THE BLUE HEARTS – BLUE SKY [AOZORA] (1989)

lyrics and music by MASATOSHI MASHIMA

The Blue Hearts are famous within J-Rock history, mainly for being one of the most popular and influential punk bands in Japanese music history. Not that you could tell this from this song, which is more…country-influenced? Music, while good, doesn’t tend to be the main focus of praise for this song, as it is generally considered to be a protest song against apartheid in South Africa. It tends to get overshadowed by the rest of the Blue Hearts’ catalog, which includes bona fide classics such as “LINDA LINDA” and “TRAIN TRAIN.”

Translation and notes are under the cut:

On the other side of the TV screen (1)
A dashing cavalryman guns an Indian (2) down
With a gun that sparkles in the light
If he could, I wish he would
Gun my depression down as well

I send God a bribe, and he gives back a passport to Heaven
What the hell? Are you serious?
Without a splinter of sincerity
They stand there, laughing
Why don’t you show me the hands you’re hiding?

From the place I was born, and the colors of my eyes and skin
Just what in the world can you understand about me?

Hey, Mr. Bus Driver, won’t you
Let me ride this bus too?
As for the destination, anywhere’s fine
This wasn’t the way it was supposed to be, huh?
History cross-examines me
Underneath a sky so blue,
It dazzles me

From the place I was born, and the colors of my eyes and skin
Just what in the world can you understand about me?

Hey, Mr. Bus Driver, won’t you
Let me ride this bus too?
As for the destination, anywhere’s fine
This wasn’t the way it was supposed to be, huh?
History cross-examines me
Underneath a sky so blue, it dazzles me
Underneath a sky so blue
Underneath a sky so blue


1: The original word used in Japanese is buraun-kan, which refers to a cathode-ray tube in English. I changed it to television because it’s obvious that’s what they’re referring to here, and ‘cathode ray tube’ just doesn’t work the same way in English, I feel.

2. While Indian is not the correct term to use for Native Americans, it is what is used in the original song (via katakana – インディアン) and therefore I am preserving it for accuracy.

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