Songs and related Episodes

(79) Mistranslation into Japanese (volume 2)@Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise
in Japanese


Oscar Hammerstein II
(1895-1960)

If I translate back a Japanese title of this song into English, it may be like grefreshingly, like a morning sunrisehcwho and how can put so? So many of Japanese people regard it a grefreshingly / gentle / happyhsong and like to sing it even though they donft know the the plot of this song.

When I just started this site, I advertised for a volunteer translator and an English teacher living in Hokkaido emailed me. She enjoyed translating my articles and emailed me every night for a whilec and now we sometimes exchange emails. She says that my articles here help her a lot when she wants to know something to sing standard jazz. On the sixth anniversary of this site she emailed me to tell gHappy Birthday!h

At that time she also wrote about the next task of her repertory. Her pianist suggested her to play gSoftly, as in the morning sunriseh and they were going to do it. This song comes from the opera gNew Moon (1927)horganized by Hammerstein and Romberg and many know this tune, but she wrote that it was hard to find the versions with vocals.

It canft be helped because few sing it. June Christy and Helen Merrill released CDs but most of them are vocal less, instrumental versions. I like modern adlibs by Oscar Peterson, on the last stage in Japan (the ad said so) and his friend John Hicks.

I wonder how she managed this songcitfs a difficult one to sing, and at the same time, the story of its lyric is terrible... I hope that she understand what this song means because she is an English teacherc

Softly as in the morning sunrise the light of love comes stealing into a new born day
Flaming with all the glow of sunrise a burning kiss is sealing the vow that all betray
For the passions that thrill love will lift you high to heaven Are the passions that kill love and let you fall to hell
So ends each story
Softly as in the evening sunset the love that gave you glory will take it all away

Oscar wrote sochey, Mr. Hammerstein, what mood were you in when you wrote this?! cwell, itfs not my business.

Trans. by Kisshi


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