i want you to help them get through this, dovewing imagines hollyleaf's eyes saying as she makes eye contact for a single moment, before the tall black molly collapses in a heap at hawkfrost's paws.
dovewing stares, her mouth unable to let out anything other than an incoherent shriek; she is barely aware of tigerheart barreling past her, throwing himself at the dark forest cats and effectively shielding hollyleaf from anymore blows.
dovewing, i don't hate you, dovewing remembers hollyleaf telling her days before. it seems like a lifetime from now as dovewing crawls towards hollyleaf, her heart pounding in her chest as the metallic smell of blood fills her nostrils. you're just a kid; you didn't ask for this, just like i didn't ask for the way my own life turned out. you're kind and you're smart and you spend more time worrying about others than yourself - in what realm could i ever hate you?
"hollyleaf," she croaks, her voice strangled with shock. "hollyleaf, hey, you have to get up so we can go home. we need jayfeather to look at you and help you get better." it seems like the right thing to say at the time, despite the gaping wound in hollyleaf's throat.
hollyleaf opens her eyes just slightly, her mouth opening and closing. she lets out a noise that is somewhere between a hum and a gurgle, and dovewing's heart breaks a little more.
(she's barely aware of tigerheart managing to chase off hawkfrost.)
"i need to get you home," dovewing tells her, picturing the faces of lionblaze and jayfeather. how angry they'll be that dovewing allowed their sister to get hurt; wouldn't it justify what they've always thought, that dovewing wasn't good enough to fill hollyleaf's paws? that it should be three littermates in a prophecy together, not two littermates and a cousin? "i have to get you checked up."
hollyleaf's foggy gaze finds her, and the black-furred cat gives her a very soft smile. it's just the small upturn of the corners of her muzzle, but in a strange way, dovewing thinks that this is the first time she's ever seen this cat so...at peace.
"thank you." hollyleaf whispers; dovewing almost doesn't catch it.
"what?" dovewing asks - thank you for what? for taking her place in a prophecy? for spending so much time with her brothers, time hollyleaf should have had with them instead? for letting her die?
hollyleaf shudders; tigerheart murmurs something about getting her to her feet, and dovewing rushes over to help him get hollyleaf to stand - even just a little, just so they could help get her home to see her family.
"we're gonna get you home," dovewing tells her again, watching the other cat for any sign of awareness.
hollyleaf leans against dovewing, and dovewing presses their flanks together, just to let her know she's there.
"for everything." hollyleaf continues, and she's not able to say anything more as dovewing and tigerheart try helping her home.
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VMin Song Analysis: 4 O'Clock Addendum—The Bird as a Symbol for Jimin & Playing Coy
From anon: twitter is a genuinely terrible place bcs what is this [REDACTED] like WHAT 😭
Redacting this link because the twitter account is stupid and you should block, and also they only have <20 followers so let's not amplify them. Just block them, anon.
And yes, like you and I both know:
4 O'Clock is about Vmin's meeting in the park and Jimin (see my original 4 O'Clock song analysis).
It doesn't have to be romantic (Though that people vehemently deny Jimin's connection to it clearly signals what is very clear to both you and me, that it sure sounds romantic)—But to say 4 O'Clock is not about Jimin is just talking over Taehyung.
Like, here is Taehyung literally saying this. From his own mouth. Four years after the fact. Taehyung SAYS THE SONG EXISTS BECAUSE OF JIMIN. THAT IT IS ABOUT JIMIN AND THEIR MEETING.
In fact, he said this multiple times, excitedly and giggling, while Jimin hmm-ed and avoided eye contact and tried to downplay it.
But anyway, this dumb twitter post was useful for something, and that's bringing to my attention Taehyung's post about 4 O'Clock on the fancafe, when the song first dropped. I'd seen RM's letter, but never Taehyung's.
[By the by, I'm linking a different place for the letter - it actually has an interesting analysis of 4 O'Clock as well. While broadly I agree with the musical aspects the analysis highlights, I think it's wrong in its interpretation that the bird is Tae's metaphor for himself. As you know, I think the bird is Jimin, for the reasons I talk about below and actually in my original 4 O'Clock analysis as well. But if you want a Not Dumb alternate interpretation of the song, do read it]
... Interesting, no? Here are two things the letter makes clear:
If it wasn't already obvious, Jimin = the bird
Yet. Taehyung plays very very coy with the idea that the bird is Jimin. While uh. Drawing attention again and again to how the bird is a metaphor, how the song is a gift for the bird, and how special that bird is to him?
As I said. Interesting.
Detailed explanations below on these two points, as well as refutations of the common explanations from those who believe the song isn't much related to Jimin at all.
[I do want to caveat this whole analysis is based on the translation of Tae's note. If any k-army has the original Korean text and has other insights into what it says, please drop me a line!]
EDIT: A reader noted that other translations don't have the () that's present in this translation. This is the original translation post. As far as I can tell, peachBOY_0613 is an OT7 translator with no ship bias—but I cannot find the Korean original for the life of me to verify if the () were originally there.
One alternate translation I found does not have the (), but it weirdly notes it's based on peachBOY_0613's translation, so did the repost-ers just decide to cut it out? Looking at peachBOY_0613's other translations, it doesn't seem like they randomly add translator notes, so I'm going to assume it's part of the original text, but if others have the original Korean text, please share (though it may be quite hard to track down now that the fan cafe is defunct).
With or without the bracket though, my conclusions here stand, so I guess ultimately it doesn't much matter. But your mileage may vary, I rec looking at the post notes for discussion from some lovely readers about this 😊
For the sake of being thorough, let's just refute the twitter post's arguments, which are actually rather commonly found amongst the people who deny the song is about jimin.
A. There's actually nothing special about the night Tae wrote about, the choice of night is incidental?
B. The song is actually about... uh, a literal bird? The "you" is referring to the bird, not Jimin?
C. Jimin just happened to be there that night, but he has nothing to do with the song?
A. First, Tae could’ve written about ANY other night in which he happened to be up at 4 o'clock. For a man with insomnia, that's probably very often. Instead, he specified it was that night, that meeting.
B. And if you just analyze the lyrics, it should be abundantly clear the song's "you" is obviously a person, one the bird represents. The bird is a metaphor for the person/you aka Jimin. Not the other way around. After all, the lyrics ask: "why are you crying?" Do birds cry, friends??? And was there really only a single bird in that whole park, and so Taehyung had to emphasize "It's only me and you" 3 times???
You know who was crying that night, though?
Yup, a certain soulmate of Tae.
C. And obviously, if Jimin was incidental, the song wouldn't be about that night that meant so much to the two of them, and the bird wouldn't be basically Jimin as well.
Though if you want to talk about why Tae obscured his subject being Jimin through moon and bird metaphors, then.. that's a more interesting question.
In fact, it brings me directly to the letter Tae wrote to accompany the song:
1. Taehyung's fancafe letter makes even more clear, if you were still unconvinced from lyrical analysis alone, that the bird is a metaphor for Jimin.
Taehyung quotes in his letter some of his original lyrics, that shows clearly that bird = you (person crying in the original lyrics) = Jimin.
"The sound of you singing in the cold breeze
The bird of the dawn sang nervously, worriedly
Please let me hear your voice to fill this dawn
(Just so you're aware, the original translation had "birds". But as I've explained in the past, Korean doesn't distinguish between singular/plural, and with all Tae's emphasis about how it's just him and this bird/Jimin, it's pretty clear to me the better translation is the singular bird here, so I've adjusted that)
Birds don't sing nervously and worriedly, people do.
And do you know who we know was there that night that sings? Who sometimes breaks into songs, as we've seen in behind the scenes footage? Who must've been nervous and worried that night, because he'd called Taehyung while concerned about the future of his relationship with him?
Again, a certain soulmate of Tae.
2. But if so: why did Taehyung play so very very coy with the idea that the bird is Jimin? ... At the same time that he kept drawing attention to how the bird is just a metaphor, how the song is a gift for the bird, and how special that bird is to him?
"It's about how this bird of dawn (just saying that it's a 'bird') and I come to this garden where nobody has ever come to."
It seems like I'm sending the letter to the bird of dawn (just 'bird')
[Drift note: not sure what the original Korean says, but I'm going to assume 'garden' actually means 'park', since it's what the song lyrics specify and where the night the song inspired took place]
Do you see how Taehyung literally kept drawing attention to how the bird isn't actually just a bird??? He literally went, "you know, bird *wink wink* *nudge nudge*"
And look at what he's telling us about him and this bird:
That he and the bird (*cough* Jimin) were together alone in this park, a space only they know. Which... he... uh, once told us in a fansign, actually, that only Jimin and he go to a park together.
That the song is a "letter" (that is, I presume, a vehicle by which he can express his feelings, and/or also a gift) to the bird (*cough* Jimin). And let's just take a moment to consider that his wording echoes the wording of the lyrics that actually made it into the song (which, yes, we know from RM's letter RM actually wrote, but RM also specified that he wrote it to "materialize Tae's emotions"): "One day I wrote a long, long letter to the moon." And as I've previously discussed, there's a quite a few things that suggest that moon is a metaphor Taehyung also likes to apply to Jimin.
And all this raises the pretty obvious question: why did Taehyung feel like he had to be so coy about the bird being Jimin, and yet seemed to feel such a strong compulsion to hint at it? If he truly, in his heart of heart, wanted us to think bird meant just a bird, he should've never written the two () he did, or to mention things that clearly denote 4 O'Clock is not actually about a bird.
It's like... he kind of actually wants us to know something that he's not supposed to let us know?
A couple of other things to consider:
It took Taehyung four years to confirm that the song was written about the night he met Jimin. And though Namjoon mentioned it in the making, he specifically deleted his comment that the song was about Tae waiting for Jimin - and maybe it was to "stop the shippers" as some claim, but we know now his statement was true all along? Call it me "seeing things" if you'd like, but Namjoon doesn't strike me as someone who'd delete something true "just" because of some shippers. It's almost like... there was a decision to keep slightly quiet the true inspiration of the song, and then 4 years later, Tae said "F*ck it"?
Even then, four years later, and with Taehyung quite insistent about the inspiration and that he told Jimin, Jimin played it off like he didn't know and lightened the mood... Though obviously if it was "a letter to him/the bird", he must've "received it" at the time the song was written, so to speak. As I've said again and again, if Namjoon knew it was about Jimin and even mentioned it on the cafe, Jimin himself must've known. And who forgets his bestie's first song was about their last big fight? That's like V forgetting Friends is about the 95z relationship. It's like... Jimin kind of thinks it's still not a great idea to acknowledge the connection?
And maybe I'm galaxy braining, but I want to remind you that Taehyung did something quite similar recently: revealing something more about a song's origins that he (had to?) play coy about at the beginning, though he simultaneously kept dropping hint after hint about it too. And again, the song has a pretty credible connection to Jimin.
I am, of course, talking about Sweet Night. Quoting myself:
Taehyung revealed [Sweet Night] wasn’t actually an OST song, but a personal song about him wanting a good night’s sleep. But there’s no discussion about how it’s… you know, at heart a romantic song. Specifically, a pining song. It’s like… Tae really just wanted to reveal this information? And he could now that it’s been a year? Only he couldn’t talk about its romantic inspirations?
As I said.
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