게
heu ri ji mos anh ge

High up in the blue sky,
wings of hope are spreading wide;
A white dove is dancing
flying free and happily.

White dove, white dove,
flying higher and higher;
lest my country’s clean and blue skies
should be cloudy and grey.

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4 Comments on “The White Dove’s Song”

  1. Tony Werner says:

    My friend and I are wanting to use White Dove for a CD we are making in the memory of a 19 year old murdered by his friend.

    We need to know who the publisher is and who holds the copyrights??

    Can you help us????

    • Marie says:

      If you want to sing the song yourself, I’m not sure who you would need to ask permission from. It depends on whether you are planning to sell the CD or if it’s simply a tribute for your friend. But if you’re wanting to use the Casting Crowns recording you’d need to speak to them.

      • Warrior says:

        Where can we buy the sheet music if its not the Casting Crown version? For something thats supposed to be a theme song for peace is sure is under great lock and key.

        • Marie says:

          I doubt it’s under lock and key, just not released in the UK or America. It’s originally Korean so I would think the best places to look would be Korean sites. It might take some finding, but I’m sure it’s out there.


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