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.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Yumi Arai -- Juu-Yon Banme no Tsuki (14番目の月)

Nope, the above YouTube video (is not the video that was originally up there; that was taken down) is not of the greatest quality but at least you can get to see Yumi Matsutoya(松任谷由実)dance up a storm in concert. What she lacks in technique, she more than makes up for in enthusiasm and joy...rather like my approach to hitting the dance floor back in university. Actually, I think her choreography was more accomplished when I saw her on a video of her "Wings of Light" tour which was when I first realized that the Queen of New Music could and did kick her heels like a pro. And "Juu-Yon Banme no Tsuki" (The 14th Moon) was one of the songs on the playlist.

I have already given the 1976 album of the same title its due in a separate article, but I never did the same for the title track. "The 14th Moon" (it's past midnight as I write this and I'm too tired to write the romaji) rolls out like something from an Elton John album and I wouldn't be surprised if this were one of the go-to tunes that Yuming would sing near the end of the concert. It had everyone jumping out of their seats and clapping when she performed it on "Wings of Light". And it would be ideal for a group of friends bombing down the highway from Tokyo to the summer resort in an old-style van; it's a road-trip sort of song.

I'm not absolutely sure about her lyrics but I believe they are describing one woman's fervent wish that her male friend won't ruin a fine relationship by suggesting things go to the next level. And I'm not sure how that 14th moon comes into the conversation, although the nervous young lady seems to prefer it over the full moon the next night. Maybe she's trying to hold things off as long as possible.

However, how did the title come into being? Apparently, Yuming lifted it from a line from the Japanese movie "Sri Lanka no Ai to Wakare"(スリランカの愛と別れ...Love and Separation in Sri Lanka)that premiered several months before her album's release. She was browsing through a movie magazine somewhere when she came across the line and took it without ever having seen the film or even knowing the title of it accurately. So, neither the lyrics nor the music have anything to do with the movie. Instead, the song has become one of the showstoppers at a Yuming concert. It's truly amazing what can happen when you read a magazine without paying for it.

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