BILLIE IDLE – AND AGAIN [SOSHITE, MATA] (2019)

lyrics by POUR LUI | music by KEVIN MARKS

The one and only Cal gave me some money to translate the lyrics to BILLIE IDLE’s new single. I do like the video, which is supposed to be like, a send-up of Heisei-era music programs, and it’s incredibly accurate. To the point that elicits many of the same reactions from me.

I don’t usually translate idol music because it’s not exactly my favorite genre and the idol style of lyrics (a bunch of vaguely connected statements) aren’t exactly my forte but I try my best if it’s for a friend. Also I am an unfortunate Pour Lui stan because I really like the cover of her solo album, and so I will allow it this time.

Translation and notes under the cut:

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YAPOOS – NOT AFRAID OF A FALL FROM GRACE [HAITOKU NANTE KOWAKUNAI] (1988)

Lyrics and music by YOICHIRO YOSHIKAWA

Another track off of Daitenshi no you ni / Like an Archangel. Yoshikawa pulls double duty on this one, writing both the music and the lyrics. Sounds vaguely secret agent-y, with all the talk of passwords and stuff.

Translation and notes under the cut:

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YAPOOS – IRON FLAME [TETSU NO HI] (1988)

lyrics and music by TOSHIRO SENSUI

Another track off of Daitenshi no you ni / Like an Archangel, which remains my least favorite Yapoos album, but the process of translating it has been enlightening, mostly because it’s made me appreciate at the very least the lyrical content of the songs, even if I can’t really vibe to them musically.

Sensui sure does love his metaphors, huh?

Translation and notes under the cut:

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YAPOOS – THEME [1992]

lyrics and music by JUN TOGAWA

It’s Yapoos’ theme song! Essentially a joyous fuck-you to everyone who doubted them or read too far into their music and featuring a kind of questionable English chorus that I’m leaving intact, albeit bolded.

Fun fact: this is one of the few songs that Togawa composed as well as wrote the lyrics to. She usually composed 1-2 songs on each later Yapoos albums, with all the members taking turns writing lyrics and music. I can’t think of any pre-Yapoos songs that she had a hand in writing the music to, but I could be wrong.

Translation and notes under the cut:

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YAPOOS – LIVING IN THE FOREST [MORI NI SUMU] (1988)

lyrics by JUN TOGAWA | music by MITSURU KOTAKI

One of my personal favorite tracks off of Like an Archangel / Daitenshi no You ni, this “Living in the Forest” sees Togawa on home turf, using naturalistic metaphors to describe a depressive, disassociative state in which she becomes one with the forest. The entire song reminds me of the concept of ego death, the flattening of one’s consciousness into their surroundings… Togawa doesn’t state her reasons here (other than that she’s tired), so that’s up to us to figure out. Is it heartbreak? Is it existential anguish? All of the above?

Translation and notes under the cut:

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YAPOOS – VIP ~FROM RUSSIA WITH Y~ (VIP ~ROSHIA YORI Y WO KOMETE~) [1992]

lyrics by JUN TOGAWA | music by NOBUO NAKAHARA

The title to this one is obviously a reference to the James Bond novel and film, From Russia with Love. Y is pronounced as wai in Japanese, and the original title of the Japanese film is Roshia yori ai wo komete, meaning the wai and ai sound alike.

Continuing the secret agent motif that Togawa likes so much, our protagonist now takes center stage in what appears to be a last blast of Soviet-influenced Cold War post-apocalyptic S&M romance.

Translation and notes under the cut:

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YAPOOS – DADADAISM [1992]

lyrics by JUN TOGAWA | music by LION MERRY

It’s about art! What do you expect from a song that name-drops Dada? I’m going to try my best to explain all the references in here, I’m no expert in art history or anything but I like to think I know a bit on the subject.

Translation and notes under the cut:

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