16. Umi/The Sea

04:38 Download
Roman Rhodes: Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Bass/ Moray Crawford: Percussion/ Paul Fleischer: Bass Clarinet, Flute/ Atsushi Akazawa: Sanshien
Original Words Ryuha Hayashi, original music: Takeshi Inoue/ New Words(all english & 2 verse Japanese) Roman Rhodes,/Translation Masumi Okamoto.


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.


UMI/The Sea
Traditional Japanese Song with
<<Translation and New Words by Roman Rhodes, 
Translation into Japanese by Masumi Okamoto)>> 

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

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

<<3. The sea is wide, and it's big and oh so deep.
The moon is rising and the sun is going to sleep.

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. 


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