A song about a lifetime.
Hoedaji Sound is a song you sing for ones that return to dust, reflecting on their lives. Funeral song is often a part of funeral rites and Hoedaji Sound is indeed a funeral song but it is also a work song sung carrying a bier and filling in a grave. Hoedaji Sound sung at the last stages of this important ritual is a song about death, a new birth and the link between the two.
Hoedaji Sound is divided into two parts. The first part includes songs like 'Dapsanga (a song about propitious locations, feng-shui)', 'Hoesimgok (a song about filial duty and karma), Chohanha (a song that expresses the mournful heart of the dead) and the last part is a chorus that goes, 'aehori dalhoeya~'.
Hoedaji Sound starts slow with long sounds and it gradually picks the rhythm and speed. The first three verses of the Sound usually is a prayer to the mountain spirits.
The Hoedaji Sound of Jeonggeum-ri, Ucheon-myeon, Hoengseong-gun which won the first prize at the 1984 National Folk Arts Contest is one of the most famous Hoedaji Sounds. The Sound consists of kinsori (slow tempo) and jajinsori (fast tempo) sounds. It is quite similar to Hoedaji Sounds from other regions but this one is sung while adding variations to body movements and stamping methods.
Hoengseong Hoedaji Sound is beautiful in its own way because it is sung with a unique dance. People in Hoengseong-gun believe that dying of old age is a good death and they not only expressed sadness but brought out joy in coffin bearers and made a funeral into a celebration. So, Hoedaji Sound is a song that transcends death, birth and our lifetime.