5/25/08

Sukiyaki Song 上を向いて歩こう

Ue o Muite Arukou (1961 Japan) aka "The Sukiyaki Song" (1963 US, UK) by Kyu Sakamoto (坂本 九) (1941-85) is possibly the best known Japanese 'pop' song in the UK or US. There are lots of versions on the web; here are a few basic links...
Sukiyaki Song info on Wikipedia
Sung by Kyu Sakamoto on YouTube
English translation of the Japanese lyrics.
English version sung by A Taste of Honey & their lyrics
Kenny Ball version with his Jazz Men
Guitar Chords on Chordie

More comments on the song, this time from Deep Kyoto : Most people are familiar with the "Sukiyaki Song" - I was surprised though when I first learned it had nothing to do with sukiyaki! It's proper title is "ue wo muite arukou" or "I look up as I walk" but British jazz player Kenny Hall figured "Sukiyaki" was an easier name to remember. Actually it's a sad song of lost love and loneliness... Just recently my girlfriend told me how the singer, Sakamoto Kyu, died in an air crash in 1985. It's a pretty moving story. Between the first sign of mechanical failure and the final crash, 32 minutes passed. Knowing it was the end, Sakamoto had enough time to write a farewell note to his wife - though the vibrations of the plane made his writing shaky. Of 524 people only four survived but the final messages of Sakamoto Kyu and other passengers were also recovered. I don't think I can ever listen to this song now without feeling a wee bit teary...

1 comment:

Justin said...

I have been going to Karaoke World in Sydney and can still just about get through Aruko o Muite, just. I really need to brush up my Japanese.

Justin