Credits

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.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Agnes Chan -- Ai no Mayoigo (愛の迷い子)

https://www.flickr.com/photos/hkpop/3891804629


The other night, I was watching a special via TV Japan which featured some of these unsung craftsmen who had the ability to make miraculous restorations from supposedly lost causes. What was interesting was that it wasn't just about tables and chairs. One fellow who might be someone I would call a forensic culinary researcher was able to re-create a lost beloved curry sauce recipe for a lady whose late father ran a small restaurant but never wrote down how to create any of his dishes by asking some of his old regulars and checking the remains of the curry levels in the old pot.

What wrapped up the special was the appearance of former 70s teen aidoru Agnes Chan(アグネス・チャン). She brought her old guitar which is most likely the one you see in the above picture. Tenderly referring to it as her companion and security blanket of sorts in her early years in Japan, she came on the show to find out if someone was able to restore the guitar since it had gotten a good amount of fuzz in the sound over the past number of years. The master guitar repairer checked it out to realize that the bracing inside the instrument had cracked thereby causing the undesired roughness. Several days, some glue and many vice clamps later, Agnes' old friend was back as she tearfully and gratefully played a Stevie Wonder song on the guitar. It was actually the first time in my life that I got to hear her sing in English.


With that happy prelude, I bring to you Chan's 8th single from December 1974, "Ai no Mayoigo" (Love's Lost Child). It's kinda ironic since the song by lyricist Kazumi Yasui(安井かずみ)and composer Masaaki Hirao(平尾昌晃)is about a poor woman trudging through an autumn forest (and nothing says lost love more than a lot of dead leaves in kayo kyoku) after her beau decides to stop the romance and head back home, although near the end of the song she admits that she is wiser for the experience. And for a sad ballad, Hirao made quite the galloping melody which contrasted interestingly with Chan's characteristically sing-song vocals.


"Ai no Mayoigo" peaked at No. 2 on Oricon and ended up as the 19th-ranked single for 1975. The song was also able to have Agnes appear on the annual Kohaku Utagassen for a 3rd straight time. It would be her final time at the Kohaku, though, since the next year, she would start studying social child psychology at the University of Toronto for the next couple of years although that apparently didn't stop her output of singles. In terms of her singing career in Japan, I think the heyday most likely started fading from that point but obviously she's been able to go on to bigger and better things since then such as a UNICEF ambassadorship, a professorship and appearances as the occasional tarento.

6 comments:

  1. Wow after more than 15 years I found this beautiful song again!! A song from my childhood (well I was born in the 80s). My dad brought a lot of vinyl records of J-Pop (and chocolates too) evertime he came back from Japan. Through a chinese friend (who is able to recognice kanji) I found Agnes Chan with this song (Ai No Mayoigo) on YouTube (awesome!!!). Unfortunately I can't find the other song from the side B (Magokoro). Can somebody help me to find the song and maybe the lyrics from both song? (I don't speak Japanese but I like to sing these songs hehe).

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    Replies
    1. Hello there.

      I'm glad that you could find the song after so many years. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a recording of "Magokoro" online anywhere but I could find the lyrics for both songs here in their original Japanese:

      http://www.agneschan.net/thread-3380-1-1.html

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    2. Hey cool, thanks!!! Do you know how I can read it in Romaji so I can do Karaoke? ;)

      Greets

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    3. Hello again. I can provide you with the romaji below for the two songs. BTW, I've asked commenters off and on about how they got started with their hobby in listening to Japanese music and what they have enjoyed over the years. In your case, who have been your favourite singers along with Agnes Chan?

      Ai no Mayoigo

      Kogarashi ni makesounano
      Senaka ni anata no koe ga
      Ima mo kikoeteru samui sora

      Damatteta no wa ureshisa
      Kamishimeteta no ni anata
      Kaero ka nante amari totsuzen

      Tasuke ni kite konna kimochi de
      Kaerenai ima sunao ni
      Daisuki desu to ieru no desu

      Kareha wo hiroou toshite
      Otoshita namida de wakaru
      Hitori bocchi da to kaze no naka

      Shinpai bakari kazoete
      Shiawase ga yokumuichau
      Ai ni kakete yuku yuuki kudasai

      *Kono tsuki au watashi wo mitete
      Kawarimasu ai ga hitotsu
      Sekai hirogete kureta no desu

      *repeat

      Magokoro

      “Genki da” to kaita
      Anata no tegami wo
      Samishiku uketoru
      Naze ka kono koro

      Kawaranai ai wo
      Yomi torou toshite
      Ichiji mo nokosazu
      Mitsumeteimasu

      Aitai dakedo
      Au no ga kowai
      Are kara ichi nen
      Anata wa soko de
      Watashi wa koko de
      Tsukihi wa sugi masu


      Magokoro wo komete
      Henji wo kakimasu
      Mainichi wa futsu
      Dakedo kokoro ga
      Himashi ni shinpori
      Shinpai na no desu
      Anata ni nani ka ga
      Okita no ka to

      * Aitai dakedo
      Au no ga kowai
      Are kara ichi nen
      Anata wa soko de
      Watashi wa koko de
      Tsukihi wa sugi masu

      *Repeat

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    4. Arigato gozaimasu!! I sing it all the time now hehe..

      Hmmm I like also one other song, but unfortunately I don't know what the title was nor the sanger (a girl). The song has a cheerfull melody a tempo like Ai No Mayoigo. It was from the late 70s I think. I didn't know what the text was about but I sang it under the shower in my childhood. Since I left my beloved tropical island for the world, I left all my records at home. I'll ask my dad to take pictures of the records, so I can hear them again here (In Germany I barely hear J-Pop).

      I like some mangas theme songs such Doraemon, Sailor moon etc. One Japanese sanger I knew from highschool time was Masaki Ueda. He sang a duet with an indonesian diva, Reza. The song was in Bahasa Indonesia,"Biar Menjadi Kenangan".

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    5. Hello again.

      Well, if you do find out about those old songs from your records, let us know. "Doraemon" and "Sailor Moon" are old favourites of mine along with Akira Toriyama's "Dr Slump" (before "Dragonball"). As for Masaki Ueda, there are two entries for him on the blog which you can check out in the Labels to your right.

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