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ダンス天国

Album: Abracadabra
2020.09.21 Lingua Sounda/Victor


Dance Paradise
Lyrics: Sakurai Atsushi
Music: Hoshino Hidehiko

The sun so bright is dancing
It's glitter glitter dancing
And we are brightly burning1
Burn life up to the limit
Dancing till your sweat scatters sparkling
Ah ha Majority
Can't you feel the proof, baby, that you're alive?
Ah ha Minority

Baby we're a mess2
Glitter glitter bright3
When you shake your hips yeah
Around the world Dance Paradise
Ooh come and dance
Hands on that Forbidden Fruit
Fill your cheeks up4

Ephemeral and impetuous
Ah ah and devilish
All things must pass, all is vanity5
Ah ha the riff-raff

You could be a girl
You could be a boy
No it doesn't matter which one
Around the world Dance Paradise
Aha? What about that babe?6
Glitter glitter bright
When you shake your hips yeah
Around the world Dance Paradise
Ooh come and dance
Hands on that Forbidden Fruit
Fill your mouth up

Just like that 
Shake It Shake Hip 
Come on let's dance
Sticking to your lips
Mashed potato7
Give me that please
Yeah that's good
Shake It Shake Hip
Come on keep it up
On my fingertips
Mashed potato
Suck it off me

Aha you could be a girl
You could be a boy
No it doesn't matter which one
Around the world Dance Paradise
Poo-fee? What about that babe?8
Glitter glitter bright
When you shake your hips yeah
Around the world Dance Paradise
Ooh come and dance
Hands on that Forbidden Fruit
Fill your cheeks up

Note on the title: "Dance Tengoku" is the Japanese translation of the title of Chris Kenner's 1962 single "Land of a Thousand Dances." This song became a classic and was recorded by numerous arists, notably Cannibal & the Headhunters, who added the "na na na na" hook that made the song a ubiquitous earworm for all time. Arguably the most famous version of the song is Wilson Pickett's 1966 version, which was released the same year as Mr. Sakurai's birth, but when questioned in Rock & Read issue 91 about his inspiration for Buck-Tick's "Dance Tengoku," Sakurai mentioned the 1965 version recorded by The Walker Brothers - probably he encountered this version because of his interest in British music. The original lyrics to "Land of a Thousand Dances" mention 16 different dances (though the lyrics differ slightly in the cover versions). One of the dances mentioned is the Mashed Potato, a dance craze that swept America in 1962, the same year that "Lond of a Thousand Dances" was released. The lyrics also contain the line, "Do the Watusi/With my little Lucy" - which begs the question of whether this is (one of) the places Imai pulled the name Lucy from for "Sophia Dream" (reportedly, Hoshino finished writing all his songs for Abracadabra while Imai was just getting started). While the interviewer remarked in Rock & Read that "the original 'Land of a Thousand Dances' was less explicit [than Buck-Tick's version]," this is most certainly not the case. "Land of a Thousand Dances" is, if anything, even dirtier than Buck-Tick's version - every single dance move mentioned in the song is a naked metaphor for sex (lol). But don't take our word for it, go listen to it for yourself.

Sakurai also said that of this song, "This is like Mishima Yukio's Confessions of a Mask. In the last scene, the male protagonist rapturously admires the muscular body of another man." Mishima Yukio was one of the most famous Japanese authors of the 20th century, and Confessions of a Mask was his breakout novel. Highly autobiographical, the novel narrates the life of a young gay man who struggles to fit into the hyper-masculinity of the right-wing militarism and imperialism of 1930's and 1940's Japan. It contained many elements that were lifted from Mishima's own experience, cementing Mishima's status as a queer writer (though Mishima himself later became enamored of that same hyper-masculine nationalism). On the queer element of "Dance Tengoku," Sakurai told Barks Music, "These days... how can I say it? There are all kinds of types of men and women, I just wanted to write an up-tempo song that says, instead of discriminating, what does it matter which is which? Let's just have fun and dance."

1) The word in this line, "moetsukite yarou," literally means, "let's burn out," with the nuance of burning all one's fuel, or burning a candle to the bottom, not accidentally, but powerfully and deliberately. The implied meaning is, burn bright and live life to the fullest until you die. I translated these two lines the way I did to underline the fact that this is a life-affirming, empowering statement. "Let's burn out" sounds too morose.

2) This phrase, "dou shiyou mo nai," literally means "there's nothing to be done." It is also often used to refer to someone who won't listen or doesn't care, because they're in their own world, too drunk/high to give a shit, etc.

3) I deliberately translated this line with the same phrasing as the similar lines in "Que Sera Sera Elegy." Imai claims that he and Sakurai didn't coordinate any lyrics, but it looks to me like Imai liften numerous phrases from this song to re-incorporate into his own lyrics for Abracadabra, so I wanted to highlight that continuity in the translation.

4) The word here, "hoobaru," literally means "stuff your cheeks," but there is also a very intentional sexual double-entendre going on here, which continues later in the song. To highlight this, I translated the line before this one as "hands on the Forbidden Fruit." The mention of "forbidden fruit" ties in nicely with the imagery in "Kemono-tachi no Yoru" and "Datenshi."

5) Both four-kanji phrases in this line, "shogyou mujou" ("all things must pass") and "shikisoku zekuu" ("all is vanity," or "all matter is void") are classic Buddhist aphorisms. Memorize these and impress your Japanese friends!

6) The gender of the "babe" in this line is deliberately left ambiguous in the Japanese, so naturally I left it that way in English, as well. The Japanese phrase, "ano ko," is the same as the phrase in "Kemono-tachi no Yoru," which is the next track on the album, and is also themed around lots of people dancing and having fun. 

7) As mentioned in the note on the title, the Mashed Potato is one of the dances referred to in the lyrics to "Land of a Thousand Dances," which served as one of the inspirations for this song. Sakurai stated in Rock & Read 91, "There's no special meaning. I just liked that it's something meaningless that sounds sexual."

8) As in the previous note, Sakurai said that he didn't mean anything specific by "poo-fee," and simply intended it as an expression of glee let loose.





ダンス天国
作詞:櫻井敦司
作曲:星野英彦

太陽踊ろう ギラギラ踊ろう
燃え尽きてやろう 命の限り
汗が飛び散るキラめく Ah ha Majority
生きている証だろう Ah ha Minority

どうしようも無い ギラギラね
腰を振ればそう 世界中ダンス天国
さあ踊ろう 禁断の実を ほうら 頬張って

刹那的 衝動的 Ah ha 悪魔的
諸行無常 色即是空 Ah ha 有象無象

女でも 男でも 
どっちでもいいのさ 世界中ダンス天国
アッハ? あの子はどう? ギラギラね
腰を振ればそう 世界中ダンス天国
さあ踊ろう 禁断の実を ほうら 口いっぱい

その調子 Shake It Shake Hip 踊りましょう
唇に マッシュポテト それ頂戴
いい感じ Shake It Shake Hip 続けましょう
指先に マッシュポテト しゃぶりつけ

女でも 男でも 
どっちでもいいのさ 世界中ダンス天国
プッフィ? あの子はどう? ギラギラね
腰を振ればそう 世界中ダンス天国
さあ踊ろう 禁断の実を ほうら 頬張って



Dance Tengoku
Lyrics: Sakurai Atsushi
Music: Hoshino Hidehiko

Taiyou odorou     giragira odorou
Moetsukite yarou     inochi no kagiri
Ase ga tobichiru kirameku     Ah ha Majority
Ikiteiru akashi darou     Ah ha Minority

Doushiyou mo nai     giragira ne
Koshi wo fureba sou     sekaijuu dansu tengoku
Saa odorou     kindan no mi wo     houra     hoobatte

Setsunateki     shoudouteki     Ah ha     akumateki
Shogyou mujou     shikisoku zekuu     Ah ha     uzou muzou

Onna de mo     otoko de mo
Docchi de mo ii no sa     sekaijuu dansu tengoku
Ahha?     Ano ko wa dou?     Giragira ne
Koshi wo fureba sou     sekaijuu dansu tengoku
Saa odorou     kindan no mi wo     houra     kuchi ippai

Sono choushi     Shake It Shake Hip     odorimashou
Kuchibiru ni     masshu poteto     sore choudai
Ii kanji     Shake It Shake Hip     tsuzukemashou
Yubisaki ni     mashhu poteto     shaburitsuke

Onna de mo     otoko de mo
Docchi de mo ii no sa     sekaijuu dansu tengoku
Puffi?     Ano ko wa dou?     Giragira ne
Koshi wo fureba sou     sekaijuu dansu tengoku
Saa odorou     kindan no mi wo     houra     hoobatte