Sonna Fuu ni Shika Ienai Kedo / そんな風にしか言えないけど

Sonna Fuu ni Shika Ienai Kedo / そんな風にしか言えないけど: “Even Though I Have No Other Way to Say It”

sonna fuu ni / そんな風に
“that way”

sonna / そんな
“that”
fuu / 風
“style”
ni / に
A particle indicating a passive agent (“by”; Wiktionary etymology 2, definition 4)
shika / しか
“only”. Must be used with a verb in the negative form.
ienai / 言えない
“cannot say”. Negative potential form of 言う (“to say”). However, since this is used with shika / しか, the meaning is “can say” with a limitation.
kedo / けど
“but”

Valentine’s Day is here! Even though the majority of Oku Hanako’s songs are about love, it’s still difficult to choose one for today because about half of them are about unrequited love or a breakup.

“Sonna Fuu ni Shika Ienai Kedo” is one of Oku Hanako’s earlier songs, first appearing as track 4 on her first major album, Yasashii Hana no Saku Basho / 優しい花の咲く場所, released in 2006. It was later released in her Oku Hanako BEST -My Letters- 2012 collection as track 12 on disc 2.

Edward provides us with the translation for the title for today’s song (as well as the song itself). I chose his translation over the more literal translation “But I Can Only Say It That Way”, the one I put in the Generasia wiki, because I felt it fit better with the song. As usual, I encourage you to read his translation notes.


(MAD)うさぎドロップ~「そんな風にしか言えないけど」【奥華子】 by lemone [Nico Nico Douga]

This song was apparently also used as a CF song for a JA Kyosai[jp] commercial, but I unfortunately can’t find the commercial. According to Wikipedia, the English name for the company is the National Mutual Insurance Federation of Agricultural Cooperatives. Edward has this to say about a possible reinterpretation of the song:

If the chorus is used in a commercial, as was the case when Kimi no Egao was used in a commercial, then a change in interpretation would be due to a change in who is delivering the message. In the song, it is someone who loves you. In an insurance company’s commercial, it’s someone who wants to do business with you. In the commercial, the message I imagine would be along the lines of “If you’re worried about something, why don’t let us worry about it instead? We can’t solve the problem for you, but we can insure you so that you don’t need to worry (about paying for anything) if the worst should happen”.

Lyrics →

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Madobe / 窓辺

Madobe / 窓辺: “by the window”, possibly “windowsill” in the context of the song. Composed of mado / 窓 (“window”) and be / 辺 (“place”)

This post is yet another horrible reference to a current event. Last week on August 24 was the 20th anniversary of the release of Windows 95. Incidentally, the meaning of “madobe” is why the official Windows OS-tans have it as their family name.

Madobe is track 6 from Oku Hanako’s first album, Yasashii Hana no Saku Basho / やさしい花の咲く場所, released in 2006. Like the rest of the album, easy and relaxing to listen to. Unfortunately, I haven’t a clue what the lyrics are about.


奥華子 窓辺 by みね [Nico Nico Douga]

Extra live performance and Lyrics →

Tsuki no Soba de Nemuritai / 月のそばで眠りたい

Tsuki no Soba de Nemuritai / 月のそばで眠りたい: “I want to sleep next to the moon”

tsuki / 月
“moon”
no / の
a particle indicating the previous word modifies the next
soba / そば
“vicinity”, “side”
de / で
a particle indicating location
nemuritai / 眠りたい
“-tai” / -たい (“desire”) form of nemuri / 眠り (“to sleep”)

“Tsuki no Soba de Nemuritai” is a musically interesting song. Most of the songs you hear are in a major or minor key. When you listen to this song, you immediately hear something a little “off” about it. That’s because the verses are neither major nor minor: they are sung in the Dorian mode of E. The Dorian mode gives it a bit of a mysterious primitive feel. The chorus is in a familiar E major key, giving it a bit of a more down-to-earth wishful feel.

As for the lyrics, it looks and sounds like it’s just full of sentence fragments, which is somewhat fitting for a song such as this.


月のそばで眠りたい [music.163.com]

It seems the first chorus is simple enough for me to translate myself:

I want to sleep next to the moon
I want to cut dust-covered hair
I want to grasp love in this hand

They may not be sentence fragments, but it definitely seems cryptic.

Lyrics →

Kaette Oide / 帰っておいで

Kaette Oide / 帰っておいで: “Come back home”

kaette / 帰って
The te form of kaeru / 帰る, “to go home”
oide / おいで
“to come”, “to return”

“Come back here” is the translation given by the video below, and “come back to me” is the translation given by Generasia. There’s a chance that it’s wrong, but I think it works better if it’s “come back home”. I’ve tweaked the translation to match that. Please correct me if I’m wrong, of course.

Kaette Oide is the CF song (“commercial film” song) for the East Japan Railway Company’s ekinaka; the commercial is included later in this post. According to Yopie, The ekinaka (literally “inside a station”) is the space inside the train station that’s filled with shops. It’s actually a pretty smart idea, and business is growing.

As for the song itself, it’s relaxing and welcoming. Listening to it makes me feel like a student who wants to go back home for the summer. The song is really “nothing special”, but even that’s part of its charm.


Kaette Oide english and japanese by My Channel [YouTube]

Commercial and lyrics →

Lip Cream / リップクリーム

Lip Cream / RIPPU KURĪMU / リップクリーム: “lip balm”

RIPPU / リップ
transliteration of “lip”
KURĪMU / クリーム
transliteration of “cream”

I think I chose to schedule this song this week more for the sound rather than the lyrics because I have no idea what they mean, if it’s sad or happy. Given that this is the last post before the new year, I thought I’d give a song that reflected the simpler style of her earlier works (or at least, the ones on Yasashii Hana no Saku Basho / やさしい花の咲く場所) before “introducing” a her more “pop” style next week.

It’s a nice light song with a cute bounce to it. Not a bad way to end the year, I’d say.


リップクリーム (Lip Cream) [music.163.com]

Happy New Year!

Lyrics →

Harukaze / 春風

Harukaze / 春風: “spring breeze”

haru / 春
“Spring” (season)
kaze / 風
“wind”

“Harukaze”: one of the songs that reminds me of why I’m not ashamed of liking Oku Hanako (given that she is a really big outlier in my music library). It’s beautiful, both musically and lyrically.

The prominent instrument heard in the song is an acoustic guitar, giving it a bit of a folksy feel (although not to the extent of Hane / 羽). Of course, this is Oku Hanako, so the piano still plays an important role in the arrangement. As for her singing, it’s just what I expect from Oku Hanako, and I say that in a good way. Some might find it a little “nasally”, but I don’t, and I think it suits the song quite well. Her singing here reminds me of her style in her newest album; rather, I should say that her style in the new album reminds me of that in this song.

The lyrics tell of a girl riding her bike around her new town, thinking of the boy a friend she left behind when she moved. Too bad I can’t fully appreciate the lyrics due to my lack of knowledge of Japanese, but reading the translation, however tough it may be, gives me a sense that it’s simple, yet there’s a lot packed into it (no pun intended).


Oku Hanako 春風 with English Lines by mokade3

My eyes roll back at the bridge as I’m reminded of why I like this lady, and by the time the song ends, I’m left there, awestruck. It puts a smile on my face every time.

She doesn’t really do these kinds of songs anymore. Harukaze is on her first album as a major artist, Yasashii Hana no Saku Basho / やさしい花の咲く場所, released in 2006, and if you compare this with her other works, there’s an apparent contrast between the songs from the start of her career with her more recent works. I find the songs of this era are somewhat warmer, simpler, and more personal. It’s like she lost something along the way; perhaps it’s innocence or other child-like qualities, or maybe it’s just that she started experimenting and it has taken her to where she is now. Don’t get me wrong, I think her later works are great, too, but there’s something in her early works that I miss in her later works. Oh well, we’ll always have songs like Harukaze to reminisce with.

Lyrics and a review →

Ameagari / 雨あがり

Ameagari / 雨あがり : “after the rain”. More commonly written as 雨上がり .

ame / 雨
“rain”

Don’t ask about the rest. The definitions I get for agari / 上がり doesn’t match up with the meaning of the whole word.

Fitting, isn’t it? Last week, I posted a song called Rainy Day.

Ameagari / 雨あがり is the opening track of Oku Hanako’s first album, Yasashii Hana no Saku Basho / やさしい花の咲く場所 . In my opinion, it seems fitting to be an opening track, because the rest of the album has an overall light and playful feel to it, and this sets the tone quite nicely. It reminds me of a little kid going out and enjoying the day after a rainstorm.

A little warning before you start: this one is a little pitchy (but not out of tune). If you aren’t familiar with Oku Hanako’s works, don’t judge the rest of her songs based on this one.


雨上がり 奥華子 by azure1925 [YouTube]

To be honest, this isn’t one of those songs I would take every chance to listen to, but there are times when I find it fitting. It’s not bad, but I don’t have much to say about it. Perhaps you should add your opinion.

Lyrics →