My mistake: Add me to the list of confused people who have misunderstood lyrics in pop music.
One of my favorite singer-songwriters is Hanako Oku. She sings in Japanese, which I do not speak … but I still enjoy her beautiful songs.
The other day I was in the grocery store listening to her great “Birthday” album on my cell phone through headphones. A trip to the store is a lot of fun if you bring Hanako Oku with you.
One of my favorite tunes on the album is チョコレート which translates as “Chocolate”. It is a very upbeat, happy song. The harmonica part reminds me of those done so well by “Little Stevie Wonder”. I started to fantasize — right there in “Dairy” — about how Wonder-san and Oku-san would have made a great team-up on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand, circa 1965. Unfortunately, Hanako Oku was not born until 1978.
I made the collage above. Click on it to view full size.
“Chocolate” is a great song, I’m even listening to it as I write this up. You can listen to it on the “Zing” website!
Great, isn’t it? I love that part where she sings “Why so gloomy” in English. Chocolate makes you happy! In that store, I just kept getting happier and happier! No reason to be gloomy people! I had many strange looks from the other customers — but who cares — I’m in Oku-Heaven!
As it turn out, another blogger (The Penguin) set me straight. She is not singing “Why so gloomy” … the real lyric was “massugu ni” — which means “straight” or “straight ahead” in Japanese ( as far as I can tell from Google translate). (Please see The Penguin’s post on his “Thoughts on Hanako Oku” blog for the full sing-along lyrics to this wonderful song.)
I will have to add my misunderstanding to a growing list of famously misunderstood song lyrics.
In Jimi Hendrix’s psychedelic classic “Purple Haze” — a song about dropping acid — a lot of people thought they heard: “Scuse me, while I kiss this guy.”
The actual lyric is : “Scuse me, while I kiss the sky.”
I was not a big fan of the Bruce Springsteen- penned song “Blinded By The Light” which was a hit for the Manfred Mann Band. This after I was often forced to listen to my drunken friends sing …
“Blinded by the light … wrapped up like a douche, another rumor in the night.” (Those inebriated idiots would not listen to reason: ITS NOT “DOUCHE” I would proclaim.)
The car enthusiast Mr. Springsteen of course wrote it as:
“Revved up like a Deuce, another runner in the night.”
This link below describes some of the more famous misunderstandings. Aging baby-boomers such as myself have watched in awe as friends of ours made these mistakes.
As Elton John once sang: “Hold me closer Tony Danza…”
WHY SO GLOOMY? Please enjoy!