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Let’s sing Japanese songs in English –May 2018
This month’s song is “Taste Of Love”(the original Japanese title “Omoide Kazari”)

This month’s song – “Taste Of Love” - the original title: Omoide Kazari, meaning Memory Décor? – composed by Yuu Hijirikawa, arranged by Tatsuya Nango, lyrics written by Hajime Tateishi - English lyrics written by Hidekazu (Morris) Morishima.
This song is sung in its original Japanese version by a female singer, Kaori Aoki. I came across this song while browsing through YouTube and other media scenes, and was struck by the singer’s powerful and passionate singing style. In a matter of weeks, I explored other songs of hers, but by her new stage name of Kaoru Yamaguchi. They include “Aishuu Furamenko” (Melancholic Flamenco), “Tsukino Sunadokei” (Sandglass In The Moon). All these songs of hers are not really those quintessential Enka songs, but remind listeners of a Rock Ballad-like appeal to your soul. To myself, it was an encounter with a soulful song that you cannot let it go as just one of those pop songs. Yet this song is still definitely a Japanese song with Japanese sentiment. I decided to try give the song English lyrics, and have a go as a Japanese soulful song. I think this song can be sung successfully as a new song by an American female singer. Would anybody have a try? I dared (despite my clumsy voice) sing it on YouTube (linked to my BILOG), so that I may at least give a hint on how to let English words ride on the melody and its “jumping” notes.

今月の雰囲気訳は、Taste Of Love と名付けました。原曲は、青木香織さんの「想い出飾り」です。音楽好きの私めがYouTube 等を洗っている中で発掘した歌です。
「発掘」と言うと歌い手さんに失礼しなりますが、私にとっては青木香織と言う名前、そしてその後、芸名を山口かおるとされたのですが、いずれも初めての出会いでしたが、久しぶりに(そう、10年前の秋元順子さんの「愛のままで」との出会い以来の)インパクトを受けた歌だったので、発掘と言う言葉を使います。 山口かおるさんの歌としては色々あり、「月の砂時計」、「哀愁フラメンコ」等々、みな、魂をゆさぶる歌だと思います。 原曲としてもっと認知されるべきいい歌であり、すばらしい歌手だと思います。そして何より曲が良いし、歌詞もいい。
「想い出飾り」は、普通は演歌の分野になるのでしょうが、私は、演歌と言うより、ソウルフルなJ-Rom(Japanese Romantics)と位置づけています。一種ロック・バラード的アッピールのある歌ではないでしょうか。強いリズムと発声の中で直接魂に訴えるものがある、と言う意味です。
またまた、お叱りを承知で私のへたな歌でYouTubeにのっけました。 英語詞を作った「責任上」、節回しのヒントだけでも、との思いです。歌い方、節回しの参考としてのみ出しているものです。

Taste Of Love

  • Composed by Yuu Hijirikawa
  • from the original lyrics, by Hidekazu Morishima

I’d never known the taste of love, As I was only a Ii’l dove.
One day when you kissed my cheek.
A bolt of thunder struck on me.
Was it a young girl’s fantasy, that never before was in me ?
It came upon me when we met -
You were my only love and zest !
Taste of love and taste of tears,
you taught me, and you were gone -
I’m all alone drifting on the sea-
Sea of love that many souls found and lost and found again,
wine glasses only knew. Sea of tears, filled with sorrows, bitter-sweet memories of you.
That memory of summer dreams,
I’ll never let go of the scenes.
There you were stepping out of door,
Pickin‘ your coat an’ bag an‘ more.
Was it a mirage gone away ?
Or was it remains of the day ?
Only a streak of teardrops
Left a I’il twinkle on my glass.
Wish that I had known better and had fallen in love -
Like a woman who’s adult enough -
Love a man and caress him in my heart and in my soul, day and night, but I wasn’t tough.
If you’d come back over to me, It would be a dream come true to me !