The words "Tasha de na" basically means "Take care". People say it to their family members and their friends as they part ways, and it seems like this phrase is said more often when they're not gonna see them for a while, or at least that's what I've seen/heard in other Enka songs.
But how about saying these words to a horse?
I had to do a double take on the lyrics that Hiroshi Yokoi wrote (横井弘) as I saw its translation. A horse? At least now I know why there's "Kuri ge" (栗毛... Chestnut-coloured hair/fur) and the kanji character for "Sell" (買) in the mix. No wonder it didn't seem right when I pictured our protagonist saying his goodbyes to some family member/friend. Anyway, that's what Michiya Mihashi's (三橋美智也) song "Tasha de na" is about, bidding farewell to his favourite horse he is about to sell. It may seem a tad strange at first, then you realise how much this character loves and cares for the creature, and it all makes sense. He even tells the horse to keep well and not fall sick! Hmm, for the fella to do this he must really be in desperate need for some cash.
Jazz singer and composer Tadaharu Nakano (中野忠晴), who had handled the composing duties for songs sung by other Enka old timers like Hachiro Kasuga (春日八郎), did the music for "Tasha de na". It's a rather solemn and quiet score to match the occasion and the melancholy the person must have felt. And is it me or does the rhythmic beat to it - in the recorded version - just remind you of a horse trotting away? Since Mihashi had a strong background in Min'yo since he was a kid, this is one song where you can hear him putting those skills to work.
"Tasha de na" was released in 1960 and it did really well, eventually becoming one of Michi's hits and million-sellers. Impressive, for a song about a horse. I managed to find a video Takashi Hosokawa (細川たかし) doing a cover of "Tasha de na" years later - looks like it was performed in the mid-2000s, and Hosokawa's version is more powerful since his voice is more shrill and packs more of a punch than Michi's... very loud too. Oh yeah, here's a little fun fact for you: Hosokawa's "Min'yo name" is Michitaka Mihashi (三橋美智貴), basically his mentor's name but having "Taka" (貴) rather than "Ya" (也).