As I've said before, 2014 had offered many good Enka songs. And I consider Eisaku Ohkawa's (大川栄策) "Abare Funa Uta" one of them. I'd heard of the guy via his breakthrough single "Sazanka no Yado" (さざんかの宿), which was rather mellow and elegant sounding despite the fact that the man himself looked so gruff. However, it never actually left a strong impression on me and it only allowed me to acknowledge the existance of this new (to me) Enka singer.
His newest single on the other hand (released on 27th August 2014) first caught my attention by being up and around the Top 10 in the weekly Enka-yo Oricon list. It apparently stayed on for a solid 10 weeks and the highest it got was 49th place on the regular charts. So since it seemed like it had a pretty good reputation, I thought I'd give it a listen.
The next thing that drew me closer to "Abare Funa Uta" during the listen was its rollicking and fairly manly tune, especially with the electric guitar revving away and the thumping drums. I have no clue what the song is about... I'm guessing it has something to do with boats, or probably some sea-shanty-like thing since "Funa uta" means "Boat song". Ohkawa also goes, "Ha su choi choi!" after the chorus, which sounds like something a sailor would yell out while on the high seas trawling for some fish. (Update from 4/1/15, courtesy of J-Canuck) Turns out the song's about a guy who'd rather spend his time out at sea rather than staying dry on land. Not a landlubber huh?
"Abare Funa Uta" had its lyrics done by Osamu Yoshioka (吉岡治) and was composed by the late Shousuke Ichikawa (市川昭介).
|Seriously, scarves seemed to be "in" at that point in time.|
Even Ichiro Toba wore one in "Shigure tabi"!
But dang, Ohkawa looks pretty cool in this picture.