Friday evening, sunset. I sometimes turn to Tulip (チューリップ) whenever I’m in the mood for a gentle melancholic piece. Like their fellow contemporaries in Off Course, the band often created these simple emotional ballads that shoot straight for the heart… and don’t miss. “Sayonara Doukemono” (さよなら道化者...Goodbye Joker), Tulip’s 19th single from March 1981 is one such piece. Written and composed by Kazuo Zaitsu (財津和夫), it presents a lonely man recalling his happy days while in love and how his beloved brought out the funny side of him. And so, he earns for that joker to come back. Beautiful melody, like faint sunshine peering through the clouds. The verses are particularly moving with how Zaitsu’s voice quivers through them. But like most misfortunes, this sad episode comes to an end in the final quarter of the song, where it gives way to happy dance music as Zaitsu’s character proudly declares that he’s a fun-loving man once more. It’s an amusing twist for a song that’s so emotional throughout, but then again, that’s how life works. We become heartbroken, we sulk, and then we move on.