Saturday, May 29, 2010

Public domain: Sakura, Sakura


Koto: Sakura, Sakura
(from a Japanese website that I cannot read)

Miyavi: JPN Pride


With age comes wisdom. I've learned never to volunteer to play horse with anyone from NYC, never to cook for anyone from the south, and never to pawn off my knowledge of American or British folk music around all the other much more savvy posters here on Star Maker Machine.

Darius, though, suggested I try to find some J-rock in the public domain. Easier said than done; their copyright law doesn't give us the break on songs from before 1923. So I'm being creative here – work with me, 'k?

Sakura, Sakura (Cherry Blossoms) is a traditional Japanese folk song, written for children to learn to play on the stringed koto. If you have a Japanese music box, odds are good that it plays this melody. Mine does. Words were added that translate to something like:

Cherry blossoms, cherry blossoms,
On meadow-hills and mountains
As far as you can see.
Is it a mist or clouds?
Fragrant in the morning sun.
Cherry blossoms, cherry blossoms,
Flowers in full bloom.

Miyavi, my favorite Neovisual Kei artist, took this classic melody and wrote a song heavily based on it. 'JPN Pride' is an ode to the Japanese spirit. His lyrics translate to something like:

Let the high mountain grasses we call pride bloom in our hearts,
Like beautiful flowers that sing and dance, scattering on the flag of the rising sun,
Sakura, sakura, my heart is stolen by the flowers raining down, bewitched by dreams,
Sakura, sakura, not even noticing the flowers on the ground, I just walk over them...

(translated by taijiproject)

m(_ _)m (this is an emoticon – a bow, can you see it?)

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