Santa ni Negai wo / サンタに願いを

Santa ni Negai wo / サンタに願いを: “Wishes to Santa”

SANTA / サンタ
A particle meaning “to”
negai / 願い
wo / を
A particle used after a noun to indicate that it is the direct object

You’re in for a real treat today. Here’s a song from 2001, first sung live at Mosaic Mall Kohoku[jp] on December 23 and 24, not available on any of her albums or singles. She sang it again on her radio show, Kame Kame House, on December 18, 2005, and this is likely where this recording is from. The sole appearance of this song in her discography is in her 2010 Christmas concert DVD, released in 2011 (track 16).

The song is relatively short, just a little over 3 minutes, but it’s very satisfying to listen to.

奥華子 - サンタに願いを by Kazuomi [Nico Nico Douga]

Ah! This song leaves me breathless every time! I guess I have a thing for descending perfect fourths

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Lyrics →


Let It Be

Let It Be (original by The Beatles)

And here we have the only song (to my knowledge) that features Oku Hanako singing more than a few words in English! This cover of The Beatles’ “Let It Be” was sung with TAKUI[jp] (Nakajima Takui / 中島卓偉) and aired on June 15, 2008 on her old radio show, Kame Kame House / カメカメハウス[jp].

This duet cover has a guitar as its sole instrument, making it one of the few Oku Hanako songs that don’t feature a piano; then again, one could also argue that this isn’t one of her songs.

Regardless, it’s a very nice cover, and they employ some really beautiful harmonies in many places.

Let it be – Oku Hanako by Tuong Khang [YouTube]

It’s obvious (to me, at least) that they’re not singing in English, but rather the Japanese transliteration. For example, you can hear them saying an ‘r’ sound whenever there’s an ‘l’ sound, the ‘th’ becomes a ‘z’, and a vowel with an ‘r’ at the end often becomes a long vowel without the ‘r’. It makes more sense if you know the rules. However, I’m not one to knock them because their “English” is better than my “Japanese”.

I’m not used to hearing Oku Hanako sing like this, but I found it to be a pleasant experience.

Original and Lyrics →

Refrain ga Sakenderu / リフレインが叫んでる

Refrain ga Sakenderu / RIFUREIN ga sakenderu / リフレインが叫んでる: “chorus of screams”(?)

I’m not going to give a breakdown of the translation because I’m not even sure if that’s correct (I had to piece it together from incomplete information).

This song is yet another one of Oku Hanako’s unreleased covers; the original song is by Matsutoya Yumi / 松任谷 由実. Oku-san performed this during the Live Depot 2005 show (October 27, 2005) with Ooe Senri / 大江千里 on the piano.
An interesting thing to note: even though it’s only her and a piano, since it’s not her playing, it’s not hikigatari.

奥華子 – リフレインが叫んでる by fizzykey [YouTube]

I don’t get it: she sits there seemly quite calm, yet she sings with such power. How does she do it?

I’m impressed; I like it.

Lyrics and original song →

PIECE OF MY WISH [Kame Kame House / カメカメハウス 2005-10-23]

PIECE OF MY WISH, original by Imai Miki / 今井美樹 (1991)

Oku Hanako doesn’t release covers of other artists’ songs (assuming you consider the ones she wrote for other artists as an “author’s version” and not covers), but she sometimes performed covers of songs on her former radio show, Kame Kame House / カメカメハウス[jp].

It’s just her and her Kawai Spectra keyboard. It’s short and sweet, and I might even consider it her most beautifully-sung work. It may be a cover, but it still has that ineffable Oku Hanako touch.

From 奥華子カバー前半.wmv by 爆走チャーリー [Nico Nico Douga]

So… beautiful…
I wish she had done the whole song.

I hope you didn’t feel cheated this week. I made you wait for a song so short.

Original song and lyrics →

Nukumori / ぬくもり [Kame Kame House / カメカメハウス 2006-03-12]

Nukumori / ぬくもり : “warmth”

“You’re kidding! Wow, I can’t believe it…. Ha, ha ha!”. That was my reaction when I found this song (I’m not sure you can tell, but I was very happy). Can you tell why? Here’s a hint: go look at the track list for Oku Hanako’s upcoming single, Fuyu Hanabi.

There it is: track 3, Nukumori / ぬくもり . If you’re familiar with her discography, you’ll know she hasn’t released any songs called Nukumori. Because of that, you’d think that this is a new song, and admittedly, that’s what I thought, too.

While searching Nico Nico Douga[jp] for Oku Hanako songs that I may not have been aware of, I came across a video featuring clips[jp] of some of her radio songs (also part 2[jp]). Oku Hanako hosted a half-hour weekly radio talk segment on the station bayfm[jp] called Kame Kame House / カメカメハウス[jp] (lit. “turtle house”; later renamed Lagan de Talk! in 2010). She would often sing a song during the segment, sometimes even bringing her keyboard into the studio, playing and singing live.

The Japanese Wikipedia has an article[jp] on her show, listing all the songs that have been broadcast on the show.

Unexpectedly, one of those songs was Nukumori, broadcast on March 12, 2006. Knowing someone would have posted something on Nico Nico Douga, I made a quick search, and sure enough, I found a video.

Here, have a listen:

奥華子_ぬくもり by レオン・シュタイナー [Nico Nico Douga]

My prediction was right: this will be a hikigatari track, or at the very least, lightly arranged with strings and possibly light drums. It’s unlikely that she’ll release a new song with the same name, because I know she remembers all her songs. At least two of the songs on the third disc of Oku Hanako BEST, the disc advertised as “unreleased” songs, were actually resung and arranged versions of previously performed songs. The songs in question are Oshibana / 押し花 and Gekkou / 月光 . Oshibana was performed in a concert, released as her 2009 DVD Mochiron Hitori De Hikigatari! / もちろん一人で弾き語り! , and perhaps earlier on her radio show. Gekkou was a song on her debut mini album, Ai no Shizuku / 愛のしずく , released in 2000. Following the trend, I expect the same to happen to Nukumori.

Amazingly, I even found lyrics →