I was watching a video of my son Max’s choir group back home in WA performing “Rose, Rose, Rose” (a kind song known as a round, where one group starts off and the next group start to sing the same song a bit later, like “Row Row, Row Your Boat”), when a certain line hit me: ” Still, I will be merry…. “
I was suddenly transported 25 years back in time, back to one of countless nights spent around a bonfire in the cold hours before sunrise, high up in the mountains of Japan. My friends had taught me a Japanese folk song, a round with a catchy part about being cheerful even though you have nothing to eat and no place to stay…
Which sounds a lot like:
Meat, nor drink, nor money have I none
Still, I will be merry….
Western BBS-style digging on Rose Rose Rose: Origins: Rose, Rose, Rose, Rose (Traditional) and ‘Rose, Rose’ round: More verses?
Japanese BBS-style digging on Watashi ha Yadonashi de: https://oshiete.goo.ne.jp/qa/353621.htmlJean Ritchie’s Peace Round: A Nightcore remix (!!) of Emilie Autumn’s electric violin rendering of Rose Red
And here’s the non-Nightcore version: Rose Red – Emilie Autumn (with lyrics)
Hunting for videos of the Japanese version of the song (Watashi ha Yadonashi de) is where it gets really weird. The original version of the song by Masami Mizuno is not to be found anywhere, which is not really surprising since dinosaur music companies in Japan tend to threaten everyone for sharing even ancient recordings. So the closest we have are computer synthesized recordings utilizing Sinsy:The second noteworthy video I found of Yadonashi contains synthesized verses in both Japanese and English! Perfect!!
A Japanese illustrator recently wrote an interesting comic strip/blog post about this owari nai uta (neverending songs): https://www.arakawalove.com/archives/20190826