モダン・タイムス // Modern Times

Requested by: NemoMentisson

These lyrics are based loosely on the plot of “Kappa”.

If you haven’t read Akutagawa Ryuunosuke’s “Kappa”, it’s definitely worth a read. I believe it comes to an apex at the end of chapter 10 when the (insane) storyteller’s Kappa friend “Rapp” stands in the middle of the street, putting his head to the ground and looking upside down. As it’s very dangerous, the narrator rushes and pulls him back to the side asking what he was doing, and this is his reply: “I have become so depressed that I wanted to try looking at the world upside down. But unfortunately, it was all the same.” – which of course, is the best way to describe the book itself.

If you’ve noticed, Nitori’s theme is titled “Akutagawa Ryuunosuke’s Kappa” and many aspects of her (not all) are based by how Akutagawa defined them (such as her being a very skilled mechanic, and also Kappa camouflage).

Notes:
The first two stanzas, before the ~~~~~~, are not sung – they are the prelude for the song.

“where common sense was turned on its head” – original: “where (their version of) common sense, was (to me) ‘un-common sense'” I thought of translating “where their common sense was “a lack thereof” but that would be totally wrong if you think about it, so instead I used a more common and more fitting phrase.

モダン・タイムス
 Modern Times
芥川龍之介の河童~Candid Friend|東方風神録
Vocal+Lyrics: 電子レンジ剛志
Arrange: 平野幸村
Circle: Unlucky Morpheus
Album: Parallelism・α
Event: C82

社会主義の中でネジを回すことに飽き
資本主義に自由と尊厳を求めたが
利益更に追いかけるために課されたのは
ネジを回し、ネジを回し、ネジを回すこと

shakaishugi no naka neji wo mawasu koto ni aki
shihon’shugi ni jiyuu to son’gen’ wo motometa ga
rieki sara ni oikakeru tame ni kasareta no wa
neji wo mawashi, neji wo mawashi, neji wo masasu koto

From a communist society, I tired of turning screws,
Instead seeking freedom and dignity in capitalism, but
In order to chase after ever grander profits, I was
Assigned to turn and turn and turn, ever more screws…

人間社会から逃げるように、僕はひたすら走った

nin’gen’ shakai kara nigeru you ni, boku wa hitasura hashitta

Fleeing from human society, I ran as fast as I could…

~~~~~~

山を越え谷を越えて 辿り着いた不思議な里
常識が「非常識」で 何かすりゃ そら、笑われる

yama wo koe tani wo koete tadoritsuita fushigi na sato
joushiki ga “hijoushiki” de, nani ka surya sora, warawareru

Crossing over mountains and through valleys I reached a strange village
Where common sense was turned on its head, whatever I did, I was laughed at

誕生日やお正月が 重要なのは変わらないが
メスがオスを追うとこは アベコベなようで、そうでもない?

tan’joubi ya oshougatsu ga juuyou na no wa kawaranai ga
mesu ga osu wo ou toko wa abekobe na you de, sou demo nai?

Well, not everything was different; birthdays and the new year were still important,
But females chasing males? Isn’t that completely backwards? …Am I wrong?

日々が大らかに過ぎてく 不自由もないさ
そんな毎日の中 アイツが愚痴をこぼす

hibi ga ooraka ni sugiteku fujiyuu mo nai sa
son’na mainichi no naka aitsu ga guchi wo kobosu

And so days passed by with me in want of nothing,
Though everyday “he” would come and complain:

「働けど 働けど 暮らしは楽にはならない
 わかっているけれど
 それしか出来ない俺達は 結局は 社会の歯車さ」

“hatarakedo hatarakedo kurashi wa raku ni wa naranai
wakatteiru keredo
sore shika dekinai oretachi wa kekkyoku wa shakai no haguruma sa”

“Though I work and I work, my life doesn’t get any easier
It’s nothing I don’t already know,
But for us who can do nothing else, in the end we are but gears of society.”

山を越え谷を越えて 辿り着いた不思議な里
以外とシビアなもので 役に立たなきゃ消されてく

yama wo koe tani wo koete tadoritsuita fushigi na sato
igai to severe na mono de yaku ni tatanakya kesareteku

Crossing over mountains and through valleys I reached a strange village
But one thing was surprisingly severe; if you were no longer useful, you were erased

日々が大らかに過ぎてく ほとんど同じさ
でもね 気付けばいつものアイツの姿がない

hibi ga ooraka ni sugiteku hoton’do onaji sa
demo ne kidzukeba itsumo no aitsu ga sugata ga nai

And so each day passed by all but the same,
Until I realized “he” who always came by was gone

「働けど 働けど 暮らしは楽にはならない
 わかっているけれど
 それすら出来なくなった時は 行き先は みんなの腹の中さ」

“hatarakedo hatarakedo kurashi wa raku ni wa naranai
wakatteiru keredo
sore sura dekinakunatta toki wa ikisaki wa min’na no hara no naka sa”

“Though I work and I work, my life doesn’t get any easier
It’s nothing I don’t already know,
But when we can’t even do that, we have only left to go into the stomachs of everyone else”

社会主義の中でネジを回すことに飽き
資本主義に自由と尊厳を求めたが
利益更に追いかけるために課されたのは
ネジを回し、ネジを回し、ネジを回すこと

shakaishugi no naka neji wo mawasu koto ni aki
shihon’shugi ni jiyuu to son’gen’ wo motometa ga
rieki sara ni oikakeru tame ni kasareta no wa
neji wo mawashi, neji wo mawashi, neji wo masasu koto

From a communist society, I tired of turning screws,
Instead seeking freedom and dignity in capitalism, but
In order to chase after ever grander profits, I was
Assigned to turn and turn and turn, ever more screws…

日々の暮らしに苦しむアイツに比べりゃ
もはや何もしなくて良いアイツは幸せか

hibi no kurashi ni kurushimu aitsu ni kuraberya
mohaya nani mo shinakute ii aitsu wa shiawase ka

Compared to “he” who toiled over each and every day,
Is “he” who no longer has to do anything, happy?

「働けど 働けど 暮らしは楽にはならない
 わかっているけれど
 それしか出来ない俺達は 結局は 社会の歯車さ」

“hatarakedo hatarakedo kurashi wa raku ni wa naranai
wakatteiru keredo
sore shika dekinai oretachi wa kekkyoku shakai no haguruma sa”

“Though I work and I work, my life doesn’t get any easier
It’s nothing I don’t already know,
But for us who can do nothing else, in the end we are but gears of society.”

「働けど 働けど 暮らしは楽にはならない
 わかっているけれど
 それすら出来なくなった時は 行き先は みんなの腹の中さ」

“hatarakedo hatarakedo kurashi wa raku ni wa naranai
wakatteiru keredo
sore sura dekinakunatta toki wa ikisaki wa min’na no hara no naka sa”

“Though I work and I work, my life doesn’t get any easier
It’s nothing I don’t already know,
But when we can’t even do that, we have only left to go into the stomachs of everyone else”

どちらが正解か?

dochira ga seikai ka?

Which is the right answer?


  1. Heh, from the little I could understand, I thought you’d have fun with this one. どうもありがとう!

    まあ、「河童」を詠みたいだけど日本語で詠みたいんだ。もちろんその英訳をようせいしたのでまだまだだよね ^^;

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