BTS have been praised for their music internationally, especially for their lyrics that tackle issues that aren’t commonly discussed in K-pop.
It’s one of the many reasons so many people relate to their music, and with some particularly powerful lyrics in their back catalogue, we pulled out the ones that always tug our heartstrings, either while inducing heartbreak or inspiring us to move forward in life.
Suga‘s verse about BTS’ rise to fame is especially moving when he ends it on “But why is there this fear/In between the happiness?/Because we know too well that this place is really a desert”.
The whole song that relates the loneliest whale in the world to the alienation young people feel is replete with moving lyrics, but a standout is Suga’s line of “Even loneliness turns into something you can see”.
The song’s climax is all the more powerful for the lyrics: “Wait a little bit just a few more nights/I’ll be there to see you/I’ll come for you”.
Jungkook‘s song based on the idea of carving a special place in your heart to escape to in moments of sadness is perfectly encapsulated in “Days when you hate that you’re you/Days when you want to disappear/Let’s make a door in your heart”.
A song written by BTS for ARMY, it’s got a reassuring and heartwarming message that considers how vast the world is, and how lucky we are to have each other. In sad times, it’s a comfort to hear the lines: “In the dark night (don’t be lonely)/Like the stars (we shine)/Don’t disappear/Because you’re a great existence/Let us shine”.
RM’s solo track is an early version of the themes he’d come to explore in the BTS Love Yourself era and his second mixtape mono. Any BTS fan remembers the moment you heard the final refrain of this song – “I wish I could love myself” – and how it’s inspired audiences around the world to chant “we love you” back to him.
This bombastic song is a rally cry to gather yourself and fight back against all the obstacles in your way. It’s moving in an uplifting way, especially raising your spirits with the refrain: “Run if you can’t fly, today we will survive/walk if you can’t run, today we will survive/crawl if you can’t walk…”
The song uses Pluto’s coordinates to craft a metaphor about no longer being part of someone’s life but still being in their thrall, and hit home with the lines: “I’m just orbiting you (I missed you, I lost you)/I’m just going in circles (You erased me, you forgot me)”.
V was involved in writing his lyrics for this song, and he encapsulates longing beautifully in the lines: “Let my feet rip apart with wounds/At least I can smile when I see you”.
“The Truth Untold”
Somehow this Steve Aoki-produced song has some of the most moving lyrics the vocal line have ever sung, including: “You know that I can’t show you me/give you me/I can’t show you my weakness/So I’m putting on a mask to go see you/But I still want you”.
Suga’s solo song signalling the end of a relationship where neither person wants to be the first to let go is heartbreaking in its small details. Especially the softly rapped lyrics of “I walk on this seesaw without you/Just like the beginning when you weren’t here/I walk on this seesaw without you/I’m getting off this seesaw without you”.
A song that’s moving for turning sad thoughts into motivation to be happy, the chorus calls out: “It’s alright, now count 1, 2, 3 and forget/erase all sad memories/hold my hand and smile”.
Jin‘s solo song meditates on loving someone so deeply that you lose yourself in it, only to realise that self-love is more important than anything else. That realisation comes with some powerful words, sung beautifully by the eldest member: “I’m the one I should love in this world/Shining me, precious soul of mine/I finally realised so I love me/Not so perfect but so beautiful”.
Jungkook’s solo song dedicated to his fellow members hits an emotional high when he sings: “Brother let’s cry, cry, let’s just cry/I don’t know sadness well, but I’ll just cry”.
The members battle themselves and their own creativity when faced with the largess of their success in “Black Swan”. Questioning everything from their capacity to keep creating to their public perception, it’s incredibly moving to interpret the lyrics. Especially on the first chorus when RM raps: “If this can no longer resonate/no longer make my heart vibrate/then like this may be how I die my first death/but what if that moment’s right now”.
You might not expect it from this high-energy track, but the lyrics are a rallying cry for when you’re feeling lost and confused about life. Rather than sinking into depression, BTS urge you to rise up with powerful words: “So what/Don’t stop to worry/It’s pointless/Let go/Though there isn’t an answer yet/You can start the fight”.
Suga’s solo track muses on two selves: one in the light and another in the shadow, and how they are both him. Faced with loneliness in success and fear of the heights he’s reached, the entire song has some powerful lyrics. A sample of them here: “I’m afraid, flying high is terrifying/No one told me how lonely it is up here”.
Hear us on SBS PopAsia Digital Radio
Listen in 24/7 on Digital Radio, by downloading our free mobile app or by streaming live here on our website.
Download the app here: