Waratte Waratte / 笑って笑って : “Laughing, smiling”
- waratte / 笑って
- “laughing” or “smiling”. This is the conjunctive form of the root warau / 笑う (“to smile” or “to laugh”).
The 2009 single version of “Waratte Waratte” was not the original; back in her indies days, Oku Hanako recorded this song hikigatari and released it on vol.4 as the opening track, then later included it on vol.best.
I’m going to give you a choice this time. You can either listen to the song as it was released on the album…
奥華子 笑って笑って.flv by nokia972000的頻道 [YouTube]
… or sung live for the purportedly official music video…
[PV] Oku Hanako (奥 華子) – Waratte Waratte (笑って笑って) (Official Music Video) by Koon Jimmy Channel
… or even both. They’re both more or less the same, though.
Comparing this with the single version, I might have to say that this is one of those rare songs in which the new arranged version might be overall better. That is not to say that this indies version isn’t any good—it’s very good—but she sings better in the single version and the arrangement enhances the song (with further appreciation after listening to the backing track). But as reader Andreas Straub pointed out, “[The hikigatari versions] force you to listen closely and get involved much more directly. They are the pure extract of her work.” This indies version is not an exception.
Jiyuu no Kame / 自由のカメ: “free turtle”, or the “tortoise of liberty”
- jiyuu / 自由
- Freedom, liberty
- no / の
- A particle indicating that the previous word modifies the next word
- kame / カメ
I’ll feature this song for her piano-playing; she doesn’t often play like this, but when she does, it’s a treat. Even though this is one of her indies songs, it’s one that can be presented to an inexperienced Oku Hanako listener (that’s not to say that her other indies works can’t, but sometimes it’s better to wait until they can fully appreciate it). Jiyuu no Kame was one of the first songs of hers that I heard on YouTube, I couldn’t figure out what album it came from, so I couldn’t get it.
The best way I could describe this song is “happy”. Perhaps you can do better; listen to it:
Oku Hanako 自由のカメ with English lines by mokade3 [YouTube]
For those of you waiting for an arranged song, don’t worry, I’ll post one next week.
Kusabi / 楔 : “wedge”, or according to Generasia, “bridge”, or according to J-talk, “linchpin“. In its original release on Jishu Seisaku Oku Hanako vol.4 / 自主制作 奥華子 vol.4 , it was labelled 楔－くさび－ , showing the pronunciation.
I don’t know what it is about Kusabi / 楔 that makes it so popular. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good song, it’s just that its popularity on YouTube puzzles me because it’s one of her indies songs and has only appeared one other time in her discography (in her 2009 DVD Mochiron Hitori de Hikigatari! / もちろん一人で弾き語り! ); to my knowledge and research, it hasn’t been featured in any anime (correct me if I’m wrong).
Nonetheless, it’s a nice song with a respectable piano line and good vocals. It was one of the first ones I got. Have a listen:
Oku Hanako 楔 Kusabi with English lines by mokade3 [YouTube]