I swallowed a songbird
Now my inside is boiling in thirst
My heart is about to burst into infinite words
As my soul hangs upside down listening to the past in reverse
This is my rebirth.

The world keeps on spinning,
universe evolving
Even if I’m just sitting, just awaiting
Even if our history is still perplexing, ever changing
And our language is slowly dying.

I still try, I still rise, I still fly,
like a water dragon on high tide
North, Central, South unite:
Việt Nam is our land and our eternal right
Now we’re everywhere, but do we care,
where does the Vietnamese soul reside?

We get our riches in the seven seas,
not caring about how we’d be
We know of each other,
but never understand our individuality,
our common calamity or even our reality
Now all we share is the war, the goodbyes
and the pain that bends our knees.

The Bird Goddess has awaken,
from the Bronze Age she has risen
Tired and weary but her faith is not shaken
As she carries the good news to our horizon
That the Vietnamese are:
brothers and sisters of one nation!

On the podium,
speaking with the right idioms like your words are premium
Saying “family” but we fight like we’re on opium
Let’s put our hatred down with a requiem
Let’s start our people’s healing
Let’s put a face on those who chose to stay or go
Those who sway the boat
Or those who wish for air through their lungs with easier flow.

Boat people died on water
Half a soul gets ashore but it doesn’t matter
Corpses bridge the sea
just so freedom can get a little closer
Never mind the education, social station
or wealth from whatever nation
New world with old frustrations
intellect faces castration
Kings become minions;
all they have left are ungrateful children
Their inside is torn from the muffled scream
about to explode at any moment!

Those who stayed has no say about come-what-may
Prison, relocation, complex rations and commune work, or play
No more use for old intellectuals, “s’il vous plaît!”
The wars are over, but fear continues to stay
Stepping on land mines in rice paddies
and see “peace” shreds into pieces and spray.

My brothers and sisters, pace your heartbeats!
Raise the flags our ancestors won after painful defeats
Guard our land, islands to ocean and learn to forgive
The bronze drum beats, can you repeat?
It’s time we rebuild our house: a Vietnamese house
Can you dream it?