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Japan (日本/Nihon), Japanese (日本語/Nihongo), Pop, Singer-songwriter

“Present” (Rie fu)

YouTube “Present” Rie fu

Present
Rie fu
URBAN ROMANTIC (2009)

今、一人の人が助けを求めている
こんな幸せ暮らし、愛を君にあげたい
あまりにもあっさりと、過ぎないようにと
話したいこと考えよう

いつかより、今を見て
どこかよりも、ここに居て
誰かより君に伝えたい
そんなこと何度も自分に
言い聞かせていたい

君がやるべきことは、もっと大きなこと
人を気にしすぎないで、荷物は軽い方がいい
自分のことは、自分が一番好きでいないと
その気持ち分けられない

いつかより、今を見て
どこかよりも、ここに居て
誰かより君に届けたい
そんなこと何度も自分に
言い聞かせていたい

自分の力では
どうにもならないこと
それを補うものは
いくらでもそばにある

いつかより、今を見て
どこかよりも、ここに居て
誰かより君を想いたい
そんなこと何度も自分に
言い聞かせていたい

Present (Romaji)

Ima, hitori no hito ga tasuke wo motometeiru
Konna shiawase kurashi, ai wo kimi ni agetai
Amarinimo assari to, suginai you ni to
Hanashitai koto kangaeyou

Itsuka yori, ima wo mite
Dokoka yori mo, koko ni ite
Dareka yori kimi ni tsutaetai
Sonnna koto nando mo jibun ni
Iikikasete itai

Kimi ga yarubeki koto ha, motto ookina koto
Hito wo ki ni shisuginaide, nimotsu ha karui hou ga ii
Jibun no koto ha, jibun ga ichiban suki de inai to
Sono kimochi wakerarenai

Itsuka yori, ima wo mite
Dokoka yori mo, koko ni ite
Dareka yori kimi ni todoketai
Sonnna koto nando mo jibun ni
Iikikasete itai

Jibun no chikara de ha
Dou ni mo naranai koto
Sore wo oginau mono ha
Ikura demo soba ni aru

Itsuka yori, ima wo mite
Dokoka yori mo, koko ni ite
Dareka yori kimi wo omoitai
Sonnna koto nando mo jibun ni
Iikikasete itai

Present” (English translation by ORS, 2010)

Right now, one person is asking for help
I want to give you this kind of happy life and love
Without it slipping away too easily
Thinking about what I want to say

Instead of “sometime”, look at right now
Instead of “somewhere”, be right here
Rather than of “someone”, it is you I want to tell
That’s the kind of thing I keep wanting to remind myself

What you should be doing, it’s something much bigger
Don’t let people get to you too much, light luggage is better
If you are not the one who loves yourself the most
That feeling cannot be divided

Instead of “sometime”, look at right now
Rather than “somewhere”, be right here
More than “someone”, it is you I want to get through to
That’s the kind of thing I keep wanting to tell myself

For the things that, by your own power,
You cannot accomplish
There are lots of things to make up for that
Right beside you

Instead of “sometime”, take right now
Rather than “somewhere”, be right here
More than “someone”, it is you I want to think of
That’s kind of thing I keep wanting to remind myself

Vocabulary

求める(motomeru) – to ask for, to petition
幸せ (shiawase) – happiness
暮らし (kurashi) – living, way of living; from verb 暮らす (kurasu), to live, as in an apartment, as opposed to 生きる (ikiru) “to be living” biologically
あまりにも (amarinimo) – so much, too much; so (adj) that…; too (adj) that…
あっさりと (assari to) – easily, simply, lightly
過ぎる(sugiru) – to exceed, be excessive, to pass (time)
伝える (tsutaeru) – to tell, convey, transmit (as in a verbal message)
言い聞かせる (ii kikaseru) – to tell, remind; usually with 自分に (jibun ni, “to oneself”), as in “to remind oneself”
気にする (ki ni suru) – to care about, to concern oneself with, to give a damn about
荷物 (nimotsu) – luggage; literally “burden thing”
気持ち (kimochi) – feeling; literally “spirit carrying/carrier”
分ける (wakeru) – to split, divide; not to be confused with 分かる (wakaru), which carries the meaning “to understand”
届ける (todokeru) – to send, to deliver (like a letter or package)
力 (chikara) – power
どうにもならないこと (dounimo naranai koto) – something that is impossible, that cannot be realized, or that gets you nowhere; literally “in any way / nothing becomes / thing”(no matter how you do it, nothing becomes it)
補う (oginau) – to compensate, make up for, to cover for
そば (soba) – the side, nearby; a homonym of そば、the buckwheat noodle
想う (omou) – to think about in a fantasizing way; a homonym and ideogram relative of 思う (omou), “to think about” (in the typical sense of having a thought or opinion)

Grammar

1. より (yori) and よりも (yori mo) : Comparisons, Contrasts
A common way to make a “A is greater than B” comparison or contrast  in Japanese is the pattern B より (yori) A . よりも (yori mo) with the added も (mo, “also”) is often added for emphasis. In English, we use the constructions “more than”, “rather than”, “instead of”, “as opposed to”, etc. The chorus contains 3 main examples:

a.いつかより、今… (itsuka yori, ima…)
Lit, “sometime より, now”

b.どこかよりも、ここ… (dokoka yori, koko…)
Lit., “somewhere より, here”

c.だれかより、君… (dareka yori, kimi…)
Lit., “someone より, you”

In some cases, though somewhat formal sounding, the pattern is B より A の方が (no hou ga)C, where の方が means “the direction of” and where C is the main noun/verb/adjective.

韓国料理より和食の方がおいしいです。
(kankoku ryouri yori, washoku no hou ga oishii desu)

B=韓国料理 (kankoku ryouri, “Korean cuisine”)
A=和食 (washoku, “Japanese food”)
C=おいしい (oishii, “tasty”)

Literally, “Korean cuisine より Japanese food の方が tasty”.
More naturally “Japanese food is tastier than Korean cuisine”.

In some cases, the B can be dropped, letting the phrase begin with より (yori). The suggestion can be either “more in general”or specific to the immediate context. For example:

よりまじめな人になりたい。 (Yori majime na hito ni naritai)
I would like to become a more serious person. (“In general, or in comparison to the person I am now”)


2. From Question Words to Indefinite Pronouns

In English, we tend to separate question words (who, what, where, when, why, which, how, etc) from indefinite pronouns (someone, anything, nowhere, whenever, etc…), but in Japanese these grammar are closely linked and easy to use.

Tae Kim’s Guide to Learning Japanese gives a nice summary here, but just to summarize:

Question word:
Who 誰 (dare)
What 何 (nani)
Where どこ (doko)
When いつ (itsu)
Why なぜ (naze); なんで (nande); どして (doshite)
Which どれ (dore)
How どう (dou), どの (dono)

Selective“some-“ : add –か (ka)
Extreme“every-, no-” : add –も (mo)
Open“any-“ : add –でも (demo)

Here are the examples from the song:

いつかより、今 (“not sometime, now”) 
どこかよりも、ここ (“not somewhere, here”)
誰かより、君 (“not someone, you”)
何度も自分に言い聞かせていたい (“countless times I want to remind myself”)
どうにもならないこと (“thing that is impossible no matter how/what”)
いくらでもそばにある (“any number by your side”)


3.自分 (jibun) : the self

Somewhat vaguely, the word 自分 (jibun, “self”) is used a lot in Japanese to refer to both the self of the speaker (“I did it myself”) and the self of the other party (“Do it yourself”, “He did it himself”). While the corresponding pronouns can be added for clarification in Japanese, typically they are dropped and the meaning is gleaned from context. This construction is very different from English and related languages. Some examples from the song:

a.そんなこと何度も自分に言い聞かせていたい
(sonna koto nandomo jibun ni iikikasete itai)
Lit: that type of thing / countless times / to 自分 / want to remind
Because volition is indicated in the verb (-たい) and based on the context of the chorus, it is clear that 自分 refers to “myself”, rendering: “I want to remind myself countless times of that type of thing”

b.自分のことは、自分が一番好きでいないと。。。
(jibun no koto ha, jibun ga ichiban suki de inai to…)
Lit: 自分’s thing / 自分 / number one like / if not
Here is it not immediately clear if 自分 is the speaker’s self (myself) or the listener’s self (“yourself”) or the general “one’s self”, but from the context and flow, I think it is best as: “If you are not the one who most likes yourself…“

c.自分の力では、どうにもならないこと、
(jibun no chikara de ha, dounimo naranai koto,)
Lit: 自分’s power / via / the things that cannot be accomplished
Again it’s not immediately clear if it “yourself” or the general “one’s self”, but by context we can say: “The things which cannot be done by your own power”


Chords:

Intro: D A G F# Bm Bm/F#m G G A/G D
Verse part 1: D A Bm F#m
G Em D A
F#m G A Bm
G A D
Verse part 2: Bm G A Bm
D A G
G -> A
Chorus: D A G D
Bm F#m G A
D A G F#
Bm F#m G (A)  D

Discussion

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