Bagoum Literature Club

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Hirasawa Susumu: The Stillborn City

11 February, 2018 ~ ElDynamite ~ Translation

It's interesting how much this song resembles Made in Abyss. The sky represents stalled progress and fear, whereas the unrealized potential of the underground pulls at us to gaze into the "city yet unborn". Even the modulation between the vaguely melancholy and the intensely hopeful tone fits perfectly. And some of the lines are a bit too coincidental, like this one: "Passing through countless layers, the voice I hear calls out your name."

Kanji lyrics from Hirapedia.

The Stillborn City


時を止めナイルの岸に立つ
確率の看守嘆きを聞く
空に星座の不動を妬み
積もる暦の塵を吸う
Stopping time and standing on the Nile's shore
the jailer of chances hears a cry of lament
Envying the immobility of the sky's constellations,
he inhales the dust of the piling calendars

ただ吹く風の音
無意味の眠りに来て
あの日に消えたと
桃源の夢を見せ
The sound of the wind that only blows
comes to a meaningless sleep
If it disappeared on that day,
it will show us dreams of paradise

時に捕られて地下鉄が来る
さだめし都は幻の絵
空に不動の塔の間をぬい
うごめく人は塵芥
Occasionally the subway is captured, and comes
Surely the city is but an illusionary painting
Trash are the people who squirm
and weave room in the sky for unmoving towers

まだ吹く風の音
黄金を背に隠し
何故見ず過ぎたと
ナイルの岸へ返る
The sound of the wind that yet blows
hides gold behind its back
If you ask why we passed without seeing it
it will return to the Nile's shore

無数のレイヤ ー幾重も通り
聞こえる声は キミの名を呼ぶ
嘆きのレイヤー モアレを組んで
生まれぬままの 都を見せる
Passing through countless layers,
the voice I hear calls out your name
The layers of lament braid a moiré
showing to us the city yet unborn

支流の川辺で賢者は撃たれ
選択の騎士は嘆きを知る
海で無常にたつ波を見て
逃げる時を追えずに
The sage is shot at the tributary's edge
The knight of choice knows lament
Seeing the waves that uncertainly rise in the ocean
he does not chase the time of escape

まだ吹く風の音
不変の道を抱いて
消さずに守ると
ナイルの岸へ向かう
The sound of the wind that yet blows
embraces the everlasting road
If we protect it without erasing it,
it will turn to the Nile's shore

無数のレイヤ ー幾重も通り
聞こえる声は キミの名を呼ぶ
嘆きのレイヤー モアレを組んで
生まれぬままの 都を見せる
[As before.]

聞こえる声は キミの名を呼ぶ
生まれぬままの 都から来て
The voice I hear calls out your name
from the city yet unborn

Hirasawa Susumu: Initial Value of Midair

26 January, 2018 ~ ElDynamite ~ Translation

By recommendation of a friend, I happened upon Hirasawa Susumu, a phenomenal artist. I feel that the lyrics in his music are incredibly poetic, and thus I'd like to try my hand at translating some of them!

This song is about the permanence of nature as contrasted with the ephemeral nature of human society. Despite the normally doomsaying nature of such a theme, the song is incredibly celebratory, both in lyric and in music. (Reminds me of Journey!)

Keep an eye on the human concepts in the lyrics (dream, fantasy, victory, city, enmity, voice, meaning). Even in a world where these concepts have been reduced to nothing, we still hear the call of "welcome", if only we care to (this is the word most repeated in the lyrics) look.

Kanji lyrics from Hirapedia.

Initial Value of Midair


飛べ王道の空 初期値
雲海の波 遠く立ち
束の間に現れるあの山へ
Fly the royal road's sky, initial value
to the mountain where the waves of the cloud's sea
stand in the distance, appearing in a moment

見よ断片の夢の乱舞
自在の空にさらわれて
時の葉の揺れとなりキミを象る
Look at the boisterous dance of the fragmented dream
Washed away by the free sky, it now takes your form
as the fluttering of the leaves of time

空想も置き去る
終わらぬ変幻の空
あー勝利さえひれ伏す
止まらぬ雲の無意味の履歴
The sky changes neverendingly,
leaving behind even fantasy
Ah, even victory must prostrate itself
before the meaningless stories* of the ceaseless clouds

見よ残像は白き屋根
天涯の都市はかなげに
見る間にも丘陵に輪廻する
Look, its afterimage is a white roof
Before our eyes, the city on the horizon
is ephemerally rebirthed* as a hill

舞い飛ぶ遺恨の塵
在るがままの滝に落ち
懐かしく無に帰る跡形も無く
The dancing specks of enmity
are caught in the waterfall of what simply is,
nostalgically returning to nothing, without a trace

空想も置き去る
終わらぬ変幻の空
あー勝利さえひれ伏す
止まらぬ雲の無意味の履歴
The sky changes neverendingly,
leaving behind even fantasy
Ah, even victory must prostrate itself
before the meaningless stories of the ceaseless clouds

見よ白き視野を昇り
見よ白き視野を昇り
見よ「ようこそ」と聞こえた
見よ錯視の霧は晴れ
見よ「ようこそ」と聞こえた
見よ隠し絵は解かれて
見よ「ようこそ」と聞こえた
Look! Ascend beyond this white outlook
Look! Ascend beyond this white outlook
Look! I heard "welcome"
Look! The fog of illusion begins to clear
Look! I heard "welcome"
Look! The hidden painting has been revealed
Look! I heard "welcome"

飛べ混沌の風を切り
雲海の谷見るがまま
降り注ぐ陽の粒子終わりなく
Fly, cutting through these chaotic winds
In the valley of the cloud's sea, as we see it
The sun's particles rain down, incessantly

聞け断片のキミの声
自在の海に洗われて
意味を成し放たれて今を象る
Listen to your fragmented voice
as it is washed by the free sea,
creating and releasing meaning, mimicking today

[Chorus]

*The word I translate as "stories" is 履歴, which more generally refers to someone's personal history. Background check, career history, permanent record, etc.

*Rebirth here more specifically means the cyclic rebirth occuring in religions like Hinduism and Buddhism. It is often called Samsara.