Japanese To English

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Is it just me or do certain phrases in conversation lead us to make connections with songs?

Someone was describing a difficult situation to me this week.  During our conversation they said the relationship they were describing was like two people conversing where one is English and one is Japanese.  I think the gist of what they were trying to convey to me was that the individuals in the relationship could talk in the same language, but one of them was not speaking in their native tongue.  The phrase made me think of a song instantly.  I turned to the lyrics after our conversation and it made a lot of sense…

“I went as far as losing sleep.
I went as far as messing up my life.
Unloving still strikes me different.
A million miles away from home
And fifteen from a payphone.

Where we sat lonely on the sand.
Where we sat lonely on the sand.
Where we sat lonely on the sand.
Where we sat lonely on the sand.

You’re ten years older.
We translate Japanese to English
And English to Japanese.

It’s not that simple.
This dictionary
Never has a word
For the way I’m feeling.
And it’s not that plain for me
Of a different God and moral.
What if I
Laid my head down on your stomach?
Or put my mouth to your hand?
I cannot translate
Japanese to English
Or English to Japanese.

What I had to say is unsaid.
What I had to do is undone.
And if it was done,
I’m sure it would have killed our hour
In the sun.

Where we sat lonely on the sand.
Where we sat lonely on the sand.
Where we sat lonely on the sand.
Where we sat lonely on the sand.
Above the water, the awful grey.
Our current from Japan
Didn’t sweep away.”

From “Japanese To English” by Red House Painters.

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