Your Name, Three Lives Ago – Gaijinhan

Your Name, Three Lives Ago

I didn’t go for regression therapy, so this isn’t really about me.

I’m assuming the box office hit, Your Name, was shown in Singapore as well. I felt it was a good movie and not to mention, great music. I actually caught the movie with a friend who had seen it twice before. So he actually watched it a third time with me. His reasoning was, if it’s a good movie, he is willing to pay for it more than once. Story aside, Radwimps single-handedly took care of the movie’s soundtrack, which became a huge hit because, well, they always had the talent.

I first learned of Radwimps from my Japanese language teacher some 7 years ago and when I randomly browsed a couple of their songs on YouTube, I fell in love with their music and lyrics. The soundtracks in Your Name didn’t disappoint either. At least not until I tried singing 前前前世 (loosely, “three lives ago”) at the karaoke. While I still think it’s got great melody and lyrics, one small part in the text disturbed me.

何億、何光年分の物語を語りにきたんだよ

That loosely translates to “I’ve come to share hundreds of millions and light years worth of story.”

Did you notice something wrong with the lyrics?

At the risk of sounding like Sheldon of The Big Bang Theory, “light years” is a unit of distance, not time. Radwimps unfortunately misused the term which kinda feels like getting a scratch on your otherwise perfect looking new car.

More unfortunately, they used it again at the end.

何光年でもこの歌を口ずさみながら (loosely, “while I hum this song for no matter how many light years”)

A song is like a beautiful poem and if the words are wrong, it loses literary value. That’s not going to stop me from singing it though because even the remainder is such a wonderful piece of work. Just being a prude.

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