Boku ga Umareta Machi / 僕が生まれた街

Boku ga Umareta Machi / 僕が生まれた街: “The Streets Where I Was Born”

boku / (ぼく)
“I”, usually masculine
ga / が
Particle indicating the subject of the modifying clause
umareta / ()まれた
Past tense of umareru / ()まれる, “to be born”
machi / (まち)
“street”, “district”, “quarter”

“Boku ga Umareta Machi” is the second track on Oku Hanako’s 2007 album “TIME NOTE”. Fittingly, it was used as the CM song for a 2007 Chiba Prefecture tourism commercial (she was born in Chiba).

Unlike her more recent albums, half of the songs on “TIME NOTE” were hikigatari. This song was in the half that wasn’t.

奥華子_僕の生まれた街 by レオン・シュタイナー [Nico Nico Douga]

While coming up with things to say in this post, I accidentally wrote a translation (apparently in less time than the rest of the post). I haven’t checked it for any idioms and less obvious subtleties, but I think it’s clean enough to post. My translation notes are available.

Commercial and lyrics →


Sayonara no Kioku / さよならの記憶

Sayonara no Kioku / さよならの記憶: “memory of goodbye”

sayonara / さよなら
“goodbye”, “farewell”
no / の
A particle indicating that the previous word modifies the following word. Roughly equivalent to “of”.
kioku / 記憶
“memory”, “recollection”

Here we have the opening to Oku Hanako’s 2007 album, TIME NOTE. It’s a sad hikigatari song, a recollection of a goodbye moment between two close friends.

I think this is one of the better songs on the album and of her early albums in general. The vocals and piano set the mood well, and her playing during the interlude before the bridge tops off the climax quite nicely. Overall, this song is a pleasure to listen to.

奥華子 – さよならの記憶 by im1bored1man [YouTube]

Lyrics →

Time Card / タイムカード

Time Card / TAIMU KĀDO / タイムカード

I suppose you could say that “Time Card” is the titular song of the album, TIME NOTE, although that might be a stretch. “Time Card” is a hikigatari piece from 2007; I figured it’d be a nice change from the mainstream-sounding song from last week.

The song starts off somewhat slowly, and you might think it’s a little repetitive if you don’t understand the lyrics, but hold out until the chorus, because that’s where the song really gets its character.

タイムカード []

Admittedly, this is one of her more plain pieces and I wouldn’t call it one of her best, so it may take a slightly different approach to appreciate it fully. She plays well and sings beautifully, but I wouldn’t call this song very noteworthy, relatively speaking. However, I do find it enjoyable to listen to when nothing around me is moving.

Lyrics →

Kimi no Tame Nara Dekiru Koto / 君のためならできること

Kimi no Tame Nara Dekiru Koto / 君のためならできること: “you do it for yourself” (Generasia Wiki) “The Things I Can Only Do For You”.

kimi / 君
no / の
tame / ため
nara / なら
dekiru / できる
“can do”
koto / こと

Based on that breakdown, I might also translate it as “you do it for your own benefit” to clarify the previous translation. EDIT 2017-10-07: Now that I know more Japanese, this translates more literally to “Things I can do if they’re for your sake”.

It took me a while to appreciate this song—more than a year and a half—but it’s actually a really nice song that would go nicely in a playlist with Harukaze / 春風 and Hane / 羽 (which I will likely make and post eventually). It has a simple melody and is overall fairly relaxing, sure to put a smile on your face.

Watch out if you try to follow the lyrics while the song plays; she does a little more “syllable-smooshing” than usual. I think it may be one of those songs where the melody came before the lyrics.

君のためならできること by motimotianzu [YouTube]

Is that a recorder I hear? Recorders are sometimes looked down on as a child’s instrument (mostly because it’s often an instrument used to teach music to children), but sounds really nice here.

Lyrics →

Chiisana Hoshi cover art (crop)

Chiisana Hoshi / 小さな星

Chiisana Hoshi / 小さな星 : “tiny star”

chiisana / 小さな
“small”, “tiny”
hoshi / 星

Update 2014-06-17: Translation added

I’ve featured Chiisana Hoshi before, as the original indies version. Oku Hanako took at least two of her indies songs and made them into arranged and resung singles; one of these songs is Chiisana Hoshi, released as a single on November 29, 2006.

The new version sounds softer, but at the cost of restricting her range and sounding a little pitchy. I also have a thing for deep piano notes (as evidenced by my latest composition as of this post, The Poem), and unlike the indies version, this doesn’t quite have it. Having said that, it’s still quite nice to listen to and there are times when I’d prefer to listen to this version over the indies version. Overall, fairly well done.

Lyrics →

Koi / 恋

Koi / 恋 : “love”

Don’t be fooled by the title: this isn’t a happy love song (yes, I have a translation). One of my friends even said that the lyrics are melodramatic, after having read the translation. You’re probably wondering why I would post such a song on Valentine’s Day. I would argue that there are many types love on Valentine’s Day; the reciprocated romantic love is the common one that comes to mind when thinking about today. Unrequited love is one such love that doesn’t have as much attention in the mainstream. Sure, it gets its place in the old Peanuts cartoons, but when was the last time you saw something about unrequited love in Valentine’s Day messages?

Like many of Oku Hanako’s other songs, unrequited love is the theme of the song “Koi”. As I would expect, especially with songs of this theme, she sings this with a certain genuineness; I remember reading in one interview that doing songs about unrequited love comes naturally to her. Despite the lyrics, the song sounds pretty cute and she sings it perfectly. Her playing isn’t anything “to sneeze at”, either. I don’t mean it in a negative way, but this is your typical Oku Hanako hikigatari song. Well done, Oku Hanako!

恋 (Koi) – Hanako Oku []

For completeness, I’ll mention that there is an arranged version of this song that appeared in her 2012 Best album, “Oku Hanako BEST -My Letters-“. I won’t be posting that anytime soon.

Lyrics →

Koi no Tenki Yohou / 恋の天気予報

Koi no Tenki Yohou / 恋の天気予報 : “weather forecast of love”.

koi / 恋
no / の
A particle indicating that the previous word modifies the next word (almost equivalent to “of”)
tenki / 天気

Happy new year to all! Let’s start this year strong with “Koi no Tenki Yohou”. I figured I’d pick a hikigatari track in consideration of what I have lined up in the next few weeks, just to balance things out. Having said that, I barely noticed that this song was actually hikigatari.

恋の天気予報 (Koi no Tenki Yohou) – Hanako Oku

Lyrics →