Gavial – 국카스텐 Guckkasten Guitar Tab

In a 2013 questionnaire put together by one of their fan clubs, there was a question that asked the Guckkasten members for their favourite Guckkasten songs. Bassist Kim Kibum picked “Gavial”, and he described it as a beautiful song that made him want to join the band.

The music is beautiful but the lyrics (or more precisely, the inspiration behind the lyrics) is anything but. Perhaps even a little scary, if anyone were to be in that situation.

According to Ha Hyunwoo, he wrote the song while in the army, after he had a dream one night. In his dream, he saw three small crocodiles which he raised in a fence on his grandmother’s front yard. When he threw them some leftovers, they grew very big, went over the fence and ate him up. He woke up from the dream and as it left a strong impression on him, he immediately wrote it down.

Gavial (also known as gharial), by the way, is a fish-eating crocodile that is native to the northern part of the Indian Subcontinent.

It’s fascinating how Ha Hyunwoo gets inspiration for his lyrics. Although he has said that his favourite artist is Vincent Van Gogh, I can’t help but think that he may somewhat also be influenced by Salvador Dalí and surrealism, whether in his lyrics or his paintings.

Musically, the song has one interesting highlight: it is in 6/8 time, and switches to 4/4 time in the bridge before switching back to 6/8 time.

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There’s always a lot to learn from their live performance videos, like the fingerings and positions of the chords they use – which add colour to their song arrangements. Here’s one for “Gavial”:

And here’s the English translation of the lyrics that came from the surreal dream that Ha Hyunwoo had:

Gavial

Three small crocodiles
That sprouted on the front yard
They make a fence
And give her a call
Saying that I’m not a sinner

The polluted kiss
Livens up the talk
When I’m drunk on stale laughter
And lie down to sleep
A fence is careless

Three small crocodiles
That sprouted on the front yard
They make a fence
And give her a call
Saying that I’m not a sinner

A dangerous smile
And a dreadful you
When I’m drunk on pale spasms
And lie down to sleep
A fence is careless

I ate your smile that seed through the cracks
(When you are dreaming)
I ate your promises that went bad
(When you are dreaming)
I grew up feeding on concealed pain
(When you are dreaming)
I grew up fostering skewed warmth
(When you are dreaming)

Source: The Guckkasten Translator

If you’ve read this far, thank you(!) and here’s bonus trivia for you: what did the other three members pick as their favourite Guckkasten songs?

  • Ha Hyunwoo (Vocal, Guitar) – “Mirror”
  • Jun Gyuho (Guitar) – None
  • Lee Junggil (Drums) – “Tail”
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