Denny Sinnoh's "Akihabara Starlight"

Posts tagged ‘Stevie Wonder’

Hanako Oku: “Why so Gloomy” ?

oku and wonder

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!

or here

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!


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