Sunday, August 8, 2010

しんしんしん - はっぴいえんど

Note: Originally posted November 22, 2009

Given that I really require the ability to sing this song, I am going to attempt to translate it. Also, I decided to start including a vocab list. The original lyrics are here (what a great site!)

Incidentally, as a side note: Is it Haruomi Hosono who sings lead vocals? In this song, he sounds like he has a cold. Maybe he always does. I will have to pay more attention ;) 端 sounds more like はじ than はし. And ごみ sounds more like ごび. Is this just me sucking at listening? I don't think so. I don't have THAT horrible of an ear.

Heavy Snowfall - HAPPY END (1)

My heart is a musty old flower (2) falling down onto dirty snow, mixing with garbage at the end of the treet. Mixing with garbage...

Just about everything has become horrible. If only I could disappear into the dirty snow. It'd be fine if it turned into sludge. It'd be fine if it did. (3)

Cars are driving, the white stuff is snow. People walking. The snow is white. (4) Snowdrifts at the end of town.

At that time, I saw something echoing profoundly. (5) The silent snow falls.

Snow and stuff is piling up in town, as usual, dirty. What stupid person got it all dirty? Who got it dirty? Who got it dirty? (6)

(1) To kick things off, しんしんしん is already impossible to translate ;) We don't have a sound for "heavy snowfall," do we? It's quiet! A special kind of quiet. I like that Japanese has "sounds" for stuff like that :)

(2) This is an awful translation, but I literally cannot locate a reading of those two kanji together except for here, which is ridiculous. Of course, he is not saying きしょく, it sounds more like きば, or きま, but I can't find anything down either of those routes. I even though maybe it was a compound verb that ended in む or ぬ, but I couldn't find anything there either. Bad bad bad. Someone enlighten me please :(

(3) I went with "fine" instead of "good." I'm feeling more resignation here than anticipation. Also for the なればいい repition I implied the verb without repeating it...since they didn't repeat the entire phrase.

(4) I wasn't sure if I should imply that cars are driving/people are walking ON white snow... Or why the snow would be white there if that were the case... These songs all seem so simple till you try to find out what they mean. English song lyrics can be pretty cryptic, though, so...*shrug*

(5) This was another case where I just couldn't find the kanji. "Echoing" I inserted based on the verb I thought he said, ひびく. Maybe it's an outdated kanji reading or something? You'd think the dictionary would have it. Is it also possible he miswrote the kanji? These lyrics are hand scribbled with the album, so I wonder if people just take those and write them exactly. Maybe he's making a pun? I'm not sure.

(6) I actually don't feel too bad about how this last part ended up. I was tempted to say, "Who was so stupid as to get the snow all dirty?" but I feel like the way I did it was closer to what he said, maybe?

New words (bold as I used it here):

Note that some words used in this song seem to have simpler kanji than exhibited here. Like まち. 塵 is usually written in kana these days. Also, I'm only listing words here that were pretty new for me AND for which I was confident in the meaning/interpretation.

古ぼける to look old, become musty, wear out ふるぼける
端 end (of a street), edge, tip, margin, point はし
泥濘 quagmire, sludge, mud, slush, mire ぬかるみ
裏 bottom, rear, back, behind the scenes (etc.) うら
吹き溜まり drift of snow/leaves, hangout for drifters ふきだまり
黙りこくる to keep silent だまりこくる
積る to pile up/accumulate, estimate つもる

Hey, if nothing else, we can sing along easier :) This is a really fun song to sing.

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