Song Lyric Sunday: The HU, “Wolf Totem”

Source: Melanie

This week’s assignment is “Metal.” Not really one of my favorite genres, but I do like some. There are different subgenres, one in particular being folk metal, of which the Mongolian band The HU is a prime example. Wikipedia tells us

Folk metal is a fusion genre of heavy metal music and traditional folk music that developed in Europe during the 1990s. It is characterised by the widespread use of folk instruments and, to a lesser extent, traditional singing styles (for example, Dutch Heidevolk, Danish Sylvatica and Spanish Stone of Erech). It also sometimes features soft instrumentation influenced by folk rock.

The HU is a four-piece ensemble consisting of “Gala” and “Enkush” on the morin khuur (horse fiddle), “Jaya” on the tumur hhuur (Jew’s Harp) and tsuur (an end-blown flute, like a recorder), and “Temka” on the tovshuur (a lute, held and strummed like a guitar). Gala, Enkush, and Temka add throat singing. Their first album, 2018’s Gereg (named for the diplomatic passport in the time of Genghis Khan), received a Gold album in Canada. The second single from the album, “Wolf Totem,” reached #1 on the Billboard Rock Digital Sales and World charts and #5 on the Mainstream Rock chart.

The original lyrics are in Mongolian. This is the English translation according to Genius.

The lion is in a bloody battle to the death
The tiger overcomes the leopard in a match
The elephant thrashes the leopard in a contest
Man intensely struggles with a leopard to contend

We, the lions slaughter the leopards in a match
The tiger beats the leopard in a contest
The elephant trounces the leopard in a fight
Man strenuously strains with a leopard in contention

An instigator, the jealousy of a snake it could be
And Khan Garuda leaps up above into the air
A growl, the jealousy of a tiger it could be
The blue wolf comes too from far away

Hu – hu – hu – hu…
Hu – hu – hu – hu…

Provoked, the snow leopard competes with its rivals

Ten thunderbolts strike at the same time
A hundred hearts energized in the thundering roar
Simultaneously a thousand colliding thunderbolts
And too, ten thousand lightning strikes in the heavens

Hu – hu – hu – hu…
Hu – hu – hu – hu…

This deluge is the leopard battling in a deadly fight
The surges of the leopard scuffling in competion
The awesome leopard swats, blows to overthrow
The glistening leopard slashes in the scramble

Hu – hu – hu – hu…
Hu – hu – hu – hu…

With the speed of the falcon advancing
The wolf’s courage at times flaring up
The strength of horses hooves, their paces pounding
The mark of Genghis Khan, an overwhelming impression

And that’s Song Lyric Sunday and Song of the Day for January 15, 2023.

20 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday: The HU, “Wolf Totem”

  1. Most of my young adult life was spent listening to metal. Still love it and when I’m not listening to The Beatles, that is my music of choice. This is blowing my mind right now. HU knew??? I will definitely check these guys out. Thanks for the turn on, John! 🤯
    PS – I don’t want to assume anything; ok to share this?

    Liked by 1 person

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