"Ugly"

A year after “Don’t Cry” comes a second 2NE1 translation and acoustic guitar cover: “Ugly”. This is the second track from their second mini album, with “Don’t Cry” being the fifth…I guess I’ve signed up to do the entire thing now.

Click through for my translation, some musings on the song, and of course the recording.

If you’re on a slow internet connection, you might want to download the audio instead.

“Ugly” is an interesting song for me because it’s not a song I would normally like. None of the members of 2NE1 are ugly by current standards of beauty in South Korea or the US, and usually I wouldn’t be a fan of a song / culture that implicitly places value on looks. And plenty of people who have issues with their looks…really look fine.

“Don’t lie to my face tellin’ me I’m pretty.”

But the chorus was kind of a wake-up call. Someone who’s relatively unattractive in their environment has probably heard all the platitudes by now, and it doesn’t help. Regardless of whether it should matter, it does matter, and claiming that someone’s just as pretty as everyone else when it’s clear that they aren’t is just disrespect.

So I now really appreciate the song, and I tried to capture this in my translation. The singer isn’t some vapid wannabe; they’re self-aware and they’re still hurting.

I still made quite a few mistakes on this recording; I’m still getting back into the swing of things with the guitar. But I like it.

Lyrics (written by me, based on the translation at LyricsTranslate.com):

I’m trying to smile, happy
But it doesn’t feel like me.
I’m not pretty, I’m not beautiful
Oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh

I’m trying my hardest to sing
But nobody’s listening
I’m not pretty, I’m not beautiful
Oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh

Why
Every day when I go out I try
But it’s never perfect.
What should I do, can I smile like you
I’ve only been able to cry

And every night
When everyone goes out I’m still here
I hate this feeling of
Wishing and waiting and staring and hating
In front of this broken mirror

And I can’t help but care
And I know that life just isn’t fair
But they all say that
“It’s not you it’s me”
“No, it’s only skin-deep”
Oh, this world is full of lies

Chorus
I think I’m ugly
And nobody wants to love me
Just like her I wanna be pretty
I wanna be pretty
Don’t lie to my face tellin’ me I’m pretty

I think I’m ugly
And nobody wants to love me
Just like her I wanna be pretty
I wanna be pretty
Don’t lie to my face cuz I know
I’m ugly

No,
Don’t tell me that you understand
It’s not that simple
It’s condescension, and I resent it
You think what you’re doing is “help”.

Just go away.
I’m not right for you anyway,
You want me to talk, well,
I don’t want your pity, you don’t even like me
Just your good deed for the day

I just want to leave, to go somewhere I can scream
Every time that I hear
“You’re special, you’re fun”
“Some day you’ll find the one”
Oh this world is so full of lies

(Chorus)

All alone
I’m all alone
All alone
I’m all alone

There is no one by my side
There is no one there at night

All alone
I’m all alone
All alone
I’m all alone

There is no warmth in my life
No embraces, just faces, and I
No I can’t take any more

(Chorus)

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