Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Flaxen-Haired Maiden

The Village Singers - The Flaxen-Haired Maiden (1968)
Music: Koichi Sugiyama
Lyric: Jun Hashimoto

The Village Singers were a band belonging to the Beatles-inspired genre known as "Group Sounds" in Japan, though they were a bit more folk-oriented than other Group Sounds bands like The Spiders and The Tempters.

"The Flaxen-Haired Maiden" was composed by Koichi Sugiyama, better known in the United States for being the composer of the music for the Dragon Quest/Dragon Warrior series of video games. Either that or for his role in the recent "The Facts" advertising campaign denying the culpability of the Japanese Empire in the Nanjing massacre during World War II.

Anyway, "The Flaxen-Haired Maiden" was The Village Singers' biggest hit, reaching #7 on the Oricon chart. It was an even bigger hit for Hitomi Shimatani, whose 2002 cover hit #4. The first recording was actually done by Michi Aoyama under the title "On a Windy Hill" in 1966, but it wasn't actually released until decades later.

Amairo no nagai kami o
Kaze ga yasashiku tsutsumu
Otome wa mune ni shiroi hanataba o
Hane no you ni oka o kudari
Yasashii kare no moto e
Akarui utagoe wa koi o shiteru kara
The wind gently caressing
Her long, flaxen hair,
The maiden clutches a white boquet
To her chest.
Down the hill, like a feather,
Her cheerful song
Sends the fine young man her love.
Barairo no hohoemi aoi sora
Shiawase na futari wa yorisou
Amairo no nagai kami o
Kaze ga yasashiku tsutumu
Otome wa hane no you ni
Oka o kudaru
Kare no moto e
A rosy smile, the blue sky,
Joyous lovers drawing near.
The wind gently caressing
Her long, flaxen hair,
The maiden, like a feather,
Descends the hill
To meet her love.
[Repeat chorus]

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