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Since I named this blog "音の帯〜Phonon Belt," I figured it was about time to translate the song from which I took that title. It's one of my favorites, obviously.

平沢進 - "Phonon Belt"

また嵐が来ると
塔のメガホンが叫ぶ キー!と
越境の橋の近く

山にかかる雲は無意味
百日も吹かれヒュー!と
永遠のように動かず

明日はわが身と泣く
道の群集にだけ降る ザー!と
天変の予言の雨

木々を通る風は無意味
千年も流れ ゴー!と
一瞬に花を揺らし

あの音が来る 旋律に キミを見せ
あの音が来る 明暗を キミに預けに

遠く暗がりを裂き
軍勢のごとき音の帯
遥か過去から来る
旋律にキミを見せ

また津波が来ると
塔のメガホンが叫ぶ ギー!と
分断の河の近く

街の広場に立つ
無数の群集は消える シュー!と
簡単な問いの後に

あの音が来る 旋律に キミを見せ
あの音が来る 明暗を キミに預けに

遠く暗がりを裂き
軍勢のごとき音の帯
遥か過去から来る
旋律にキミを見せ

遠く暗がりを裂き
明暗をキミに預けに
遥か過去から来る
旋律にキミを見せ



Hirasawa Susumu - "Phonon Belt"

Mata arashi ga kuru to
Tou no megahon ga sakebu kii! to
Ekkyou no hashi no chikaku

Yama ni kakaru kumo wa muimi
Hyakunichi mo fukare hyuu! to
Eien no you ni ugokazu

Asu wa waga mi to naku
Michi no gunshuu ni dake furu zaa! to
Tenpen no yogen no ame

Kigi o tooru kaze wa muimi
Sennen mo nagare goo! to
Isshun ni hana o yurashi

Ano oto ga kuru senritsu ni kimi o mise
Ano oto ga kuru meian o kimi ni azuke ni

Tooku kuragari o saki
Gunzei no gotoki oto no obi
Haruka kako kara kuru
Senritsu ni kimi o mise

Mata tsunami ga kuru to
Tou no megahon ga sakebu gii! to
Bundan no kawa no chikaku

Machi no hiroba ni tatsu
Musuu no gunshuu wa kieru shuu! to
Kantan na toi no ato ni

Ano oto ga kuru senritsu ni kimi o mise
Ano oto ga kuru meian o kimi ni azuke ni

Tooku kuragari o saki
Gunzei no gotoki oto no obi
Haruka kako kara kuru
Senritsu ni kimi o mise

Tooku kuragari o saki
Gunzei no gotoki oto no obi
Haruka kako kara kuru
Senritsu ni kimi o mise




Hirasawa Susumu - "Phonon Belt"


"Another storm is coming!"
Cry the megaphones on the tower with a screech1
Near the border-crossing bridge

The clouds hanging about the mountain are meaningless
Blown about for a hundred days with a whoosh
But as unmoving as eternity

The rain only pours down on the crowd
Wailing in the streets, "We might be next!"
A rain foretelling a natural disaster

The wind blowing through the trees is meaningless
Flowing by for a thousand years with a roar
But shaking the flowers for a mere instant

That sound comes  Revealing you in its melody
That sound comes  To entrust light and dark2 to you

Rending the faraway darkness
A belt of sound3 like that of an army4
Comes from the distant past
Revealing you in its melody

"Another tsunami is coming!"
Cry the megaphones on the tower with a creak
Near the river of division

The innumerable crowds
Standing in the town square vanish in a flash
After a simple query

That sound comes  Revealing you in its melody
That sound comes  To entrust light and dark to you

Rending the faraway darkness
A belt of sound like that of an army
Comes from the distant past
Revealing you in its melody

Rending the faraway darkness
To entrust light and dark to you
It comes from the distant past
Revealing you in its melody


Lots of Translation Notes:
1. Words like "screech" and "whoosh" throughout the song might sound a bit awkward, but the original Japanese is full of onomatopoeia/sounds effects (which are used MUCH more commonly in Japanese than in English). The most natural translation would probably leave them out, but I tried to fit in a sound effect here and there just because it's such a striking feature of the original song.

2. 明暗 (meian) literally means "light and dark," but can also mean "light" and "dark" aspects of something, like "success and failure" or "happiness and unhappiness." There's a phrase, 明暗を分ける, which literally means "to separate light and dark" but generally is used to mean something like "to decide the winner and the loser/the good and the bad" or (more broadly) "to decide the outcome." So you could also translate that part of the lyrics as "That sound comes to entrust the outcome to you" or "That sound comes to place the outcome in your hands." But I wasn't sure if that was exactly what was meant, so I went with "light and dark" in the sense that "That sound comes to entrust both the good and the bad to you."

3. "Belt of sound" is what the lyrics say, but Mr. Hirasawa entitled the song "Phonon Belt." Check out these definitions of "phonon", if (like me) you are unfamiliar with the term. Basically a phonon is a quantum of sound that travels through solid matter, while a photon is a quantum of light that travels through space.

4. Just to point out another way Mr. Hirasawa cleverly plays with words: the word I translated as "army" is 軍勢 (pronounced gunzei); the word I translated at "crowd" earlier is 群集 (pronounched gunshuu). While the gun- part of these words are written with entirely different characters, they sound similar and set up a nice comparison between the group of people who form the noisy crowds (gunshuu) and the group of people that would form a noisy army (gunzei).


I'm also curious how this song might connect to "In the Square" (from Aurora (1994)), which talks about people gathering in a town square, and the rest of the songs on Planet Roll Call (2009), which features megaphones prominently on the cover. ^^