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, December 21, 2012

Shogo Hamada -- Midnight Flight: Hitori Bocchi no Christmas Eve (ひとりぼっちのクリスマスイヴ)

Unfortunately, this is still someone that I have yet to know really well, and considering his long years in the music business and how many singers he has written for (Momoe Yamaguchi, Akiko Wada, etc.), I think I should. So, if there are any Shogo Hamada(浜田省吾) fans out there, I'm open to suggestion.

At this point, I have just this one wonderful song by him. And although "Midnight Flight: Hitori Bocchi no Christmas Eve"(A Lonely Christmas Eve) is, as the title suggests, a bittersweet ballad of someone having to separate from a loved one by thousands of kilometres over air on December 24th, there seems to be a feeling of some pride and hope throughout, especially in the refrain, as if the separation will not be a permanent one. There will be more Christmas Eves to spend together. And the arrangement of the song seems to hint at a long voyage ahead.

The song was never a released single but a track on his 11th album, "Club Surf & Snowbound" released in June 1987 with a peak ranking of No. 2 on Oricon. However, the version I know is from his 2nd album of all ballads titled "Wasted Tears" released in September 1989 which hit the top spot on the Oricon weeklies and became the 16th-ranked album of the year.

For all those J-Pop fans who are gonna be hitting the skies in a few days, pop this one into your ears.

Friday May 23, 2014

I received a comment from Faruk Ahmet about the song recently, and so I went into the lyrics once more. After going through them, I realized that my earlier statements about them were perhaps somewhat optimistic and slightly inaccurate since it looks like the woman that Hamada sings about has taken off for The Big Apple for perhaps a good amount of time, and the poor man at the airport assumes that the relationship is as good as dead. I felt like picking that guy up at Narita or Haneda and taking him out for a good stiff drink at a nomiya. However, he might be being a bit too morose (after all, he got dumped on Xmas Eve) and perhaps the next year may find some happier times for him and her.

In any case, here are the translated lyrics for "Midnight Flight":

The flight that I put my girl on disappears into the night sky
There's not even a shadow in the airport parking lot
If only I had stopped her and said "Don't go"
The two of us would've been flying down the highway toward the heart of the city

What I've lost is so big
I still can't even feel the pain
A lonely Christmas Eve
A freezing Silent Night
Where do I go from here? I can't see anything below the sky

She'll be living with her sister in New York for a while
I can't bear to be in Tokyo by myself
She'll call only when she wants to see me
I'll only eat, drive and hit the hay

You, who came to believe in only a love without any meaning
You're only scared of truly loving
A lonely Christmas Eve
A freezing Silent Night
The city lights where we thrived together are receding

The rain mixed in with the falling drizzle
Is changing to snow
Nobody is going back to
the waiting place for the people in love (these last two lines I'm not totally sure about)

The golden ring in my pocket that I was planning to give my girl
I'm still clutching it in the palm of my hand even now
A lonely Christmas Eve
A freezing Silent Night
I can't find anyone to take care one at all

Tuesday May 27 2014

And the following is the romaji version of the song:

Ano ko noseta tsubasa, yozora e kiete yuku
Kuukou no chuushajo, mou hitokage mo nai
"Yuku na" to hikitomereba, imagoro futari
Kousoku wo toshin e to hasshiteita hazu

Nakushita mono ga amari ni ooki sugite
Itami wo kanjiru koto sae mo dekinai mama sa
Hitori bocchi no Christmas Eve
Hiesou na Silent Night
Koko kara doko e ikou mou nani mo mienai sora no shita

Imouto to kurasu tsumori shibaraku New York de
Hitori kiri Tokyo de mou ikite yukenai
Aitai toki ni dake denwa kakete kite
Shokuji shite, doraibu shite, beddo ni hairu dake

Katachi no nai ai dake wo shinjite kita anata wa
Honki de ai suru koto osoreteiru dake
Hitori bocchi no Christmas Eve
Hiesou na Silent Night
Futari de ikite kita tokai no akari ga touzakaru

Furidashita mizore majiri no
Ame ga yuki ni kawatte yuku
Dare mo minna aisuru hito no
Matsu basho e to kaette yuku

Poketto no naka ano ko ni okurou to shita Golden Ring
Ima demo te no hira ni nigiri shimeta mama
Hitori bocchi no Christmas Eve
Hiesou na Silent Night
Mou mamoru mono nante mitsukerarenai nani hitotsu


  1. I'd never heard of Hamada-san before but this song was used in the last episode (#6) of "Ping Pong the Animation" to a great, great effect, so while I was looking for the lyrics I happened upon this post. Just wanted to let you know about it and thank you for the additional info.

    Oh, if you ever find the lyrics, let us know about that, too. Cheers!

    1. Hi, Faruk, and thanks for your comments. If you read this, please take a look again at the article since I've added the translated (to the best of my ability) lyrics. Not exactly the happiest story but the song is still beautiful to listen to.

    2. Beautiful song indeed. Here's the scene from Ping Pong I was talking about: Starts off as karaoke then switches to the original. It wouldn't have the same emotional impact for those who don't know the story and the characters of course, but oh well...

      There are also small discrepancies between your translation and the subtitles in the anime—which claims *he* will be the one living in NY instead of her—but yours makes more sense. Thank you!

    3. Hi again, Faruk. I saw the video and although I'd never seen it before, I can guess the situation. I've spent my fair share of Xmases in Japan and there's been that balance of fun and loneliness on Dec. 24.

      As for the translations, when I first wrote the article, my initial understanding had also been that it was the guy who was on the flight. However, my impression had also been quite different. I had thought that it was a boyfriend/husband who had to go on some sort of business trip on Xmas Eve and would have to spend that Xmas away from the girlfriend/wife, but with the reassurance that there would always be next year. Fortunately, you sent me your comments so that I could look at the lyrics more accurately. :)

  2. do you have the orginal japanese lyrics? please :D

    1. Hi, Bjorn. I think I can provide those. Take a look up! :)

      As for the original kanji, you can take a look at:

  3. Hi, I am Y. N. and a big fan of Shogo Hamada. Thank you for introducing him in English and picking up the song “Midnight Flight”. I love this song too. I am afraid my understanding to this song is a little bit different from yours. Mine is:

    This is the story about the poor man and his girlfriend. If the song consists of four parts, the first, third, and fourth parts are written from his point of view and the second part is only written from her point of view. He is married while she is single. They were lovers in Tokyo. She always waited for him to contact her. Even if she was able to see him, they only ate, drove and went to bed (made love). She wanted to live with him under one roof. Finally, she has run out of patience with him and left Tokyo for New York on Xmas Eve to live with her sister for a while. On the other hand, he truly loves her. Sadly, however, he does not believe in the marriage and was not able to respond to her expectations even though he was aware of her true feelings. He gathered up his courage and was planning to give her the golden ring, but it is too late now. He knew that he has lost her at the airport.

    Unfortunately, the separation might be a permanent one. This is a very sad story. The last two lines of the third part might mean “Everybody is going back to the waiting place for the people in love”. I hope this post might be of some help. Anyway, thank you again for picking up Shogo and translating the lyrics (good job!).

    1. Hi, YN. Good to hear from you on "Kayo Kyoku Plus" and thanks very much for your comments.

      Yeah, I've read from some other places that the protagonist or even the point of view differs depending upon the listener. Perhaps it's the "Yojimbo" of Japanese pop tunes. :) The lyrics are indeed sad ones although for those who may not understand Japanese, the music does sound rather chipper.

  4. Can you do more translations of Shogo Hamada's songs?

    1. Hello, Arc.

      Not sure if I have that much time to provide all that many translations for his songs but is there any one in particular that you like?

    2. Tokyo and rising sun.

    3. Hello, Arc.

      "Tokyo" looks interesting for an article. How did you get into Hamada's material, just out of curiosity? And are you interested in other Japanese singers?

    4. My friend listens to his music and I was at his place and checked out his "journey of a songwriter album", I liked some songs on there but didn't pay much attention afterwards. It wasn't until last year when he talked about how excited he was for the jboy anniversary album. I checked that out and really liked it, even though I didn't understand the lyrics. I went and looked at whatever translated lyrics there were on the net and thought this guy's songs has some personality and became a fan since.

      As for other japanese singers, I don't really like much of the modern ones. The jpop girl and boy groups aren't my thing. I do enjoy some enka. Something about the melody stirs feelings that I can't quite put into words. I hate to sound like one of those people who just wouldn't shut up about how modern music sucks but there's just something about 80s music that's quite different from modern music, it's very how should I say...flavourful?

    5. Hello, Arc.

      If you feel that Hamada's songs have personality, then I think you may even appreciate "Tokyo" even more. I've heard the song and it delves more into the underbelly of one of the largest cities on Earth. I'll see about getting that song translated and written up as an article in the next few days.

      I'm also not as much a fan of the J-Pop going into the 2010s as I am of the older stuff. Not sure what it is about the 80s but I discovered my love for music from that decade on both sides of the Pacific. It is quite different from what I hear now.

  5. Thank you for lyrics

    Its really cool


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