FURUIDO – JOHNNY THE DRUNKARD [NONDAKURE JOHNNY] (1975)

lyrics and music by REICHI NAKAIDO

Furuido (Old water-well) were a blues-folk duo formed in 1971, disbanding in 1979. They saw moderate commercial success in their heyday, and a few of their songs have gone on to become classics in their own right. The ‘mastermind’ of the group, Nakaido Reichi, is also famous for his association with rock band RC Succession, which were major forces in 80s rock in Japan. They covered this song as well, but it doesn’t have quite the appeal the original does. Perhaps, though, the group is most famous in the West for providing the OP to the anime Akagi. Which is pretty good, if you like mahjong, and even if you don’t.

Translation and notes under the cut:

At the wing of the stage
Plenty of booze has been prepared
Johnny the Drunkard(1)
Comes out onto the stage
He plays his girlfriend’s song
For their sake
Playing the blues
Playing the blues
That guy, he
Does it again tonight

His boss, with a worried face
Seems shocked
Tomorrow, should he slit that
Fucker’s throat? But for now
He plays his mother’s song
To the distant night sky
Playing the blues
Playing the blues
That guy, he
Does it again tonight

Tomorrow – what city will he play?
How dare he keep singing?
Johnny the Drunkard

The glow of the stage
Has totally gone out
And Johnny the Drunkard
Comes down from his place
Where he sleeps tonight
Is his girlfriend’s chest
With just a lullaby
With just a lullaby
He’s already dreaming

Tomorrow – what city will he play?
How dare he keep singing?
Johnny the Drunkard


1: I see the translation ‘Johnny Blue’ sometimes, but I don’t know where it came from and if it’s an official translation. I’ve used a literal translation of the text for now.

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