郷愁の歌「ツバメ」 ~ “Swallow,” a Song of Homesickness

My favorite Japanese pop musician, Yamazaki Masayoshi (山崎まさよし), wrote this song soon after his debut for his mother, who was far away in his hometown of Kusatsu, Shiga.

Translating a song from Japanese to English is a challenge because the differing syllable counts make it hard to get the rhythm down. Our long words are their short words, and vice versa.

Here is a link to the song without orchestral backing, and this is the jazzier album recording.

Swallow by Yamazaki Masayoshi
Through the mist, I can see Shinjuku
And a swallow beautifully threading between the buildings
This year, spring is coming to us slowly

The coin laundromat is a 2 minute walk away
That’s more than enough time to whistle a tune
It’s crowded everywhere, and I hate it, but what can I do?

Is my voice making it across the sky to you?
We live in different seasons now, but I’m sending my thoughts across the blue
But maybe nothing has changed, over here or anywhere my songs have gone

I know that I shouldn’t eat out every day
And I know I am smoking a little too much
Yes, I know I need to take better care of myself

I’m just keeping it simple; I know what I can do
If I don’t take it step by step, then I know I won’t make it
If I take on everything, I won’t hold on to anything

I wonder where people are hearing my music?
I desperately knit my songs so that they could ride the wind
I’m praying for your happiness from Tokyo and from anywhere I go

Is my voice making it across the sky to you?
We live in different seasons now, but I’m sending my thoughts across the blue
But maybe nothing has changed, over here or anywhere my songs have gone

山崎まさよしのツバメ
霞の向こうに新宿が見える
ツバメはうまくビルを縫ってゆく
今年はゆっくりと春がおとずれる

コインランドリーは歩いて2分
軽い口笛は少しの余裕
人ゴミだけは苦手だけど

そっちには僕の声とどいてますか
擦れ違う季節に思いをよせている
多分ね きっと変わらない この先もどこにいても

外食ばかりじゃ やっぱいけないね
タバコの量もちょっと多いかもね
少しなげやりになってるかもね

単純に物を考えるようにしてる
そうでなくたって手に余るから
僕にできること ただそれだけを

どっかで僕の唄 聞けますか
風に乗せるつもりで必死でつむいだけど
幸せずっと祈ってる この街のどこからでも

そっちには僕の声とどいてますか
擦れ違う季節に思いをよせている
多分ね きっと変わらない この先もどこにいても

Explore posts in the same categories: Japan, Music, Translations

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