A Bit Like You And Me Radio

September 10, 2012

Kyu Sakamoto - Ue o Muite Arukō (1961)

Born in 1941 in Kawasaki, Japan, this artist is remembered for singing the only Japanese song to reach the top of the Billboard charts. When he was only two and a half years old, he and his family fled the bombings of Tokyo occurring during World War II. As a teenager, he joined a Japanese band, known as The Drifters, until internal strife led to him parting ways. After the success of his major solo hit, heard below, he embarked on a worldwide tour that eventually spawned a decently successful follow-up single and full-length album. In 1985, he died in the crash of Japanese Airlines Flight 123, the worst single-aircraft accident in human history.

Originally titled “Ue o Muite Arukō, or “I Look Up When I Walk,” this song was written by lyricist Rokusuke Ei and composer Hachidai Nakamura. When the British owner of Pye Records, Louis Benjamin, visited Japan, he heard the song multiple times during his trip and decided to bring it back with him to England. He chose to have the song renamed to "Sukiyaki" so that it would be both easier to pronounce and still sound distinctly Japanese. The new name, as seen above, had absolutely no relation to the lyrics of the song, as it is the name of a Japanese food dish. Released in the United States in 1963 with its new name, the song went to number one.

album art

Kyu Sakamoto - Ue o Muite Arukō (1961)

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Lyrics:

Japanese Lyrics English Lyrics

Ue o muite arukou
Namida ga kobore nai you ni
Omoidasu haru no hi
Hitoribotchi no yoru

Ue o muite arukou
Nijinda hoshi o kazoete
Omoidasu natsu no hi
Hitoribotchi no yoru

Shiawase wa kumo no ue ni
Shiawase wa sora no ue ni

Ue o muite arukou
Namida ga kobore nai you ni
Nakinagara aruku
Hitoribotchi no yoru

Omoidasu aki no hi
Hitoribotchi no yoru

Kanashimi wa hoshi no kage ni
Kanashimi was tsuki no kage ni

Ue o muite arukou
Namida ga kobore nai you ni
Nakinagara aruku
Hitoribotchi no yoru

Hitoribotchi no yoru

I look up as I walk
So that the tears won’t fall
Remembering those spring days
But I am all alone tonight

I look up as I walk
Counting the stars with tearful eyes
Remembering those summer days
But I am all alone tonight

Happiness lies beyond the clouds
Happiness lies up above the sky

I look up as I walk
So that the tears won’t fall
Though the tears well up as I walk
For I am all alone tonight

Remembering those autumn days
But I am all alone tonight

Sadness lies in the shadow of the stars
Sadness lies in the shadow of the moon

I look up as I walk
So that the tears won’t fall
Though the tears well up as I walk
But I am all alone tonight

But I am all alone tonight

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