Explanation Of Red Velvet’s ‘One Of These Nights’ Related To The Sewol Ferry Disaster


The Underlying Messages Of Red Velvet

On March 16th, 2016, SM Entertainment’s girl group Red Velvet released their music video comeback for the song titled “One of These Nights.” Apparently, the theme of the music video is about the shipwreck tragedy. A fan claimed that the music video is a tribute to South Korea’s Sewol Ferry disaster that occurred on April 16th, 2014, and happened to be a painful tragedy for the country.

In this article, Channel-Korea will explain the truth behind Red Velvet’s “One of These Nights” MV and the correlation to the Sewol Ferry tragedy. Are you curious? If so, stay tuned!


MV Theory Explanation

The theory was posted by blogger freyr25, who thought that Red Velvet’s “One of These Nights” MV is referring to the Sewol tragedy. For those who don’t know about the tragic Sewol disaster, it happened on the morning of April 16th, 2014, between 9 and 11 A.M. KST. The incident took place about 1,5 kilometers off the Donggeochado, Jindo Country, South Jeolla Province of South Korea.

This incident became tragic because of the unreasonable sudden turn of the ferry, the captain and crews’ lack of capability to give commando in order to save the people’s lives, and the politicians’ ignorance of the incident. The ferry carried 476 passengers and resulted in 304 dead and missing. Many still remember the 2014 Sewol tragedy.


The same goes for Red Velvet’s comeback. The MV was meant to reminisce about the incident. There are a lot of clues showing its connections to the tragedy. There are also many scenes in the MV that involve water. The blogger that wrote the MV theory claims that all five members represent each person involved in the 2014 Sewol incident. Here is the breakdown of the theory.

  • In the teasers, Wendy and Joy are seen with paper boats. Paper boats were made in memory of the victims of the incident.

  • At the beginning of the video, the members can be seen dolled up as they are about to have a fun trip, but the look on their faces shows sadness. This is interpreted as the students (victims of the Sewol ferry accident) who were preparing to go for the school trip without knowing that an accident would occur.
  • Seulgi is seen looking into the keyhole and realizes that there is a danger and tries to run, but she is blocked by the water around her. This symbolizes that all the students could have been saved.
  • While Irene represents those who followed the ferry crew’s commando to stay in their cabins.
  • Joy represents the survivors, as she is seen exiting the ship by climbing the stairs. At 1:40, we can also see her singled out among the other member which faded into black. She remained existing which means she survived.
  • Wendy represents the first to die, as Seulgi finds her drenched in the water afterward.
  • We also often see Yeri sleeping on a boat that slowly gets filled with water, this represents other high school students who died.
  • At 3:40, we can see that Wendy stands in front of the porthole that gets broke open by the water. This simply visualizes how the chaos went inside the cabin of the ferry.
  • The candles in the video symbolize the remembrance of the victims’ souls, in order to give hope and prayer to them.

Watch the MV below!

Music Video Making

The members put a lot of work into creating the music video besides their vocals. Doing the music video with the theme of an imprinted tragedy was a new thing for the girls. Watch how the props were prepared and how the camera catches the beautiful scenes in the clip below!


Lyrics Meaning

When you first listen to the song, “One of These Nights” appears to be a simple ballad song that expresses a yearning for a loved one. However, on various music show interviews, Irene has explained that the song was inspired by the folktale story about the star-crossed lovers Gyeon-woo and Jik-nyeo. This folktale is what is behind Chilseok, a traditional festival in Korea that gets to be celebrated on July 7th of the lunar calendar.


The story of the folktale goes with Jik-nyeo, the daughter of a king of heaven and a skilled weaver, who visits the earth one day. There, she meets Gyeon-woo, an orphaned cow herder boy, and they fall in love. She then manages to stay with him secretly and get married. But Jade Emperor finds out and separates them.

When they are parted, they both fall in such sorrowful tears that magpies are moved, and they form a bridge across the Milky Way (known as the Ojakgyo Bridge) for the lovers to meet once a year. From then on every year on the seventh day of July on Chilseok, then this becomes a tradition of the annual meeting that falls on Chilseok.


By listening to the song “One of These Nights,” we can feel the emotion of longing for the moment of the couple’s reunion. Even though the MV’s visuals differ from what is expressed by the lyrics, but both the song and the MV express a sense of loss. Trough the lyrics “uri dashi manna yo” which means “let’s meet again, us” that is repeatedly sung in the song, the feeling of longing for the loved one’s existence is expressed.