But first let me show you the lovely cover. The block of 6 beautiful stamps on the front cover belongs to the 1st Issue of the Korean Music series. On the back of the cover are 5 se-tenant stamps issued in 1989 to commemorate the Bicentennial of the French revolution. It is a single issue. The following stamps are from the Korean Music Series. There are a total of 18 stamps from 9 issues. These were issued yearly from 1985 to 1993. This is the 1st Issue from 1985. The first stamp depicts a popular Korean folk song, "The Spring of My Home".
The second stamp pictures a song, "A leaf boat" written by Park Hong-keun. It is the reminiscence of its writer of his childhood days. The words describe how he, as a little boy, would pick up a fallen leaf, set it afloat on a calm pond, and send it sailing with his dreams aboard through the white clouds reflected on the water in the bright moon-light. It is a lyrical song for childern.
This is the 2nd Issue from 1986. The first stamp shows a popular children's song written and composed by Yun Keuk-young. Made in 1924, it was then not so much a simple juvenile song, more as a national song that reminded Koreans of their statehood. Still loved by all the koreans, young and old, this song is dearly cherished, along with the "Spring of my home", as a fine piece of art that contains the soul of the nation.
The second stamp is a nursery rhyme, "Let's go and Pick the Moon".
Next is the 3rd Issue from 1987. The two stamps depict the songs, "Barley field" and "Magnolia" respectively. Here shows the 4th Issue from 1988. The first stamp is a song "Kagopa" (Home Sick). It took its composer almost a life-time to write this song. He began the first half of the song in his twenties, and completed the second half in his sixties. The second stamp depicts a song "Songuja" (Pioneer). It is a song dedicated to the innumerable fighters, who had given their lives for the national independence, during the Japanese rule of Korea. This is the 5th Issue from 1989. The first stamp shows a song, titled "Arirang". It is sung with affection by all Koreans, both old and young. It served as a vent for suppressed national anger and sorrow during the dark period of Japanese rule of our country. The next stamp depicts the song "Doraji-taryong", which originated in the Kyeonggi region during the last days of the Chosum Dynasty. The 6th Issue from 1990 shows two stamps depicting the ever-popular Korean folk songs, "Pakyon-Pokpo" and "Chonan-samkori". This is the 7th Issue from 1991. The first stamp depicts a song, "Kotbahtehsuh". This song, whose title means "At a flower garden", was introduced in the middle of bleak and chaotic atmosphere, right after the reclamation of Seoul by the allies, on September 28, 1950 during the Korean War. At that time the song, with its beautiful tunes and cheerful words had comsoled innocent souls scarred by the war and is still enjoyed by many children today.
The second stamp pictures the song "Kwasoowonkil". It was written by Park Hwa-Mok. The title of the song , which means "A pass to an orchard", was inspired by the thoughts of the writer's hometown, in the North, where he can no longer visit due to the split of Korea. Here is the 8th Issue from 1992. These 2 stamps in this Issue show the songs, "Gurium Keum-kang-san" (Longing for the Mt. Keumkang) and "Guinoi" (A Swing) respectively.Lastly, we have the final Issue of this series. Issued in 1993, it presents "O-Dol-Ddo-Gi" and "Ong-He-Ya".
"O-Dol-Ddo-Gi" is a popular folk song of Cheju Island. The legend has it that during the 16th century, a fisherman, Kim Bok-Soo, was caught in a storm and drifted to Siam (present Thailand). Later he married a Korean lady, Im Chun-Hyang who was also washed up ashore after a storm, and settled down. Yet he could not forget his homeland and found his way home. It is interesting to note that song resembles a Chinese tribal dance music from Unnam Province called the Peacock Dance.
Farmers sang "Ong-He-Ya" during barley threshing in the Kyong-Sang and Chung-Chong Provinces.