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.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Mariya Takeuchi -- Shiawase no Sagashikata (幸せの探し方)


"Shiawase no Sagashikata" (How to Find Happiness) was Mariya Takeuchi's(竹内まりや) 22nd single from July 1993 which was released almost a year after its source album, "Quiet Life" had come out in October 1992. Takeuchi was behind the words and music.

Almost right from the beginning, there is a French footloose and fancy-free feeling about the song, as if Mariya's good buddy, Taeko Ohnuki(大貫妙子), had drunk a bit of giggle juice before putting pen down to paper. I could see Takeuchi skipping down a Parisian neighbourhood street in her beret while holding a paper bag filled with a baguette and other fixins for a nice little dejeuner in le parc.

However, the lyrics have the singer waxing happily about how it's the small changes in the everyday that bring a certain joie de vivre. Waking up late, having coffee in the kitchen with hair uncombed and wearing hubby's shirt instead of the usual PJs...Mariya wants you to lose a bit of that domestic conformity. In her early years, she used to sing about the idealized puppy love of a teenybopper, but it seems as if getting married and having that daughter brought her more down to earth but not down in the dumps.

Mariya also goes through some French herself at the end of the song, thanks to the efforts of Jiro Terao(寺尾次郎), a former member of her husband's old band, Sugar Babe. "Shiawase no Sagashikata" got as high as No. 42 on the weeklies, and it was used as the commercial tie-up song for AGF Coffee....pretty appropriate.

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