I am currently listening to 2·5·共·感 (이오공감).

After watching last week’s 1 Night and 2 Days I began to look for information on 이오공감. Among the songs accompanying the final episode of the historic television show were “A Dog of Flanders” (플란다스의개) and “Between love and friendship” (사랑과 우정사이).

The poignant story of Nello and Patrasche is a perennial favorite that many Korean children grow up reading. In it, Nello and his dog Patrasche are inseparable friends who encounter death together. In “A Dog of Flanders,” 이오공감 sings about Patrasche and laments that the faith and friendship that he represents has become such a rarity. The song’s progression from a soft to a more rocking style boasts a pretty melody with references to the anime version of the story and meaningful lyrics.

I listened to “Between love and friendship” often when I visited my second aunt’s. She and my uncle would take the kids out to eat special meals like Korean barbecue and would play their favorite songs in the car on the way. My parents never listened to music even though they had a row of classical music CDs showcased inside the audio cabinet. The CDs purchased in bulk on a discount were there for a pure presentation purpose because many of them are still kept unopened to this day. But riding in my aunt and uncle’s car listening to “Between love and friendship” was a pleasing experience.

I found out that both songs have connection to 이오공감.

Released in 1992, this record is composed of songs written and sung by Lee Seung-hwan and Oh Tae-ho. It is also the only album of of 이오공감. The album cover is amazing. It’s probably me, but I can sense a bit of the Hong Kong film comedy genre from the two guys posing in the water. I can almost hear the dubbed voices talking “Now what? What’s there do to?” or “Wouldn’t you say this was a heck of a journey?” The color of their attire matches that of the vast ocean.

Because of the huge success of “For a thousand days” (천일동안), I knew who Lee Seung-hwan was from a young age. The little prince’s cassette tapes could be found neatly stacked in my uncle’s room even though I never dared to touch them.

Then a few years back, I watched an episode of the Legend Songs moderated by Country Koko and Kim Sung-eun. The episode dedicated to Lee Seung-hwan introduced to me new songs such as “Dunk shoot” (덩크슛), “Red camel” (붉은 낙타) and “Like the love that has been scattered over the world” (세상에 뿌려진 사랑만큼). For a while, I listened to a lot of Lee Seung-hwan’s songs that I could find online.

Appearing often on television recently, Lee Seung-hwan is relatively a familiar face to many, but Oh Tae-ho is less well-known. He, however, is an accomplished songwriter. Oh composed Kim Hyun-sik’s (김현식) “My love, by my side” (내 사랑 내 곁에), Oh/Jang/Park’s (오/장/박) “When tomorrow comes” (내일이 찾아오면) and Pinocchio’s “Between love and friendship.”  According to a Wikipedia entry, Oh is a distinguished musician with numerous hit songs to his credit. While I wasn’t able to locate more current information about Oh besides his involvement with the CCM genre, I found plenty of bloggers who had enjoyed and missed the duo’s music. The delicate sentimentality of 이오공감 is pleasing to my ear, too.

Below is a video of 이오공감’s “A heart for one” (한 사람을 위한 마음) which was the most popular track from its album.