Chon Wolson officilal Website


Love of Country

The Mountains And Waters OF Koryo, My Beloved!

by Rowe Kwangwook    Song Chon Wolson



Whether in the South or in the North,

Wherever we may be living,

Are we not all of us loving brothers?

The mountains are lofty, the waters clear,

Oh, the lovely hills and streams of Koryo;

My country and my beloved!


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Encountering Love of Country "Chon Wolson"


Immediately after Chon Wolson appeared on the stages on both sides of 38 degree line, she began singing the famous song Love of Country which starts with this simple lyric....

In April 1985, she was invited to sing in Pyongyang – her first performance on the Korean Peninsula.


Then in 1994, she sang the leading part of Carmen (Bizet), which was performed to celebrate the 600th anniversary of the capital’s founding. Although Wolson realized that the people of both Koreas are the same ethnicity, she also felt the pain of people divided between the north and south. It was in Seoul that she encountered the song Love of Country – an old tune that did not have a title at that time.

Originally created by a Korean-American, this song was to be performed in Los Angeles accompanied by an orchestra in the 1980s, but the composer could not find any Korean-American who would sing it at that time. Later around 1990, students engaged in the South Korea’s democratic movement recorded the song accompanied by a piano play. In 1994, Wolson came upon a cassette tape recording of this performance in Seoul.

Back in Japan, Wolson began to sing Love of Country in various places. At first she had no score in her hands and had to copy down the tune from the tape recording and sang to the piano on her own.
Korean residents in Japan who heard this song, which is about the pain of Korea divided in two and desire for reconciliation, cried thinking of their family that they could not meet.
She looked for the author of the song, but nobody knew the person either in South Korea or North Korea.

In January 1996, a mail from Washington reached her. It contained a full score for orchestra and a letter. The sender was the composer of Love of country. He learned of Wolson singing his song and wrote the letter through a Korean-American who heard Wolson singing the song during a Christmas concert in Japan.

The author was dentist Rowe Kwangwook, a Korean resident in the U.S.. He was born in 1922 in today’s North Korea, and lived as a musician in Seoul under then Japanese colonial rule. He moved to the U.S. to escape from the conflict between the north and south the year a cease-fire was concluded on the Korean War. Still, he could not but keep thinking of the Korean Peninsula and one day in the 1980s wrote Love of country.
Wolson flew to Washington to meet Rowe Kwangwook in May 1996. The singer – a Korean resident in Japan, and the composer – a Korean resident in the United States – finally got together, despite the differences in their circumstances of leaving their homeland behind. Despite the passage of time, the song remained intact.

The same year, Wolson sang the song accompanied by an orchestra, with a conductor who was supposed to perform the song in the 1980s in Los Angeles. The shows were broadcasted in both Japan and South Korea.

Rowe, the composer, visited Japan in 2004 and was among the audience of a concert celebrating the 20th anniversary of Wolson’s career.
In December 1996, Wolson flew again to South Korea. It was to sing Love of Country – a song that had not been sung there for a long time – in a live performance on South Korea’s national broadcaster’s New Year eve program.
Her performance reminded the people of South Korea how much Korean residents in Japan, the United States and the estimated more than 5 million Korean living abroad all love their motherland.
…and today, she keeps singing Love of Country in Japan, Korean Peninsula and all over the world.

Chon Wolson officilal Website