Người ở đừng vê is a song of parting typically sung about two lovers. In the poem, a man is forced to leave, though his love pleads for him to stay. When parting is inevitable, she asks him to be faithful—assuring him that she will wait as the river flows and the water fern floats. However, she warns him to return swiftly, reminding him that the water fern will eventually float away and be lost.
This arrangement prominently features an oscillating sixteenth-note motive, which represents the flowing water spoken of in the poem. When encountered, it should be sung fluidly in an unhurried manner. Additionally, in all verses the melody is freely passed from part to part. For example, in the women’s verse the melody starts in S1 (mm. 10 – 15), then moves to A1 (mm. 16 – 18), to A2 (mm. 19 – 21), and finally to S2 (mm. 22 – 23). The conductor should use flexible voicing and dynamic nuance to ensure the tune rises effortlessly to the forefront of the texture.
I wish to express my deepest gratitude to Ha Dang for her help with translation, pronunciation, and cultural context. She has been tireless and enthusiastic in her assistance.