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Monday, August 06, 2007

One of the things that embarrasses me the most, lately, is telling what may be the best Lyrics Kotoko has ever written. She's a so sublime poetess that I could go days and days around listening all of her songs and I wouldn't still be able to like one above the others.

However, if one thing can be said, her last album head song "Uzumaki" (whirlpool) is stunningly original. It has some of the usual Kotoko touches: rich metaphors, slightly hermetic meanings, rare words and peculiar kanjis but all of those elements are here brought to a different level of maturity. The impression Kotoko gave me in some songs where she uses this register (i.e. Re-sublimity) is that she was skillfully, artificially complex, but here this complexity seems much more... natural, and that's for the first time. Other than that, what makes this song original even in her own production is the topic of the song. In her own productions, Kotoko has never been the kind of singer singing "Oh, dear, you don't know how much I love you...". Even her love songs (quite a few in number) are stories about unrequited love and a creative way to survive it (Garasu no kaze, Oboetete ii yo), or have some "cosmic" feeling (Chi ni kaeru, Tsukiyo no butoukai), or are in some other way quite peculiar. Especially for the first ones I cited, it's not hard to see some heavy autobiographic relevance.

Yet the topic of this song is quite peculiar among peculiarities. This song is about an unnamed preacher of an unnamed cult. Saying anything more would ruin the surprise, so I'll let it to you.

I just add that the song music is very peculiar too, quite dance as the vast majority of her songs, but slower than usual, and with a rhythmic structure so articulated and "revolving" that it would take the Bolshoi Ballet, or most probably the Momix to perform it the way it should be done. Her singing at times "out of time", and other times rhythmic as usual suggests a ship, or a flux moving through whirlpools, at times being able to evade them, at times being caught in their rhythms.

Finally, this is one of the very few songs where I heard rhymes being effectively used in Japanese, and among the few I heard, this is surely where they have been used the most skillfully.

What other should I say... A master's masterpiece of masterpieces?
渦巻
Uzumaki
Whirlpool(s)
Vortice/i

作詞: KOTOKO
Lyrics - KOTOKO

作曲: Kazuya Takase
Music - Kazuya Takase

編曲: Kazuya Takase, Takeshi Ozaki
Arrangement - Kazuya Takase Takeshi Ozaki


見える…
mieru...
I can see them!
Riesco a vederli!

縦横に蠢いた無数の渦が
juuou ni ugomeita musuu no uzu ga
Countless swirls jumping here and there
Innumerevoli vortici che balzellano qua e là

まばたきの間に消える
mabataki no aida ni kieru
They disappare in the space of an eyebeat
Nel tempo di uno sbatter di ciglia scompaiono.

見えない…
mienai...
I can't see them anymore!
Non li vedo più!

堂々回りだった昨日のように
doudou meguri datta kinou no you ni
They were surrounding me boldly, as they were doing yesterday,
Mi circondavano bellamente, proprio come ieri,

せめぎ合う百色空洞
semegiau hyaku iro kuudou
Colorful hollows squeezing each other...
Cavità vuote di cento colori che si schiacciavano a vicenda...

----------------------

そんな事言ってない!解るでしょう?キミが心許せるただ無二の人
sonna koto itte nai! wakaru deshou? KIMI ga kokoro yuruseru tada muni no hito
I am NOT saying THAT! You should get it! You, unbeatable comfort giver!
Non sto dicendo questo! Eppure dovresti capirmi?!? Tu, consolatore semplicemente impareggiabile!

信じてる…信じてる…だって、あんなにも心砕いた…
shinjiteru...shinjiteru...datte, anna ni mo kokoro kudaita...
Oh, I believe, I believe! See, I've even pierced my heart that much!
Credo! Credo! Ma certo, mi sono perfino trafitta il cuore così tanto!

----------------------

終わらない
owaranai
Endless
Infiniti

後悔の羅列 波紋状の亀裂  殺した嗚咽
koukai no raretsu  hamonjou no kiretsu  koroshita oetsu
the count of regrets, the circle-in-the-water shaped fissures, the killed sobs
il conto dei rimpianti, le fessure a forma di cerchi nell'acqua, le lacrime soffocate

うねりを呼びまた新しい光の粒が生まれる
uneri wo yobi mata atarashii hikari no tsubu ga umareru
calling the vibration a new bubble of light will be born again
Chiamando la vibrazione, ancora una volta, una nuova bolla di luce nascerà.

二秒後の破滅 取り戻す優越 鬱いだ情熱
nibyougo no hametsu torimodosu yuuetsu utsuida jounetsu
a two-seconds-late disgrace, a reachived triumph, a suffocated passion
Una disgrazia capitata per due secondi di ritardo, un dominio riottenuto, una passione soppressa

そこを抜ける次の瞬間は痛みも忘れて...
soko wo nukeru tsugi no shunkan wa itami mo wasurete...
fleeing from there, and forgetting even the pain in the very next instant
Scappare da là e nell’attimo seguente dimenticarsi persino il dolore...

------------------------------

眠る...
nemuru...
I sleep...
Dormo

漏電して焦げた目のスイッチを切り
rouden shite kogeta me no SUICCHI wo kiri
cutting the switch of my short-circuit-burnt eyes
Spegnendo l’interruttore dei miei occhi bruciati dal corto circuito

安らかな沈黙 落ちる
yasuraka na chinmoku ochiru
a peaceful silence falls
cade un silenzio che mi da pace

どうして?世界の裏側へ来たように 状況は寸分隔て変わってゆくの?
doushite? sekai no uragawa e kita you ni joukyou wa sunbun hedate kawatte yuku no?
Why? Is the fact that you're on this world as if you sneaked in by the back entrance changing by an inch?
Perché? Il fatto che stai al mondo come entrato dalla porta di servizio sta forse cambiando di un centimetro?

わかんない...わかんない!だって、あなたとも他人
wakannai...wakannai! datte, anata tomo tanin
I don't get it, I don't get it! Why, you, like the others,
Non capisco... non capisco! Ecco, anche tu, con gli altri

交互に押し寄せる
kougo ni oshiyoseru
are pushing and bumping to make some room
sgomiti per farti largo

絶望の彼方 安息の肩
zetsubou no kanata ansoku no kata
There where's despair a shoulder to cry on
Là dov’è disperazione una spalla su cui prender fiato

飛び下りる片足が宙へと舞う瞬間 女神の指が現れ
tobioriru kata ashi ga chuu e to mau shunkan megami no yubi ga araware
As we're jumping down while having a feet right on the abyiss, in a trembling moment the fingers of the goddess will appare
Proprio mentre saltiamo giù, con un piede sospeso verso il vuoto, in un attimo tremolante le dita della dea appaiono


怖いもの見たさ 手を引くのはあなた 臆病の性
kowai mono mita sa te wo hiku no wa anata okubyou no saga
And I have seen a thing that scared me, you know? The one who drove back the hand was you, what a coward!
Ed ho visto una cosa che mi ha spaventato, sai? Colui che ritraeva la mano eri tu, razza di vigliacco!

未来を知る預言者など妄想の幻
mirai wo shiru yogensha nado mousou no maboroshi
You, nothing but an illusion of a deluded future telling prophet!
Specie di pallida imitazione di uno che vuol fare il profeta che conosce il futuro!

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無駄だって解ってるから困らせない
muda datte wakatteru kara komarasenai
Well, I know that what I'm saying is useless, so you shouldn't be that troubled...
Beh, so che quel che dico è inutile, quindi non dovrebbe darti tanto fastidio...

そうして言葉飲み込むのいけない事?
soshite kotoba nomikomu no ikenai koto?
And moreover, is really that hard to stand this words?
E poi, è davvero tanto dura mandar giù delle parole?


聞こえない…聞こえていないと泣き叫び 怒りぶち撒いたその後に
kikoenai...kikoete inai...to nakisakebi ikari buchimaita sono ato ni
While yelling "I don't hear you, I'm not hearing you at all!" you spreaded hate, and right after...
Strillando "Non ti ascolto, non ti ascolto per niente!" hai sparso l’odio, e subito dopo...

-------------------------------------

後悔の羅列 波紋状の亀裂  殺した嗚咽
koukai no raretsu  hamonjou no kiretsu  koroshita oetsu
the count of regrets, the circle-in-the-water shaped fissures, the killed sobs
il conto dei rimpianti, le fessure a forma di cerchi nell'acqua, le lacrime soffocate

うねりを呼びまた新しい光の粒が生まれる
uneri wo yobi mata atarashii hikari no tsubu ga umareru
calling the vibration a new bubble of light will be born again
Chiamando la vibrazione, ancora una volta, una nuova bolla di luce nascerà.

---------

絶望の彼方 安息の肩
zetsubou no kanata ansoku no kata
There where's despair a shoulder to cry on
Là dov’è disperazione una spalla su cui prender fiato

飛び下りる片足が宙へと舞う瞬間 女神の指が現れ
tobioriru kata ashi ga chuu e to mau shunkan megami no yubi ga araware
As we're jumping down while having a feet right on the abyiss, in a trembling moment the fingers of the goddess will appare
Proprio mentre saltiamo giù, con un piede sospeso verso il vuoto, in un attimo tremolante le dita della dea appaiono


怖いもの見たさ 手を引くのはあなた 臆病の性
kowai mono mita sa te wo hiku no wa anata okubyou no saga
And I have seen a thing that scared me, you know? The one who drove back the hand was you, what a coward!
Ed ho visto una cosa che mi ha spaventato, sai? Colui che ritrae la mano sei tu, razza di vigliacco!

未来を知る預言者など妄想の幻
mirai wo shiru yogensha nado mousou no maboroshi
You, nothing but an illusion of a deluded future telling prophet!
Specie di pallida imitazione di uno che vuol fare il profeta che conosce il futuro!

----------------

A side note: no Atejis here. Probably she was so confident of this song lyrics to be able not to rely in that Japanese-specific figure, which many (counting also Japanese people), regard as a "trick" to seem sophisticated.

Comments

Oh, my God. I must be dreaming.

I love you so much for this. I've been searching this for ages xDD.

KOTOKO is such a wonderful poetess, her lyrics are sublime. I adore her and her songs mostly because of that.

Thank you really much for your translation. I knew this song's lyrics were amazing. Now I love it even more than ever.

Sorry if my English sucks... My mother language is Spanish.

Thanks again. (I'm so excited!!)

Posted by Kiisu at Sunday, August 24, 2008 20:14:30

Thanks for your comment :-)

Yes, the only thing I regret is not having time to translate all her lyrics.

Even her mean songs are so far and above from what we're accustomed that it's hard not to fall in love with her.

Posted by Giancarlo at Saturday, August 30, 2008 14:46:06

Thank you so, so much for these lyrics! The song just randomly popped up on my music player and I fell in love with them, and even though I was catching snatches of what she said, my Japanese was far from good enough to see the whole picture. So again, thank you.

Posted by Cathy at Sunday, April 12, 2009 17:58:00

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