Origin Tale (single)

by The Sea and The Mother

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    - DVAN, which promotes arts and artists of the Vietnamese diaspora (www.dvanonline.org)
    - ADAPT/Pacific Links Foundation, which promotes awareness about and works to stop human trafficking in Vietnam (www.adaptvn.org)

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a song written by dao strom ~ I wrote this song based on a folktale about the origin of the Vietnamese people. Out of a union between a faerie princess of the mountains and a dragon king of the sea, 100 children were born. But mother & father could not stay together, so they divided the children between them. Fifty would stay with their mother in the mountains, fifty would follow their father - south - to the sea... From the children of this union arose the first Viet tribes. But in my era this legend became transposed to sing the story of division and exodus that arose out of the Vietnam War of the late 20th century... We divided into North/South in 1955, we divided again (sending Southerners into & across seas) in 1975.... This song is highly personal to me but I wrote it even more so to speak to the collective experience of the group and moment in history I was born into. In this history much blood has been shed, a lot of debt racked up (spiritual, physical, environmental, psychological), much destruction enacted, on all sides, all for the sake of being able to claim a name, a belonging, a concept of belonging, the illusion of owning - rights, namesake, nation.

For these reasons as well as my own personal ones, it seems important to me that this song now go out to the world unfettered, free, shareable, belonging not even to me anymore, but to all of us. Myth - I believe - evolves with our understanding of myths; and new myths and revisions of myths are needed, from time to time, to help us evolve, truly liberated. I am only this tale's re-telling of the moment, and my hope is that others will begin to revisit and rewrite the tale for themselves, and in this way we may help the brothers and sisters of the original legend (in spirit at least) to come together again.....

This song is for my people, on all of our shores.

I invite you to download, share, translate, excerpt, etc. as long as the work is duly credited back to its source and is shared for non-commercial use only. ( More on the story of this song can be found here: www.daostrom.wordpress.com ).


ORIGIN TALE (a song)

Mountain mother
mourning all her rivers
that flow with the blood of soldiers
the children who remain pick up the pieces
they plant the seeds

Dragon father
you always were so restless
so you took half of the children
and you led them south to the seashore
where you taught them freedom

Mother is crying
but her tears fall as drops of ink
so Mother she cries a newspaper
and her sorrow is only documentary

newsreels tell me
what to feel
because I don’t know
what is real
t.v. communicates our rage
but a death count is
all that speaks
our sadness

Sister searches high and low for her Brother
she once knew in the north
while Brother he writes long letters home
“is a flag not but a piece of cloth?”

tell me
what you saw that night
when the bomb’s fire
with the starlight
thought I was witnessing
the end
of my Time
but then I learned
that the guilty

((we will suffer no more))
((we will not carry your war))


released December 21, 2010




The Sea and The Mother Portland, Oregon

my given name is tiêu-dao....
i was born in Viet Nam, in the wake of a war.
i am the daughter of writers,
i am also the daughter of a political prisoner. but i followed my mother -
i am one of the children divided
between mother & father / mountains & sea / between
i am part of the middle world; a hybrid; a troubadour.

these are my notes from the southern world.
... more

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