Jun Togawa sings Pachelbel


戸川純 ”蛹化の女” by GO-GO-STALIN

A year back – see Guernica – Kaigenrei – I mentioned the avant-garde/retro Japanese group Guernica. Good to see there are other fans: MetaFilter just had a post – Say you love me or I’ll kill you! – featuring tracks by Guernica’s lead vocalist Jun Togawa.

I especially liked the versions of a song called 蛹化の女 (“Pupa Woman”), which is sung over Pachelbel’s Canon. The one above is a pretty straight lyrical version over a standard orchestration (it’s also at Grooveshark). Then there’s this rather rawer live version played against acoustic guitar …

… and finally a punk version:

They’re all brilliant in different ways.

A look at the Jun Togawa Collective website finds a translation:

In a moonlit white forest
Dig at the foot of the trees
To find many pupas of the cicadas, ah

My overwhelming love for you has changed me
In the woods under frozen moonlight
Sipping sap from the tree, I am an insect

Someday
When you are to notice me
The girl who has changed into an insect
With an amber colored stomach
Shall have a parasitic plant
Growing stems of sorrow on her amber colored back

In a moonlit white forest
Dig at the foot of the trees
To find many pupas of the ciada, ah
My overwhelming love for you has changed me
In the wood under frozen moonlight
Sipping sap from the tree, I am an insect

So it’s a song about unrequited love: the narrator has been waiting so long that she feels like a cicada pupa, waiting for years underground for its day of release. Personally I find it a poignant metaphor, but I rather concluded that Clare isn’t a romantic soul. When I told her about the song’s scenario, she said of the narrator – and I quote this with her permission – “she should get over it”. :)

- Ray



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