Gamble

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May 31, 2009 by korshi

shiina (1)

I first discovered the singer Shiina Ringo when I was living in Japan in 2003, and she’s been one of my favourite artists ever since.  If you’re not familiar with her eclectic stylings you might want to imagine the lyricism of Tori Amos, the endless reinvention of David Bowie and the theatricality of Bjork, combined into one chameleonic Tokyoite.

Since my Japanese has stuck resolutely around intermediate level for the past 6 years, I still need help getting the gist of most of her songs (which are especially difficult to understand given her fondness for obscure references and archaic spellings).  Translations of most of her songs are available online in various places, but there are some songs which I haven’t been able to find translations of, among them the beautiful Gamble (ギャンブル).  So with the help of my language exchange partner I thought I’d give it a go myself. There are a couple of versions of this song, the one most easily found on youtube is from a collaboration with the violinist Saito Neko, and used in the movie SAKURAN.

(If you notice any mistakes in my translation, or can improve on it in any way, let me know.)

ギャンブル
Gyanburu
Gamble

あなたはそっと微笑ってくれるから
Anata wa sotto waratte kureru kara
You softly smile at me

明くる朝とうに泣き止んで居るのさ
Akuru asa tou ni naki yandeiru no sa
You know I stop crying as the morning breaks

此の小さな轍に「アナタ呼吸ヲシテ居ル」
Kono chisa na wadachi ni “anata iki wo shiteiru”
I ask the little furrow “are you breathing?”

蝉が喚いて夏の到来を知る
Semi ga naite natsu no torai wo shiru
The cicadas cry and we know of summer’s coming

其の都度何故か羨んで居るのさ
Sono tsudou naze ka urayandeiru no sa
Why do I feel envious every time?

此の戦地で尽きたら「何カシラヘノ服従」
Kono senchi de tsukitara “nani ka shirahen fukuju
If I’d ended on this battlefield,  “Obedience without knowing”

帰る場所など何処に在りましょう
Kaeru bashou nado ni doko ni arimshou
Where can I return to?

動じ過ぎた
douji sugita
I‘m too agitated

もう疲れた
Mou tsukareta
I’m already tired

愛すべき人は何処に居ましょう
Ai subeki hito wa doko ni imashou
Where is the person I’m meant to love?

都合の良い答えは知っているけど
Tsugo no ii kotae wa shitteiru kedo
I know the easy answer

中目黒駅のホームに立って居たら
Nakameguro eki no homu ni tatteitara
Standing at the platform of Nakameguro Station

誰かが急に背を押したんだ 本当さ
Dare ka ga kyu ni se wo oshitanda honto sa
Someone suddenly pushed me from behind, it’s true

此の勝負に負けたら「生キテユク資格モ無イ」
kono shobu ni maketara, “ikite yuku shikaku mo nai”
If I lose this contest, “Unqualified to live”

飼い馴らされた猫の眼で
Kai nasareta neko no manako
The eyes of a tamed cat

鳴いてみようか
Naite miyou ka
Should I try mewing?

やってみようか
Yatte miyou ka
Should I try it?

愛すべき人は何処に居ましょう
Ai subeki hito wa doko ni imashou
Where is the person I was supposed to love?

予定の調和なんて容易だけど
Yotei no chowa nante youi da kedo
But it’s so easy to harmonise plans

声を出せばどなたかみえましょう
Koe wo daseba donata ka miemashou
Should I see what would happen if I spoke?

真実がない
Shinjitsu ga nai
There’s no truth

もう歩けない
Mou arukenai
I can’t walk any more

灰になれば皆喜びましょう
Hai ni nareba mina yorokobimashou
Everyone would be happy if I turned to dust

愛していたよ
Aishiteita yo
I loved you

軽率だね
Keisotsu da ne
Thoughtless, wasn’t it


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