GUERNICA – OUR BICYCLES SING [GINRIN WA UTAU] (1982)

lyrics by KEIICHI OHTA | music by KOJI UENO

Guernica’s first and only single. The song was used in a commercial for the carbonated lemon-lime soda “Sweet Kiss” at the time of its release.

The word used in the song’s title, ginrin, is an archaic word for bicycle that literally means ‘silver rings.’ There isn’t an equivalent in English – bicycle has been used since the 1800s – so I decided to just use ‘bicycle.’

Translation and notes are under the cut:

When the two of us in line
Take off on our bikes
The light filtering between the leaves
Hits our spokes and they glisten
How one holds the handlebars
Is a skill in and of itself
We weave our way though the trees
And as we take the mountain road
The gentle breeze
Blows our neckerchiefs
And when we sing
It becomes clear
That that’s your song
And this is my song

La la la
Faster, faster
We’ll go even faster
And ring our bells
So, shall we go?

When the two of us in line
Take off on our bikes
The small birds sing too
As nature breathes with them
Pushing lightly on the pedal
We steadily rush ahead
And once the hill is climbed
We’re able to see far away
We’re able to see our village
And how small it looks
We can talk about dreams
Our futures
That that’s your dream
And this is my dream

La la la
Faster, faster
We’ll go even faster
And ring our bells
So, shall we go?

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