The Summer is in Full Bloom

Hotarubi no Mori

I’ve just watched this anime called Hotarubi no Mori e (Into the Forest of Fireflies) based on a manga by Yuki Midorikawa.

It is so perfect and beautiful, but I am heartbroken.

This is the song that plays at the end of the film. I’ve included two sets of lyrics, the first is a poetic, freeform translation, used in the subtitles (in the film and also in the YouTube video embedded below); the second is a more literal translation. I think they each have strengths and weaknesses. And I’m sure there are Japanese idioms, metaphors etc that are lost in translation.


I Was Watching Summer

~ Written by Makoto Yoshimori

~ Sung by Shizuru Otaka

The cicadas laugh out in song
To the red evening sunset
The way back home is Long
But I promise to come here again tomorrow.
The summer is in full bloom.
Making you look more beautiful than ever.

I thought the tale would never end
But I realise now that something comes after
The crows too took flight
And went somewhere far, far away
The summer flies by
To hide away it’s treasures til next year.

I’ll never ever forget
Those golden summer days
That summer which brought joy
To my boring everyday life.
And look! Summer is here again
To help me keep my promise of that day.
The summer is still in bloom
Making you look more beautiful than ever.

More literal translation:

The laughter of the cicada’s song
The crimson color of sunset
The detour on the way back home
The promise to ‘See you tomorrow’.
I’m only in full bloom in the summer
To brighten up your life.

In this story without end
Before I realised it
The crows all disappeared
And flew off somewhere.
I only run by you in the summer
To keep your treasure.

I am forever nostalgic
For those golden days,
That casual daily life
Which lit up the corners.
Summer is yet to come
So keep your promise.
I’m only in full bloom in the summer
To brighten up your life.

(This translation is from Moonlight Summoner’s Anime Lyrics blog.)

Like Lady Godiva

Bohemian Rhapsody is an entertaining film if you’re there for just the music and the spectacle. Don’t go for a revealing, thoughtful presentation of Freddie Mercury’s life. I would like to watch it again, just for the songs, and the comedy, yes the comedy — one of the things I appreciate the most about Freddy is how, like Davod Bowie, he never takes himself too seriously.

For better or for worse, Don’t Stop Me Now is my favourite Queen song — because of its energy, Freddie’s beautiful voice, and the lyrics that never fail to make me laugh. I mean, come on — ‘I’m burning through the sky: Two hundred degrees — that’s why they call me Mister Fahrenheit!’ — if that doesn’t raise a smile (at very least) then you must truly be dead inside.

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All the Knives

This is such a great song to sing when you’re feeling melodramatic, especially the last bit (in red). The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars and Station to Station were the albums that got me through ‘A’ levels revision and I remember scribbling the lyrics to various songs on the margins of my English Lit notes.

‘Oh no, LOVE, you’re NOT ALONE!’

I’ve been listening to lots of Ziggy of late. Seems to suit my mood even though I’m exhausted and feeling generally blah. Perhaps I need some of its energy.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide

Time takes a cigarette, puts it in your mouth
You pull on your finger, then another finger, then cigarette
The wall-to-wall is calling, it lingers, then you forget
Oh, you’re a rock ‘n’ roll suicide
You’re too old to lose it, too young to choose it
And the clock waits so patiently on your song
You walk past a cafe, but you don’t eat when you’ve lived too long
Oh, no, no, no, you’re a rock ‘n’ roll suicide
Chev brakes are snarling as you stumble across the road
But the day breaks instead, so you hurry home
Don’t let the sun blast your shadow
Don’t let the milk float ride your mind
You’re so natural, religiously unkind
Oh no, love, you’re not alone
You’re watching yourself, but you’re too unfair
You got your head all tangled up, but if I could only make you care
Oh no, love, you’re not alone
No matter what or who you’ve been
No matter when or where you’ve seen
All the knives seem to lacerate your brain
I’ve had my share, I’ll help you with the pain

You’re not alone

Just turn on with me, and you’re not alone
Let’s turn on and be not alone
Gimme your hands, ’cause you’re wonderful
Gimme your hands, ’cause you’re wonderful
Oh, gimme your hands

~ David Bowie

By Moonlight Alone

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Rollin On a Downslide