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.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Eiichi Ohtaki -- Waga Kokoro no Pinball(我が心のピンボール)


A fellow by the name of TioPervs asked for a translation of the song for this article, "Waga Kokoro no Pinball" (Pinball of My Heart) so I decided to kill two birds with one stone, and provide my thoughts on this rumbling song of frustration and what I hope is an accurate translation. Let me know what you think.

"Waga Kokoro no Pinball" is a track on Eiichi Ohtaki's(大滝詠一)famous "A Long Vacation" album from 1981. Composed by Ohtaki and written by his old bandmate from Happy End, Takashi Matsumoto(松本隆), it's about that fellow lamenting that rejection from a woman he likes. As the title reflects, his heart simply seems to get banged off the bumpers of life and romance to inevitably head down to the bottom hole. Urgh! How many of us have been in that situation? Well, my hand is up.

The first few bars sound as if Ohtaki is heading into a guitar love ballad until things rev up into a melody that sounds oddly comical as if Charlie Brown is the one who's gonna get his heart stomped into pasta sauce by the Little Red-Haired Girl. Then the singer goes into his lament of love with a combination of growls and falsetto high notes as if he's weaving between "Oh, woe is me!" and "How dare you?!". Perhaps he's using the song to purge all that frustration.

Anyways, as requested:

A shy guy writes a love song
And plays the cassette in a room of wind
The audience is just you, there's no one else
That's the TILT of love, it's a little too merry
What's been screwed up is my dream
My heart is sobbing

When you streamed your fingers through your light hair
"Uh...tonight I forgot to wash my hair..."
That cold rejection from your gentle back
That's the TILT of love...even if I forget
When I remember, I smile wryly
My heart is sobbing

Even if the words "I love you" don't come to you
You can't share your feelings alone
You haven't forgiven anyone since then
That's the TILT of love...suddenly
You have even avoided meeting me
My heart is sobbing

As for the third stanza immediately above, I had assumed that it was the rejected suitor as the subject but now I think it may be the target of his love getting some angry/sad accusations. In addition, that 「風の部屋」"room of wind" from the first stanza had me scratching my head. The original lyrics and their romaji equivalent can be found at this Vietnamese website:

But basically the poor fellow has gone to the mat for this lady even to the point of taping his own love song only to get the the most damning excuse from her. In any case, I think the guy really needs some loyal friends to take him to the nearest dining establishment for a good stiff drink and lots of comfort food. Then again, the guy might just be an annoying stalker.

(instrumental only)

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