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.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Hibari Misora -- Hibari no Madorosu-san(ひばりのマドロスさん)

Tonight's "Uta Kon"(うたコン)reminded me that today is the birthday of the Queen of Kayo Kyoku, Hibari Misora(美空ひばり). I think this may be the very first time that I have ever written a song on the blog about Misora that actually landed on her birthday. She would have been 81 years old today.

Well, let's go with a good one. I looked up her article on J-Wiki and found the song that she performed on her first NHK Kohaku Utagassen appearance in 1954 which was the 5th annual show. "Hibari no Madorosu-san" (Hibari's Sailor) was a song released in May of that year, and according to the J-Wiki article, this particular number itself is a special one in that it has been treated as the very first of the "madorosu" kayo (didn't know that there was such a sub-genre). Apparently, Misora would release some more of those sailor-themed tunes along with other singers.

Lyricist Miyuki Ishimoto(石本美由起)and composer Gento Uehara(上原げんと)created "Hibari no Madorosu-san" as a fairly gentle but cheerful song about Misora admiring her favourite sailor on the ship. Considering that the singer was born in the port city of Yokohama, the song was a good fit for her.

According to Nippon Columbia, the recording company responsible for the song, as of 1998, "Hibari no Madorosu-san" sold around 900,000 records. Misora's final appearance on the Kohaku was in 1979 in a special guest capacity, and she performed that very song as the first in a medley. As for the expression madorosu, it originated from the Dutch or Flemish word matroos.

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