YAPOOS – GNATS [HAMUSHI] (2003)

lyrics by JUN TOGAWA | music by NOBUO NAKAHARA

I struggled with how exactly to translate the title to this one – hamushi (羽虫) can refer to both flying bugs that bite in general, and also specifically to biting lice (‘bird lice’). I think gnat is general enough of a term in that it covers many kinds of small flying insects that bite.

This song plays with a more prose-y style, like the as-yet unposted “(something extra),” rather than traditional poetic verse. There’s a bit of old Japanese orthography in the lyrics, but it’s nothing too hard to understand.

Translation and notes under the cut:

A wicked fever brought by
Gnats of shape unknown
The boy, sun-tanned legs stretching from his breeches,
Receives it through his legs, and is bedridden.

Father said that to sweat a lot is good,
And put many layers of underwear on me beneath my kimono
The pears I ate inside the futon, which seemed be boiling, were delicious.
But just staying motionless has its own great hardships.
I should not be praised, and I should not receive any tips.
(Hahaha. This is a joke.)
I want to get better soon.
A casual glance reveals the pests by my pillow from last night have dried up.

His fever never went down.

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