A few months ago, I got my first Kiyoshi Maekawa (前川清) album '2014年全曲集' that came out last year on the 20th of November. It had the usual fair, like The Cool Five's 'Nagasaki wa kyomo ame datta'(長崎は今日も雨だった) and 'Soshite Kobe' (そして、神戸).
And then there was this song at the top of the list that stood out to me in the sense that it was unusually 'Enka' for Maekawa in terms of the music, but the lyrics made it seem like a Mood Kayo song. Why I say 'Unusually Enka' is because I know Maekawa for his Mood Kayo songs that sometimes sound relatively contemporary - especially so in recent years - and I don't see him sing Enka songs often. Hmm... so I think this song would be a Mood Kayo song... its just that the music's a tad jaunty for the genre?
Anyway, that particular song is, as you can see from the title, 'Kimi ga Koishi Kute'. It was released on the 4th of September last year, so in other words, his most recent single. As much as I like Maekawa, I honestly did not really like the song that much when I first heard it. It was alright, but I felt that he had sung better songs. And then again, it could have been the music that put me off initially since it was rather... loud. But as with songs like this, a listen to it at least twice a day for five days a week while taking the train to and from school (ad nauseam) easily made the song grow on me and now its one of my favourite songs. Well then.
Here's a one of those picture things you'd find on the single... Wow, he looks angry...
It was only until I had decided to look up Saburo Kitajima (北島三郎) on the Japanese Wikipedia out of boredom in class to see from when did he start his impressive, record setting 'Kohaku uta gassen' streak of 50 appearances did I realise who Mr Joji Hara (or as I just call 'George') really is. Turns out, 'Joji Hara' is ol'Sabu-Chan's pen name for when he writes lyrics and music! In other words, this song's a collaboration between Sabu-Chan and Mae-Kiyo.
Whoa, no wonder the music had an Enka feel to it. It was literally written by Grandpa Enka. Case closed.
From what I gather from the lyrics, it's basically about a fellow meeting the object of his passion (I think unbeknownst to him yet) in the 'Northern Country's Sapporo', then misses her like crazy when he's in Osaka and on the 'Sloped streets of Nagasaki'. And then at the end of the song, that final realization (seems like it), he has fallen in love with the woman. Hence the title, which means 'I'm in love with you'... I think and would like to think so... ...
Here's part of the MV for the song (couldn't find full version). If I'm not mistaken, this song's supposed to celebrate Mae-Kiyo's 45th anniversary of being in show business, which would explain the pictures of him back in the day. To think that after 45 years he'd move a little more. I guess not.