Culture Culture

12/10/2022 - 14:53

Trinh Cong Son’s love letters to Dao Anh will return

Hundreds of love letters which Trinh Cong Son sent to Ngo Vu Giao Anh cherished and kept carefully for years as a “spiritual property” will officially be presented to the musician’s family as early as possible when she visits Vietnam.

Trinh Cong Son’s love letters to Dao Anh will be returned to his family. 

Those who love Trinh Cong Son’s music know Ngo Vu Giao Anh - his lover and the character in many of his songs. Dao Anh is Ngo Vu Bich Diem’s younger sister. Diem is the one who inspired him to write the well-known song Diem Xua. After his love for Bich Diem had ended, he loved Dao Anh.

During that time, the talented musician wrote hundreds of love letters which Dao Anh brought along from Hue to Saigon then to America, helping her overcome myriads of difficulties in her life.

Reading the letters published by the Trinh Cong Son's family, readers can partially feel not only his fanatic love and the beauty of romantic love but also his worries and torments about man’s destiny. Through his beautifully-written letters, we can understand his music journey. 

“Dao Anh. Dao Anh. Dao Anh. The afternoon is so calm. I’m standing here watching that quietness falling down from a blade of grass, a slope, a house roof, then from my body. Happiness is so simple - Like a miracle, your letter arrived to throw me to a peak where I was shocked to hear strange birds singing. I was so touched as if I had just found a lost mystery…” (Part of a letter sent by Trinh Cong Son to Dao Anh, his muse, dated September 17, 1964, sent from B'Lao (Lam Dong - Reporter).

Some letters are very brief like this one written in 1966: “Dao Anh, I returned from Da Nang yesterday afternoon. I miss you a lot.” Each letter is a story of his endless love and an eternal symbol of love. Most of those letters were published in the book entitled "Love Letters to a Person" (Young Publishing House) 11 years ago, on April 1, 2011 _ exactly 10 years after the death of Trinh Cong Son.

As told by his family, in order to publish the book, they borrowed the original letters from Dao Anh and scanned them. After that they founded an editorial board including his family members and the journalist Nguyen Trong Chuc and the poet Nguyen Duy. The editorial board was in charge of selecting the letters and printing.

“At that time, when Dao Any lent us the letters, people had different views. Some thought they were personal love letters. They worried whether Trinh Cong Son himself would want them to be shown to the public. But Dao Anh said they did not belong to her any more, but they were for everyone. She hoped when the letters were published, people would understand Trinh Cong Son better,” said Nguyen Trung Truc, Trinh Cong Son’s brother-in-law. 

After scanning, the family kindly asked Dao Anh to allow them to keep the original letters. However, at that time, those letters were very important to Dao Anh as inseparable part of her spiritual life. The family hence returned them to Dao Anh.

But recently, when the movie “Em va Trinh” was released, Dao Anh watched it and satisfied with the actress who played her in the movie. According to her, there are some illogical details though. But since it is fictional, they are acceptable. Particularly the movie does mention those love letters.

Because of that, she finally decides to give more than 300 letters Trinh Cong Son once wrote to her to the Trinh Cong Son's family to display at the museum about Trinh Cong Son in the future. Her aim is for the public to see the letters and better understand the musician himself. 

“These letters are not merely normal letters. They help decode Trinh Cong Son's lyrics. Each letter explains how and in what context the song was written. Reading those letters, we understand more about our country and the people at the time, and the romantic love,” added Truc. According to his family, probably at the end of this year, Dao Anh will return to Vietnam and give them all the letters.

Story: NHAT MINH - Photo provided by the Trinh Cong Son's family