I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Mieko Nishijima -- Kamome yori Shiroi Kokoro de (かもめより白い心で)

One of my favourite songs that probably not even most Japanese would remember or know. I think even among Mieko Nishijima(西島三重子)fans, this song may not be up there in popularity with "Ikegami-Sen"池上線)or "Chitose Bashi"千登勢橋), but this rendition of "Kamome yori Shiroi Kokoro de"(With a Heart Whiter than a Seagull) still affects me today after years of listening to it. There was an original version which had been up on YouTube but has been taken down apparently; it had a more conventional kayo kyoku sound.

But this version is the one that I first heard and is the one that's the better of the two versions. I don't know what it is....the percussion or the ocarina or the lute-sounding instrument, but it doesn't sound quite like the typical Japanese folk song of the 70s. Instead it strikes me as something that came from medieval England! I always thought I could introduce this tune to a bunch of members from the Society of Creative Anachronism (if you don't know who they are, it's a club that celebrates the lifestyle of that period in British history I just mentioned....when I was working at the International Student Centre at the University of Toronto a quarter of a century ago, the SCA was one of the clubs that came in during my watch....really nice bunch of guys....nice capes, too). Whatever the arranger's plan, count me as a fan!

Nishijima just has this wonderful voice that's stayed with me all these decades. She can just relax the hell out of me by singing something. Heck, she could sing the contents of a telephone directory, and I'll sleep like a baby.

The song originally came on Nishijima's 3rd album which had the same title as this song back in 1978.

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