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Olly Murs Premieres "Look At The Sky" In Tokyo -- A New Version Of "Sukiyaki" With Lyrics By Yoko Ono

2014年2月20日
Olly MursOlly Murs
(c)TVGroove.com
In 1963, an unprecedented and unrepeated phenomenon occured in the US music industry. A Japanese song sung in its original Japanese language had become the number one hit single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song was "Ue o muite arukō (Sukiyaki)" by Kyu Sakamoto and 50 years after this remarkable accomplishment, the song was given new English lyrics by another internationally known Japanese artist, Yoko Ono, and a new title "Look at the Sky."
Yoko OnoYoko Ono

Released two years earlier in its home country in 1961, the song "Ue o muite arukō" (it means "I’m going to hold my head up as I walk") still holds a very special place in the hearts of the Japanese people. It’s a song that automatically brings tears to the eyes of many listeners. The reason for this may be as simple as the song’s nostalgic and sentimental melody, or it may be the lyrics which understands moments of despair and allows one to be sad, or maybe because it was sung by Sakamoto, a widely adored singer and actor who tragically died of an airplane crash in 1985, or maybe because of the memories it stirs being the song that helped people unite and move forward in the aftermaths of disasters such as the 1995 and 2011 earthquakes.

A song created by the hitmaking duo, lyricist Rokusuke Ei and composer Hachidai Nakamura, "Ue o muite arukō" has been translated into English in the past and covered by artists from various countries over the years. But with its new translation by Ono which is much closer in meaning to the original lyrics, the late composer’s son Rikimaru Nakamura searched for two years for the right artist to sing it. Finally, last November, Nakamura saw Olly Murs perform in Tokyo and was persuaded by Murs’ "friendliness which can transcend borders and cultural differences and his qualities as a superb entertainer" that he should be the one to perform it. Nakamura believes that Murs "will be able to express the true depth of ’Ue o muite arukō’ -- to communicate the melancholy, the solitude, and the hope that lies ahead."
photo by Yoshika Horita

Murs premiered the song at his sold-out live on February 18, his second time to visit and perform in Tokyo. He introduced the tune by saying "I want to do this song very very proud for all of you guys because I know this song means so so much for Japanese people for [its] strength and courage, and that tomorrow’s going to be a better day." The lyrics for the Ono version that Murs sang went something like this:

Look at the sky as you walk through life
So the tears won’t overflow your heart
As you remember the spring day so bright
On this lonely lonely night

Look at the sky as you walk through life
See how the stars blur when your tears flow
As you remember the summer day so bright
On this lonely lonely night

Happiness may seem just out of sight
Beyond the clouds try as we might

Look at the sky as you walk through life
So the tears won’t overflow your heart
As we cry our way down the street
On this lonely lonely night

"Look at the Sky" is expected to be included in Olly Murs’ next album.

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