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Let’s sing Japanese songs in English –Feb. 2021
“Butterfly under the Moon” (月に笑う蝶)

Butterfly Under The Moon

This is an English version written by me for an Enka song of the up and coming
female singer, Iriyama Akiko. Akiko-san used to work as a chief nurse in Japan’s Self Defense Force Hospital, I hear, and became a singer of Enka songs, mostly wearing Japanese Kimono on stage, and drawing an increasing number of fans from all corners.
This song, with an original title “Tsuki-ni Warau Choh”, meaning literally “Butterfly smiling at the Moon ”, depicts a woman struggling to live through hardships. The subject of the lyrics focuses on a butterfly fluttering toward a flame in the night, and trying to fly up to the Moon above, and the butterfly transpires to be the woman herself, urging, and even encouraging herself to face up to her difficult situation through her own way of life.

さあ、今、注目の「月に笑う蝶」(入山アキ子さん)の英語歌詞を苦心惨憺の上作って見ました。 私の「雰囲気訳」では、いい歌の雰囲気と精神を守りつつ、元歌の意味を訳しております。
そして英語詩において求められる「韻」もできる限り配置しています。  歌の中の、“…red flame…” と 二番の“…shining…”歌いだしは、半テンポ遅らせて息継ぎする方が歌いやすいですね(私もそうしてます)。
皆さんのご参考までに、英語歌詞の逐語訳を書いて見ました。 これはだから、元歌の日本語歌詞⇒英語歌詞⇒日本語の逐語訳としたものです。

退くに退けないところまで行った -

私の人生、ひどいもの - 怒りをなにかにぶつけたい



私の人生、ひどいもの、負った傷痕 しょってゆく
雲が月を隠してしまい、私は迷子になりそうだ -


  • Original lyrics by Midoriko
  • Music by Ohtani, Meiyuh
  • English lyrics by Hidekazu Morishima

Can you see the flickering red flame in the dark,
And a butterfly enchanted and decide to flutter o’er there?
Passed the point of no return, it’s me only, I don’t care,
Let the world jeer at me, I’ll smile back afar….

It’s a mess my life is in, I would let my anger loose,
Like a wreck, my heart beats low, I’ll only dance up ‘n down.
Within a stifling hot wind, I keep whirling around –
Higher up, further up, and soar and melt in to the moon!

Can you see the blue crescent moon shining like a blade,
  And a butterfly mesmerized and flying for love and fear?
Going on a dead-end route, I won’t shed any tears,
Let the people ditch me out there, I’ll go on my way….

It’s a mess my life is in, I would live out with my wound,
Like a wreck, my heart beats low, I will only dance alone,
I may lose way ‘cause the clouds hide away the moon –
Higher up to the sky, and find a new life of your own!

It’s a mess my life is in, I would let my passion out,
Like a wreck, my heart beats low, I will only dance alone.
Red flowers and blue birds try to guide me all about ―
Life is here, life is dear, and I will try an’ fly on my own!