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Life of Old Times by Nguyen Si Kha in Bells of Gal 2022

Music possesses a special ability to take us beyond space and time. Featured on his 2022 album “Bells of Gal,” “Life of Old Times” by Vietnamese singer Nguyen Si Kha transports listeners to bygone eras with its melancholic sounds and heartbreaking lyrics. This blog article explores the song’s themes, musicality, and cultural relevance, going deep into the song’s core.

Emotional Tapestry: Crafting Memories from Words to Music

“Life of Old Times” vividly depicts bygone eras, replete with youthful naiveté and the reassuring customs of country existence. Kha sings of spending time with family, chasing butterflies, and having fun in the sun. Every stanza reminds us of the transient nature of time and the value of shared experiences while arousing feelings of nostalgia for a bygone period.

Historical Soundscapes: A Fusion of Tradition and Modernity

Musically, “Life of Old Times” combines elements of modern pop music with traditional Vietnamese instruments like the đàn bầu and the sáo. The melancholic melody of the sáo adds a hint of bittersweetness, and the soft plucking of the đàn bầu produces a nostalgic ambience. The song has a new and dynamic sound that emphasises the contrast between the past and present thanks to the use of electronic beats and contemporary percussion.

Cultural Touchstone More Than Just a Song

Vietnamese audiences find “Life of Old Times” to be extremely meaningful since it provides a window into a common cultural past. The song brings back memories of Vietnam’s past, when community and simplicity were valued, as well as rural living and close family ties. Listeners are reminded of their cultural identity and origins by this sentimental link that cuts across generations.

Beyond National Boundaries: Common Themes of Time and Death

“Life of Old Times” has a strong Vietnamese cultural foundation, yet it also touches on universal themes of ageing and bereavement. Listeners of all origins and cultures can relate to the song’s theme of cherishing memories and realising how transitory life is. Because of its universality, the song can resonate with listeners anywhere and provide a moving analysis of the human condition.

Resolving the Past for the Future: An Appeal for Action

“Life of Old Times” is a call to action as well as a sentimental tribute to bygone eras. Through the appreciation and preservation of cultural traditions, listeners are encouraged by Kha’s music to ensure that they are passed on to future generations. The song serves as a helpful reminder of how important it is to value our heritage and maintain ties to the past while embracing the present and moving forward.

Classic Tune: The Lasting Influence of “Life of Old Times”

“Life of Old Times” by Nguyen Si Kha is a song that transcends genre and generation with its lush soundscapes, stirring lyrics, and profound message. The song is proof of the timeless ability of music to honour our cultural history, help us remember the past, and encourage us to think about the common experience of all people. “Life of Old Times” promises to endure as a timeless song, reminding us of the beauty and bittersweetness of life passing by, as Kha’s music continues to resonate with audiences worldwide.


Nguyen Si Kha’s “Life of Old Times” reminds us that while moments fade, their essence lingers in music. This song is more than just a nostalgic melody; it’s a bridge between generations, a call to cherish tradition, and a reflection on the human experience. As audiences continue to find solace and connection in its beautiful tapestry of sound, “Life of Old Times” cements its place as a timeless cultural touchstone.


  • Q: What does the title “Bells of Gal” signify?

A: There is no official explanation from Kha regarding the title “Bells of Gal.” Some speculate it references the sound of wind chimes or bells in the Gal region of Vietnam, potentially symbolizing memories and echoes of the past.

  • Q: What other instruments are featured in the song besides the đàn bầu and sáo?

A: The exact instrumentation varies across live and studio versions, but commonly used instruments include acoustic guitar, piano, percussion instruments like drums and shakers, and electronic elements like synthesizers.

  • Q: Where can I listen to “Life of Old Times”?

A: The song is available on major streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and Youtube Music.

  • Q: Does Kha have other songs with similar themes?

A: Yes, several of his songs explore themes of nostalgia, cultural heritage, and the passage of time. Exploring his album “Bells of Gal” and other works like “Mùi Của Nắng” (“Scent of Sunlight”) may offer further insight into his artistic style and message.

  • Q: How can I learn more about Vietnamese music and culture?

A: Numerous resources are available online and in libraries, including cultural centers and organizations dedicated to promoting Vietnamese arts. Exploring Vietnamese films, literature, and documentaries can also offer deeper understanding of the context and themes expressed in Kha’s music.

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