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.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Yukihide Takekawa -- Happiness (ハピネス)

It's been a year in which we've received a lot of sad news of famous musicians passing so it's rather nice when I hear good news...and so very close to home. I just found out that one of our former contributors on "Kayo Kyoku Plus", alina, got married today. I sent my congratulations over to her and wish her and her spouse all the best.

As a result, I was rather thinking about what I could do to pay tribute to the occasion.I went over to the search engine and punched in for any information on wedding-related kayo. Well, there was actually quite a lot of entries and was thinking about one postwar song but feeling that might be a bit old for alina (she was doing a lot of the 70s and 80s songs), I decided to tighten my search for the appropriate era.

Fortunately, I didn't have to look too far. I came across a lovely and mellow tune by Yukihide Takekawa (タケカワユキヒデ) who was the lead vocal of the folk-pop group Godiego (ゴダイゴ) back in the 1970s. I was surprised to find out that he had actually launched his solo career a year (1974) before his band got started.

His 6th single, "Happiness" was officially released in May 1979 with added English lyrics by Yoko Narahashi(奈良橋陽子)although apparently Takekawa and original lyricist Keisuke Yamakawa(山川啓介)had created the song back in 1975 as a track for his debut album, "Hashirisaru Roman"(走り去るロマン...Passing Pictures)with the Japanese title of "Bokura no Shiawase" (ぼくらのしあわせ...Our Happiness). I'm taking a guess here but I think this one that I've imported is the 1979 edition. And it starts off with a lovely piano before launching into a hopeful melody.

According to the J-Wiki article on "Happiness", although the lyrics contain a message about a couple progressing from the friend stage to walking down the aisle, Takekawa has stated that the song wasn't especially intended to be used for wedding receptions but as a tune telling listeners that they have yet to find true happiness so they have to get on the search. The 1979 edition, by the way, has the other Godiego members participating in the chorus so basically this can be a Godiego song but I will still give credit where it's due and say it is Takekawa's baby.

"Happiness" was also used as a jingle for a Suntory beer commercial in 1979 since of course beer can lead to happiness (at least until the hangover kicks in). Plus, copious amounts are often imbibed at wedding receptions on both sides of the Pacific.

As for that postwar song, I was impressed enough by it that I will talk about it tomorrow. But until then, all the best, alina!

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