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 7, 2014

Ruiko Kurahashi & Takao Horiuchi -- Hanrira (ハンリーラ)

(excerpt only)

It's been a while since I did an article on either Ruiko Kurahashi (倉橋ルイ子)or Takao Horiuchi(堀内孝雄), so I decided to do a isseki nicho and cover their September 1985 love song duet, "Hanrira". I first encountered this song on one of Kurahashi's BEST compilations, and it's a tune that has slowly grown on me. The reason for the length of time is perhaps the fact that the melody by Horiuchi is not quite the ennui-laden pop that Kurahashi has often covered or the folk/pop that Horiuchi usually sings. It also feels a bit exotic (and maybe even arboreal) thanks to that certain synthesizer and the whistle. But Horiuchi's melody is very mellow and relaxing...almost like a lullaby.

According to J-Wiki, the mysteriously titled "Hanrira" was Kurahashi's 8th single with lyrics by Tokiko Iwatani(岩谷時子). Now, I say "mysteriously" here since I'm not sure where the title comes from. The opening lyric states that it means "beautiful", and for years I'd thought it was some sort of Polynesian word. But then there was a Q&A on exactly about the derivation of the title with the person asking if "Hanrira" was derived from Korean. Well, apparently not. And the responder couldn't quite give a definitive answer; he/she posits that it may be an artificial expression. I guess it wouldn't be that surprising since the 80s were also the decade that came up with "Sussudio" by Phil Collins.

I've always wondered if Ruiko was just getting
exasperated at being repeatedly asked about
the meaning of "Hanrira" in the cover photo.

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