Time for some cross-pollination of my pop cultural sensitivities here. Along with my love for good old Japanese kayo and this blog, I've been keeping up my interest in superheroes as they have been extended from the comic books and onto the big & small screens. I'm a dedicated fan of "Gotham", "The Flash" and "Agents of SHIELD" while not really getting into "Arrow" or "Supergirl". My jury is still out on "DC's Legends of Tomorrow". However, along with myself, I think the fandom has been rooting big time for "Agent Carter" starring Hayley Atwell as super agent Margaret "Peggy" Carter, future head of SHIELD and former potential paramour of Captain America. I think alongside Clark Gregg's Director Phil Coulson, Atwell's Carter character has been the breakthrough role in the massive Marvel Cinematic Universe.
So when I hear an old song from "Sounds of Japan" by songbird Mariko Takahashi（高橋真梨子）, there was an instant link between it and some of the more wistful scenes between Steve Rogers and Peggy Carter just like in the very top video.
Takahashi's "Namida Moroi Peggy" (Weeping Peggy) is a sweet ballad which is arranged like a slow country waltz that first arose in her 7th solo album from November 1982, "After Hours". As I've mentioned before, Takahashi was one of the first singers to alert my ears to the fact that Japanese music had expanded into areas beyond teenybopper aidoru and traditional enka. Although at the time, I had yet to realize the Japanese significance of the term "new music", Takahashi had once again opened things up to me with this song which sounded like a tune that had come out of a 1950s radio show from the southeastern United States. And yet it was an original Japanese ballad created by Chinfa Kan and Kingo Hamada（康珍化・濱田金吾）. The lyrics by Kan are straightforward: goodbye to dear Peggy which is why I've started to remember the sad scene of a horrified and heartbroken Peggy Carter realizing that the love of her life was about to crash into the ice in the very first "Captain America".
To be honest...at times, I've felt that there was a certain guilty pleasure sappiness to "Namida Moroi Peggy" especially when it came to the perhaps overwrought lyrics of "Goodbye, goodbye, Peggy" when they were wrung out like tears from a handkerchief by Takahashi. But as all of the active collaborators of "Kayo Kyoku Plus" once agreed during a comment spree for one recent song, a nice song is a nice song. And this particular contribution by Takahashi still comes down as one of her more memorable entries in her discography. Just imagine: a country ballad of heartache originating in the nation of onsen, sumo and sushi.
By the way, you have probably figured this out already but the above two videos are cover versions and well done ones, I might add.
And here's hoping for a 3rd season of "Agent Carter".