Umi/The Sea

04:38
Atsushi Akazawa: Sanshien; Moray Crawford: Percussion; Paul Fleischer: Bass Clarinet, Flute; Roman Rhodes: Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Bass.
2009
Original Words public Domain Ryuha Hayashi, original music public Domain: Takeshi Inoue. New Words (all English & 2nd verse Japanese) Roman Rhodes, © 1998 Translation © 1998, Masumi Okamoto. Multifolkal Inc. SOCAN

Story

This traditional Japanese children's song has an interesting history. You first hear it's nice melody and simple words and it seems so innocent. But it was written before WWII with the express purpose of encouraging in Japanese children a desire to go abroad and settle in the then widespread lands of Japanese Empire. So it's actually an imperialist prod! When I moved to Japan and fell in love with the Japanese woman who taught me the song, my present wife and translator of the English to Japanese words, for whom it is written, I expressly changed it to a song in which one love unites people of different lands, so that harmony and peace grows out of what was originally a song of conquest. That is one of the key natures of song and music: to soothe the beast and transform the negative into positive. Musically, I totally rearranged it including the timing. Originally 3/4 I couldn't help adding the extra beat. The instrumentals are entirely original, and I was aiming for an Okinanwan sound, which is fully achieved with Atsushi's expert sense of timing and rhythm on the Sanshien(the Okinawa Shamisen.) This is a crowd favorite in Japan.

Lyrics

UMI/The Sea 
Traditional Japanese Song with 

1. Umi wa hiroi na oki na. 
Tsuki wa noboru shi hiwa shi zumu

2. Shiroi o fune ni yurerarete 
ittemitaina yosono kuni. *

4. Little white boat on the bay rocked by the waves, 
I long to be in a country far away. 

5. I have come from a country far away, 
to this island in the sea and I long to stay.

6. For I've met a girl with a smile so wide and a love so deep, 
and I see the sunshine in her eyes and the moon in her cheek.

7. Kitayo toi kuni kara. 
Zutto itaina kono shimani

8. deatta egao no sutekina ko 
kagaya ku hitomini kikaru tsuki.>>

9. Umi wa oonami aoinami, 
yurete dokomade tsuzuku yara. 

Music

Upcoming Lives

  • Dec 21
    The Blarney Stone,  Osaka, Shinsaibashi
     
  • Dec 31
    Murphy's Irish Pub,  Osaka
     

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