Japanese songs
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平原綾香・いのちの名前

いのちのなまえ is the vocal version of the famous theme あの夏へ・あのなつへ from Spirited Away. Composed by Joe Hisaishi, the vocal version is sung by 平原綾香・ひらはらあやか Hirahara Ayaka. Music takes such an important place in Miyasaki’s film and Joe Hisaishi’s compositions confer to the story its emotional colours that make every film unique and so full of affecting echoes.

Lyrics:

青空に線を引く
ひこうき雲の白さは
ずっとどこまでも ずっと続いてく
明日を知っていたみたい

  • 青空・あおぞら blue sky
  • 線・せん line
  • 引く・ひく which first sense is “to pull” also means “to draw” (a line).
  • 飛行機・ひこうき here written in hiragana is “a plane”
  • 雲・くも cloud
  • 白さ・しろさ comes from the adjective 白い. By replacing the い ending by さ, the adjective is nominalized: the whiteness.
  • ずっと means “continuously for a long distance”, “throughout”, “all along”.
  • 続く・つづく means “to continue” and is here in the form “ていく”, the い being omitted: it continues and goes away.
  • 明日・あす note that she uses the other pronunciation of あした.
  • 知っていた・しっていた simply here the form “ている” which means “to be doing sth”, “to be in a state of” in the past tense.
  • みたい like, similar to, as if.

胸で浅く息をしてた
熱い頬 さました風も おぼえてる

  • 胸・むね chest, breast
  • 浅く・あさく comes from the adjective 浅い・あさい which means “shallow”. By replacing the い ending by く you change the adjective into an adverb.
  • 息をする・いきをする to breathe. Here again, the grammar ている which means “to be doing sth” in the past tense. The い is omitted, it should be: していた
  • 頬・ほお cheek
  • 冷ます・さます to cool, to let cool, to dampen. Past tense: the wind that cooled my hot cheeks.
  • 覚える・おぼえる means “to memorise” but in the form ている, it means “to be in the state of having memorised” i.e: to remember. Here again, the い is omitted. The ending “て” is just the form to say “and”, I think.

未来の前にすくむ手足は
静かな声にほどかれて
叫びたいほど なつかしいのは
ひとつのいのち
真夏の光
あなたの肩に 揺れていた木漏れ日

  • 未来・みらい the future
  • すくむ to cower, to be cramped
  • 手足・てあし hands and feet
  • ほどく means “to unfasten”, “to untie”. ほどかれる is the passive form of the verb ほどく: to be unfastened. The subject that is unfastened is “the hands and feet that were cramped, tied, bound” and they are unfastened by (に) a calm voice.
  • 叫ぶ・さけぶ means “to shout”, “to cry” and is here in the form masu-たい which means “to want to”.
  • ほど means “extend”, “to the extent”. Here it means that sth is so… that…/to the extent that…, and more precisely: it is so missed and desired that I want to cry.
  • 懐かしい・なつかしい desired, missed, it is used to express the nostalgy felt when thinking of the past.
  • ひとつ “one” when counting things
  • 命・いのち life
  • 真夏・まなつ Midsummer
  • 肩・かた shoulder
  • 揺れる・ゆれる to shake, to sway. Here again, the form ている in the past tense.
  • 木漏れ日・こもれび sunlight filtering through trees.

つぶれた白いボール
風が散らした花びら
ふたつを浮かべて 見えない川は
歌いながら流れてく

  • つぶれる to be smashed, to become useless
  • 散らす・ちらす to scatter, to disperse, to spread
  • 花びら・はなびら flower petals
  • ふたつ “two” when counting things
  • 浮かべる・うかべる to float
  • 見える・みえる to be seen, to be in sight, here in the negative form.
  • 川・かわ river
  • 歌う・うたう means “to sing” and is here in the form “masu+ながら” which means “while”, meaning that two actions are done at the same time.
  • 流れる・ながれる means “to stream”, “to flow”. The form ていく with the い omitted conveys the idea that it flows away.

秘密も嘘も喜びも
宇宙が生んだ神さまの 子供たち

  • 秘密・ひみつ secret
  • 嘘・うそ lie
  • 喜び・よろこび joy
  • 宇宙・うちゅう universe, the cosmos
  • 生む・うむ to give birth, to produce
  • 神さま・かみさま god

未来の前にすくむ心が
いつか名前を思い出す
叫びたいほど いとおしいのは
ひとつのいのち
帰りつく場所
わたしの指に 消えない夏の日

  • いつか sometime, someday, one day
  • 思い出す・おもいだす to recall, to remember
  • いとおしい sweet, precious, lovely
  • 帰り着く・かえりつく to arrive home, to return
  • 場所・ばしょ place, location
  • 指・ゆび finger
  • 消える・きえる to vanish, to disappear

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