In Japan, it is cheaper to purchase imported American music than domestic music. This holds for both domestic releases of US groups as well as native Japanese music. Strange but true. So, in order to get people to buy Japanese, record companies often include bonuses in the domestic release. For this reason, and just to treat their Japanese fans, Sixpence None the Richer included a Japanese version of their hit song "Kiss Me" on the Japanese release of the "Kiss Me" single.
Although lead singer Leigh Nash had no previous experience with the language, she recorded the new vocal track herself. Quite capably, I might add. If you're dying to hear this for yourself, /msg me.
Below are the Japanese lyrics as they appear in the booklet included with the single. I've also included a re-translation for those who don't speak Japanese who would like to see how they compare to the original. On the other hand, if people who do speak (or rather, read) Japanese have any comments on my translation, please /msg me.
Kiss Me (Japanese Version)
Kiss me 麦穂のほとり
Kiss me among the heads of barley
Nightly, between the waves of grass
Together, we will spread our wings
Let's dress up and dance
Kiss me 淡い闇夜に
Lead me 月も待ってるよ
So, kiss me
Kiss me, in the pale evening1
The moon is waiting too
Would you look at this
The wind sings, and the fireflies2 have begun to dance
So, kiss me
Kiss me 秘密の城で
Swing me タイヤの船
Kiss me in the secret castle
Swing me in the tire swing3
Bring the flowered hat
To your father's dream4
And now, a bonus for my domestic readers. For people who would like to sing along without the bother of learning Japanese, I give you romanized lyrics:
Kiss me mugiho no hotori
Nightly kusa no namima
futari hane hiroge
omekashi o shite odorou
Kiss me awai yamiyo ni
Lead me tsuki mo matteru yo
kaze ga utatte hoshi ga odori hajimeta
So, kiss me
Kiss me himitsu no shiro de
Swing me TAIYA no fune
hana no boushi motte
anata no PAPA no yume e
- 闇夜 means dark night, so it's kind of strange to have it modified by 淡い which means light or pale. 淡い can also mean "fleeting", but since the original line was "milky twilight", I'm guessing they used 闇夜 because it sounded nice.
- The word sung here is ほし (star); however, in the lyrics the character is 蛍 annotated with furigana. This is actually a somewhat common device used in Japanese (I've often seen it in manga) to convey that one thing is spoken while another is meant. In this case, I believe the idea is that the fireflies look like stars (or possibly, vice versa). The line in the original version did mention fireflies. This is a pretty clever way to get around the fact that the Japanese word for firefly really doesn't fit here musically.
タイヤ means "tire", but 船 means boat or vessel. I could see the application, since one rides in the tire, but I'm not sure if タイヤの船 is really used in Japanese.
- Technically the word "papa" is said, but I don't think that sounds quite as childish in Japanese as it does in English.
I was told by an authentic Japanese that タイヤの船 is indeed the natural way to say "tire swing" in Japanese. Color me surprised.
This node is CST Approved as of January 9th, 2004
Original Japanese lyrics © Sixpence None The Richer