My Heart Won't Let Me Say

Another blast from the past — a song translation from 1997 when I was doing rhyming lyrics for Pioneer CDs. This is from the Oh! My Goddess video series opening and closing themes. They were for the full-length versions that I can’t actually find on You Tube. But you can get an idea from the 90 seconds that were actually used in the show. If you’re interested in methods and tricks for this sort of thing, I did talk briefly about songs in a lecture I gave to the Department of Literary Translation at the University of East Anglia, a full transcript of which appears in the book Schoolgirl Milky Crisis.

By your side, but I still want more

Need your love, but I can’t be sure

Try to give my heart away

But you think it’s just a game we play Continue reading

The Song the Goddess Sings

Time for another visit to the translation archives. I’ve decided to put up more of my pre-Schoolgirl Milky Crisis works up online. Back in 1997, Pioneer hired me to translate the lyrics of some of the CDs they were selling in the UK market. The company already had a reputation for bilingual releases, although often English and Japanese versions of the same song were quite different in meaning. They asked me if I could come up with English versions of songs for the CD liner notes, so that fans could sing along if they wanted.

The ones I was proudest of were songs with lyrics by Natsuko Karedo, including Tenchi Muyo spin-offs like “Ueno Love Story” and “Discovery Blues”. But I can’t find versions of them on You Tube, and without the sound of the song to hang the translation off, it loses a lot of its effect. However, I did stumble across  “Megami wa Utau” from one of the Oh! My Goddess albums. I’ll put the Japanese into the comments if any linguists want to scrutinise it for themselves. I wrestled for a while over the term “nice”, which is horribly twee, but then again, some might say…


My umbrella has shut out the rain

Now the town is bright and clean again

When I shake the drops away

Like sparkling gems they fly

Park bench still wet from the passing storm

Near the children’s house, so nice and warm

From their window they can see

A rainbow in the sky

Everybody wants to be free, it’s plain to see

Open your windows to the sun

There’s a dream of love, in the sky above

Just listen carefully

And you can hear the song it sings to you

Kindness in all things, loving feelings

Are all you need to be true

And that’s the song the Goddess sings

Heaven’s shining smile is rolling down

Down the hill and straight towards the town

Waves of happiness arrive

They’re reaching out to you

In the flowers, in the birds and sky

In the voices as the kids pass by

The dream transforms all that it sees

And fills them all with love

Everybody can be happy, it’s plain to see

Open your heart and let in love

To your love be true, all you have to do

Is say it from the heart

And then the day of love can really start

I will be happy

You will be happy, and all people

Goddess is always with you

There’s a dream of love, in the sky above

So come along with me

And we can sing our song so tenderly

Sparkle in the sun, love to everyone

It’s all you need to be true

And that’s the song the Goddess sings