“Haru no shirosa ni boku, maketa.” by Guruguru Eigakan

春の白さに僕、負けた。

作詞:天野鳶丸

春の日、春の白さに僕、負けた。 
晴れた日、空の高さが僕、責めた。

春一番、雪も溶けた。新芽も出た。ほら、蕗の墓。
皆、気分が昇るのなら、僕が独り落ちたのと一緒。

おろし立ての、新しい服。外套脱いだ。前を見てる。
皆、気分が暖かいのなら、僕が余計に寒くなる。

「置いてけ堀、裏の裏は表じゃ無い。」

春の日、春の白さに僕、負けた。 
晴れた日、空の高さが僕、責めた。

* * *

By the White of Spring, I was Defeated.

Lyrics: Amano Tonbimaru
Trans.: Alex Fyffe

On a spring day, by the white of spring, I was defeated.
On a sunny day, high in the sky, I was condemned.

First storm of spring, the snow melted. Buds blossomed. Look, a butterbur sprout.
Everybody, when your feelings are high, mine alone will fall.

Brand new clothes. Overcoat removed. Looking straight ahead.
Everybody, when your feelings are warm, mine will grow frigid.

“Left in a ditch, the bottom of the bottom is not the top.”

On a spring day, by the white of spring, I was defeated.
On a sunny day, high in the sky, I was condemned.

Notes:

Trans. 10/26/2011.

Amano Tonbimaru is the lead singer of Guruguru Eigakan, so I am assuming the lyrics are his, although the one site where I found the band’s lyrics in Japanese does not list the name of the lyricist.

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“Dorobou” by UA

泥棒

作詞:UA

それは多分そうね きっと盗まれた
4/14 23:00 西の風5m 我慢 冗談 相談 傲慢 花壇
自慢 油断 舞台の中央に捨てられた裸の心臓
ジャバラなあたしがめくられてく お化け 怪獣 悪魔 泥棒
そしてあたしの夢は 一時停止のまま
割った玉子もフライパンに届かずじまい 不埒なあなたが舌を出す
誰か どうか お構いなく 彼を あいつを 消して 檻に入れて
とかげ らくだ きりん 泥棒

* * *

Thief

Lyrics: UA
Trans.: Alex Fyffe

That must be it I’m certain it was stolen
4/14 23:00 West wind 5mph Patience Joke Discussion Arrogance Flowerbed
Pride Negligence A naked heart thrown onto center stage
Accordion me turns over Ghost Monster Devil Thief
And so my dreams are suspended in time
The cracked egg never even made it into the frying pan Insolent you sticks out your tongue
Someone Somehow Don’t bother with me It’s him That guy Kill him Throw him in jail
Lizard Camel Giraffe Thief

Notes:

Translated in 2008. Revised 10/19/2011.

“SABAKU” by Zazen Boys

SABAKU

作詞:MUKAI SHUTOKU

ゆれている日曜日 すり抜ける人混み
雨上がりの空は黄色い 気持ち晴れたつもり

東京湾に群がるミヤコカモメの集団
くちばしに食わえたどっかの国のゴミ袋
体毛は黒と白とねずみ色の合間
腹ん中、コンクリートが詰まっていっぱい
反射した品川の鈍い光 まどわされてふらつき
肌、ただれる雨が酸性 染みこんでとてもむずかゆい
夢に触った跡がない 流されていつのまにか消えた
赤くさびた釘 心臓に刺さったまんま

心臓に刺さってる 赤くさびた釘を早くぬいて
心臓に刺さってる 赤くさびた釘を早くぬいて

終末思想ずっと漂う街の気配
でも終わりはぜんぜんやってこないみたい
300円の傘の先端を地面に突き刺す
手ぶらで歩き出す 雨はもう降ってない
砂漠に。砂漠のどっか真ん中に
砂漠に。砂漠のどっか真ん中にいるかんじ
わりと意外なほど、とてもさびしい

ゆれている日曜日 すり抜ける人混み
雨上がりの空は黄色い

割と…さびしい

* * *

Desert

Lyrics: Mukai Shutoku
Trans.: Alex Fyffe

I work my way through a crowd of people on a drifting Sunday,
after it has rained and the sky is yellow, in order to clear my mind

A flock of seagulls are gathered at Tokyo Bay
clutching trash bags from another country in their beaks
Their feathers are shades of black and white and grey
and their stomachs are packed full of concrete
I stagger in a daze in the dim light reflecting off Shinagawa
The acid from the blistering rain has seeped into my skin and itches
Nothing remains of the things I touched in my dreams — they are washed away, suddenly gone
replaced with these red-rusted nails stuck in my heart

Hurry and pull them out, the red-rusted nails stuck in my heart
Hurry and pull them out, the red-rusted nails stuck in my heart

I see signs of the end times in this ever-drifting city
and yet the end never seems to come
I stab the tip of my 300-yen umbrella into the ground
and walk empty-handed now that the rain has stopped
In the desert. Somewhere in the middle of the desert
In the desert. It feels like I’m somewhere in the middle of the desert
and it’s lonelier than I thought it would be

I work my way through a crowd of people on a drifting Sunday
The sky is yellow after the rain

and a little… lonely

Notes:

Trans. 6/6/2009. Revised 10/18/2011.

Another special thanks to Grady Martin for all of his help.

Shinagawa is the name of a river.

I’m not exactly sure what he means by どっかの国のゴミ袋, but it literally translates to “trash bags from a country somewhere.” Whether or not he is implying a specific country without saying it, I don’t know.

“DON QUIJOTE” by Eastern Youth

DON QUIJOTE

作詞:吉野寿

馬鹿な男が立っている
雨上がりに
唇噛んで太陽が去るのを待っている
連なるテールライトが
河のように赤く流れる国道で
独り突っ立って風の中

憧れて 人の世に焦がれて
窓枠のもどかしさを
飛び越えてやって来た
魂は燃えている
夕焼けに負けない程
無様に転げ落ちたって
どこまでも信じている

見えざる影に刃を振り翳しては
敗れる事が唯一の生きている証
馬鹿な男が立っている
大事そうに胸に抱えているものは
二束三文のシケた詩
二束三文の真実

現れて
忽然と消えて行く
暁の儚さを
携えてやって来た
魂は燃えている
雷鳴を蹴散らす程
励ましなんて用は無い
目隠しで立ち向かうさ

そうさ 「明日はきっと晴れる。俺には判る。」

* * *

Don Quijote

Lyrics: Yoshino Hisashi
Trans.: Alex Fyffe

A foolish man stands,
after it has rained,
biting his lip, waiting for the sun to go down
A line of taillights stream by
like a river down the highway
He stands alone in the wind

Yearning, burning for the human world
he leaps over
the weary windowsill
His spirit is so bright
he beats out the sunset
No matter how many times he stumbles
he continues to believe

Raising his sword against invisible shadows,
defeat is the only proof that he’s alive
A foolish man stands
holding his treasures in his heart:
a cheap and brooding song,
a cheap reality

He holds in his hands
the transience of dawn
that is here
and then suddenly gone
His soul is so bright
it drives out the thunder
Without a word of encouragement
he blindly fights on

“It will clear up tomorrow. I just know it.”

Notes:

Trans. in 2008. Revised on 10/18/2011.

“SARUBIA no hana” by Hayakawa Yoshio

サルビアの花

作詞:相沢靖子

いつもいつも思ってた サルビアの花を
あなたの部屋の中に 投げ入れたくて
そして君のベッドに
サルビアの紅い花 しきつめて
僕は君を死ぬまで 抱きしめていようと

なのになのに どうして他の人のところへ
僕の愛の方が すてきなのに
泣きながら 君のあとを追いかけて
花ふぶき舞う道を
教会の鐘の音は なんてうそっぱちなのさ

とびらを開けて出てきた君は 偽りの花嫁.
ほほをこわばらせ 僕をチラッと見た
泣きながら 君のあとを追いかけて
花ふぶき舞う道を
ころげながら ころげながら
走りつづけたのさ

* * *

Salvia Flowers

Lyrics: Aizawa Yasuko
Trans.: Alex Fyffe

I always used to think about how I wanted
to throw salvia flowers around your room
and spread red salvia flowers
all over your bed
and I would tell you that I would hold you till you died

And yet, somehow, you found someone else
who you loved more than me
I ran crying after you
Cherry blossoms fell and danced on the street
and the ringing of the church bells sounded false

You came through the door, a faithless bride.
Your lips stiffened, and you glanced at me
I ran crying after you
Cherry blossoms fell and danced on the street
Stumbling, stumbling
I just kept running

Notes:

Trans. 10/14/2011.

“Stumbling, stumbling…” ころげる means to fall over, but it most frequently seems to be used with 笑う, to laugh, to indicate “falling over laughing.” However, I assume in this case he simply means that he is stumbling as he continues to chase after his faithless bride.

“Your lips stiffened…” I believe that ほほ actually means “cheeks,” so the line should be “Your cheeks stiffened, and you glanced at me.” However, this could be taken the wrong way in English, and since stiffening lips seem to be more common in the English language than stiffening cheeks, I went that route.

Hayakawa Yoshio was the lead singer of the highly influential 60s rock band Jacks. This song is from his first solo album.

“Tokyo Shounen” by Going Steady

東京少年

作詞:ミネタカズノブ

瞳を閉じれば 聞こえてくるだろう
拳握った 少年の声が!!!

鼻血が夕暮れ!! にじんだ夕暮れ!!!
かすむ彼方は 此の世の終わりか!!

カチカチ耳カス チカチカ星クズ
あの娘に会いに 夜空に飛び立つ

指先に止まった 赤トンボ
何処へ帰るの 赤トンボ

僕等は若くて 心が歪んだ
叫ぼう!叫ぼう!僕等は此処だ!!!

瞳を閉じれば 聞こえてくるだろう
拳握った 少年の声が!!!

* * *

Tokyo Boy

Lyrics: Mineta Kazunobu
Trans.: Alex Fyffe

If you close your eyes, you will hear
the voice of a bare-fisted boy!!!

The nosebleed evening!! The blurred evening!!!
The mist on the horizon could be the end of the world!!

Dry earwax, glimmering stardust
flying through the night to meet a girl

Red dragonfly resting on my fingertips,
where do you call your home, red dragonfly?

We are young, our hearts are twisted
We shout! We shout! We are here!!

If you close your eyes you will hear
the voice of a bare-fisted boy!!!

Notes:

Trans. 2008. Revised 2011.

“bare-fisted.” The line more literally reads: “the voice of a boy making a fist,” but bare-fisted boy had a certain ring to it that I couldn’t ignore. I think it gets across both the rage and the vulnerability of the 東京少年.

The chorus is closer to: “red dragonfly that stopped on my fingertips, to where will you return, red dragonfly?”

“Kimochi” by Zazen Boys

KIMOCHI

作詞:MUKAI SHUTOKU

現代。
着地点はねえ ずっと飛んでるキブン
ヘンタイの思想は共感できん
四季が巡り 色とりどりの人類模様
俺はいつも動揺を押さえきれん
・・・伝えたい 俺のこのキモチを
貴様に伝えたい 俺のこのキモチを

伝達できん自分に腹が立つ
生まれ育ったその環境、歴史、思想すべてブチこんで
表すことが出来ればいい
意味がわからん言葉で意志の疎通を計りたい

犬猫畜生と分かち合いたいのだ
貴様に伝えたい 俺のこのキモチを

伝えたい 伝えたい
貴様に伝えたい 俺のこのキモチを

* * *

Feeling

Lyrics: Mukai Shutoku
Trans.: Alex Fyffe

Present day.
There’s nowhere to land. I feel like I’m forever flying.
I can’t sympathize with perverse thoughts.
Seasons change with all the colors of the human condition.
I can’t contain this constant trembling within me.
. . . I want to explain this feeling.
I want to explain to you what I’m feeling.

I get frustrated with myself when I can’t communicate.
I wish I could express
my devotion to the environment, history and ideals that gave birth to me.
I want to measure my ability to communicate with words I don’t understand.

I want to share it with the dogs and the cats and the beasts of the field.
I want to explain to you what I’m feeling.

I want to explain, I want to explain,
I want to explain to you what I’m feeling.

Notes:

Trans. 2008. Revised 2011.