To quote Winston Churchill: “A nation that forgets its past has no future.”

Throughout history, Koreans have encountered many heartbreaking events that have shaped and influenced the Korean society in one way or another. This goes all the way back to the Japanese colonization of Korea in 1910 to the Sewol Ferry Disaster in 2014.

And throughout it all, many musicians have used their music as a medium to express their opinions about various societal matters and to remind the public to remember the events of the past for a better future.

With that being said, here are eight songs that commemorate the victims and brave heroes of a series of unfortunate events that took place over the course of Korean history:

1. Kwanghee, Gaeko – “Your Night” feat. Oh Hyuk

Kwanghee and Gaeko teamed up to produce this track as part of “The Great Heritage” special of MBC’s “Infinite Challenge,” which was a project to spread the knowledge of Korean history through fusion with hip hop.

“Your Night,” which also features singer Oh Hyuk, is a tribute to the poet Yoon Dong Joo.

The lyrics talk about the heroic act of the poet during the Japanese colonization of Korea in the 1930s. At the time, the Japanese banned the teaching and use of the Korean language and forced Koreans to take on Japanese names. However, the poet Yoon Dong Joo resisted by continuing to write poems in Korean. “Your Night” uses two of the poet’s most well-known poems “Night of Counting Stars” and “Prologue” as references.

2. DIA – “Independence Movement”

DIA released the track in honor of the Korean Independence Movement Day in 2017. The members participated in producing and writing the lyrics for the track, in which they pay homage to a number of independence activists and nationalists who came together in peaceful protests to proclaim Korea’s independence from Japanese rule in 1919.

The Korean title of this track is “Geon Gon Gam Ri,” which are the names of the four trigrams on the Korean flag. The trigrams come together to present movement and harmony as fundamental principles with each trigram representing each of the four classical elements: heaven (Geon), earth (Gon), moon (Gam), and sun (Ri).