Friday, December 16, 2011

uh say what


I should learn more languages. I did alright in German during High School, so Herman Cain’s recent nein nein nein plan sounded very negative to me. No matter, I believe he and the lady from Alaska with the tour bus will be introducing gourmet wildlife pizza in a joint venture. 

But it’s even harder to pick-out foreign words in a song. 

You know that one Christmas song with decent acoustic guitar sound? Sounds like the folk singer has an accent. I think it’s a holiday song about fleece. Probably just nonsense lyrics but here’s what I hear:


fleece never a knot 
poor sparrow annoy police a lot 




(do you hear what I hear? nevermind

Most of the European languages are the root for English so figuring out a very tiny bit of Spanish is no hay problema. 

But try learning some Far East languages like Japanese. I can’t even make my mouth move the right way. As a romantic teen in the sixties (hey my blog, my version of history) I remember humming to this catchy Japanese song that was a big hit even though very few knew what the lyrics meant. I had to look up the name of the song (waste of amazing time machine the internet). 

The title is actually, Ue o Muite ArukĊ, which would be tough to remember on your way to the record store (oh the download was not invented yet kids) so the record company renamed it Sukiyaki. Makes me wonder if the guy had connections in the Japanese restaurant business.



16 comments:

OneStonedCrow said...

Jeepers ... I remember hearing that song a long time ago in my sometimes murky past ... can't associate it with any specific memories though ...

lisleman said...

Were you a teen in Namibia?  It was a big hit in most of the "western" world.  You might find the wikipedia page interesting, I did.  The most I know of Namibia is your blog and the occasional National Geographic special so I have no idea about Japanese influence there.
sixties - memories - you know what they say

A Daft Scots Lass said...

I only speak English and Afrikaans.

lisleman said...

That's one more than me.  What's a good Afrikaans word?

Shrinky said...

I'm guessing it didn't translate (ouch, sorry) across the pond, 'cos it doesn't ring any bells with me.  Actually, I'm amazed a Japanese song made it into the American hit parade at all going back then, just a couple of decades after WW2! 

lisleman said...

It does have a nice melody.  My wife remembered it too.  Maybe the younger generation at the time had forgotten about Pearl Harbor and all that.  I recall the Japanese were considered as cheap low quality producers for the American market back in the sixties.  Amazing how they turned that around with common thought now of their cars being better quality.  thanks

Nita said...

Just had to laugh at your translation of Feliz Navidad. Thanks for the smiles and flash backs.

Frau said...

Languages are hard for me...when we were in Germany I felt like an old dog that couldn't learn a new trick! My daughter picked it up fast. I was clearly my teachers worst student! I got nein down that's all I said to people when they ask me anything!! 
Love your fleece comment ....we always sing fleas on your dog...that's what we hear! 

Desmond LaGrange said...

umm this sounds like a well known song from my generation....and im only 33....but i definitly recognize that melody...im willing to bet that is a remake of an american son.....not big money..but a lil...lol....thats definitly the part of the famous lodi dodi rap song...but im sure slick rick stole it from somewhere else...but Japan?  i dont think rick was that slick..lol......im gonna find the original and post a link to it when i do

lisleman said...

I know there was a cover of it with English lyrics around 1980.  My rap knowledge is very limited.  I can't touch that as MC Hammer said.
thanks

lisleman said...

Fleas on your dog - good one.  Our young brains do pick up languages better but we can still learn new tricks.  thanks

lisleman said...

You're welcome - it's good to share a laugh.  I shared my "translation" with my Hispanic in-laws and I think they liked it or maybe they were just being nice.

pearlvz said...

Ha!  And feliz navidad to you, too, sir! 

Remember CCR?  I still hear "Don't go around tonight, for it's bound to take your life.  There's a bathroom on the right..."

Pearl

lisleman said...

Yes that's a common misunderstood one.  But just recently while "researching" Stairway to Heaven (no drugs involved this time) I discovered I had misunderstood one of the lines.
I heard "And there's the wino down the road".
Correct line = "And as we wind down the road".
http://afcsoac.blogspot.com/2011/11/stairway-is-old.html
thanks

Me and the Mexican said...

Great post!  I heard exactly what you heard in the spanish Christmas song (Feliz Navidad) until I learned Spanish....  That made me laugh!

lisleman said...

 thanks for coming over to check it out.  Always fun to share a laugh.

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