Friday, January 31, 2014

Far out Friday - Days by Yoshida Yamada

When I came back to my tiny town in backabush Japan, I went to the bank. While there, this song came on the tv. (Hmm, do Western banks have tvs? I think all the Japanese banks do...)  The song is called Days. It's about all the ups and downs of love (and life) and it made me cry right there in the bank. I was in a translate-y mood last weekend, so I thought I'd make an English version. The NHK (tv station) animated version and the official music video are both below the lyrics.

First- two caveats. There are no plurals in Japanese, so some of the "days" might be plural, but I kept them all singular for the feel of repetition from the original. Second, Japanese hardly uses pronouns. So all the pronouns are my own doing. "He" could as easily have been "she" or "they". The bit at the end that's in quotation marks, I've written like the singers are sending a message to the audience, but it could be the grandfather or grandmother speaking to their other half.

That said, I give you "Days" by Yoshida Yamada.

Grandfather locks eyes with Grandmother, they hardly speak
They’ve passed the time cuddled together, but it hasn’t always been happy
Thick-lens glasses, wrinkly palms,
There are memories you can’t see in photos that make them laugh together

The day they met, the day they realised they were in love
The day they got married, the day they almost broke up
The day they first held their child, the day they let him go
Tears overflow
These are happy days

Grandfather never uses Grandmother’s name, even when he calls her
His angry face is his every day face, but he whistles when he’s happy
His favorite knit cap is one she knitted for him
Just like his childhood, he can’t find the words to say thanks

The day he made her cry, the day she left home
The day they embraced, the day they slept backing each other
The day he gave her hope, the day she hated him for it
The tears overflow
Frightfully up and down days
Grandfather gets sick, grandmother cries alone
“You have to tell him how you feel. Always. Everyday. Truly.”


Just count the tears.
Surely these are happy days.

NHK animated version.

Artist Official Music Video

What makes life happy, is that it's not always happy. Strangely beautiful concept.

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