Album: I Am Mortal
2015.11.11 cutting edge


Dead Can Dance
Lyrics: Sakurai Atsushi
Music: Miyo Ken

Dancing and we won't stop
Surely this whole world is wanton
Yes in the here and now
Tonight we get lost into the dark

Come and dance with me, give me more yeah
This moment right now, give me more yeah

I can smell it, the smell of a beast
It smells of love, it smells of death

Dancing and we won't stop
Surely we will never again return
That's fine in the here and now
Tonight we melt in the darkness

Come and dance with me, give me more yeah
This second right now, give me more yeah

I can smell it, it's the smell of you
You smell of love, you smell of death

Baby right between your breasts your pulse beating rushing blood
Love eating dance1
Baby baby we're in a trance pounding pounding thrust of your hips
Life eating dance
Love eating dance

To be, or not to be2

Dancing we won't stop anymore
Surely this whole world is insane
That's right here and now, climax
Tonight we dance into the darkness

I can smell it, the smell of a beast
It smells of love, it smells of death

Baby right between your breasts your pulse beating gushing blood
Love crying dance1
Baby baby we're in a trance pounding pounding thrust of your hips
Life crying dance
Dead can dance, so beautiful, your pulse beating rushing blood
Love eating dance
Life eating dance

No matter what no matter what it never stops no
I live and still I live and still it's never enough
No matter what no matter what it never stops no
I live and still I live and still it's never enough


Note: Dead Can Dance is the name of an Australian/British band who were one of the early bands associated with the goth movement. Signed to 4AD records along with other famous goth acts such as Cocteau Twins (who wrote the music for "Marchen" from Sakurai's previous solo project) and, for a time, Bauhaus, Dead Can Dance incorporated many elements from traditional Medieval, tribal, and spiritual music into their work, which spanned every genre from dreampop to folk songs to ambient sounds evoking esoteric occult ritual. Though they are generally classified as a first-wave goth act and maintained a relentlessly dark and mournful image, they were also well-received among non-goth members of the general population who were attracted to the band's soothing, ancient mystical sound and the dramatic, melodic vocals of main vocalist Lisa Gerrard. If Mr. Sakurai isn't a fan of Dead Can Dance, then I'm not a fan of Buck-Tick.

But goth references aside, in a broader sense, the phrase "dead can dance" evokes the Danse Macabre, which was no doubt the intention of the band members when they chose the name, and the larger reference certainly isn't lost on Sakurai, either, considering the number of times he has evoked the Danse Macabre himself in previous songs such as "Phantom Voltaire."

So what is the Danse Macabre, you ask? Taken from the notes on "Phantom Voltaire": The Danse Macabre, or Dance of Death, refers to a genre of late-Medieval European allegorical paintings, etc. depicting Death (in the form of a skeleton) leading a line of people from all walks of life, from King to beggar, to the grave. The purpose of Danse Macabre pieces was to remind people to be humble, because life is short, people are fragile, and death comes to everyone, no matter their wealth or status. Danse Macabre works are closely related to the concept of Memento Mori. Numerous musical works have also been titled "Danse Macabre" or something related.

1) The word here, "kurai," means "to eat," but when sung aloud it also sounds much like the English word "cry." Imai already employed this same word play in the lyrics to "Memento Mori," and given the high volume of puns and word plays Sakurai uses in the lyrics for this album, I strongly suspect he was intending the same double meaning here. Therefore, I translated "kurai" as "crying" in the second stanza.

2) In case you never received an education of any kind: “to be or not to be” are the opening words of a renowned monologue from William Shakespeare's play "The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark." “Hamlet” is arguably Shakespeare's most famous play, and the "to be or not to be" monologue is certainly the most famous set of words in the play, and probably among the most famous set of words in the entire English language. In addition, Prince Hamlet is arguably the world's first and most famous goth (due to his notoriously dark and melancholic worldview, and propensity for wearing nothing but black and spending a lot of time angsting around at night on the ramparts, talking to ghosts, and feeling up bones in the graveyards of the haunted Danish castle he called home).

Bits and pieces of “to be or not to be” have been taken out of context many a time in popular culture, but in the original play, Hamlet speaks the monologue alone to himself while he angsts around the castle and ponders whether or not to kill himself (because Hamlet was just that goth.) “To be” refers to the decision to keep living, whereas “not to be” refers to the decision to die. Though Hamlet sees suicide as a way of asserting agency over his own life which he feels has spiraled out of his control, he remains afraid of the mystery of what might happen after death, and in the end, decides to stay alive, for the time being.

I will be speaking at length about this in my forthcoming album review, but for the moment, I'm going to stop here.

Fun fact: the plot of Disney's The Lion King is based loosely on the plot of "Hamlet." Spoiler: Shakespeare's Hamlet doesn't exactly end in hakuna matata.

Also, for those of you who'd like to watch a full production of "Hamlet" while feasting your eyes on some serious eye candy, by all means watch the Kenneth Branagh film. Kenneth's verison certainly isn't the only way to interpret the character, but lordy if it isn't ever a pretty film to look at, and the entire text of the play is in there. And not for nothing is this play widely considered the single greatest work of English literature ever written (after Stephanie Meyer's Twilight, of course!) It is really fucking good. So go watch it.




Dead Can Dance
作詞:櫻井敦司
作曲:三代堅

Dancing止まらない きっとこの世は淫乱
そうさこのまま 今夜暗闇にまぎれ

踊りましょう もっと頂戴
この瞬間を もっと頂戴

獣の匂いがする 愛と死の匂いね

Dancing止まらない きっと二度とは帰れない
いいさ このまま 今夜暗闇に溶けて

踊りましょう もっと頂戴
この一瞬を もっと頂戴

あなたの匂いがする 愛と死の匂いね

Babyおまえの胸元 脈打っているドクドク
愛を喰らいDance
Baby baby夢中だ ぶっ飛んでいる腰つき
生を喰らいDance 愛を喰らいDance

To be, or not to be

Dancingもう止まらない きっとこの世は狂乱
そうさこのまま絶頂 今夜暗闇に踊れ

獣の匂いがする 愛と死の匂いが

Babyおまえの胸元 脈打っているドクドク
愛を喰らいDance
Baby baby夢中だ ぶっ飛んでいる腰つき
生を喰らいDance
Dead can dance 素敵だ 脈打っているドクドク
愛を喰らいDance 生を喰らいDance

どうしてもどうしても 止まらないぜ
生きても 生きても 足りないんだ
どうしてもどうしても 止まらないぜ
生きても 生きても 足りないんだ



Dead Can Dance
Lyrics: Sakurai Atsushi
Music: Miyo Ken

Dancing tomaranai     kitto kono yo wa inran
Sou sa kono mama     konya kurayami ni magire

Odorimashou     motto choudai
Kono toki wo     motto choudai

Kemono no nioi ga suru     ai to shi no nioi ne

Dancing tomaranai     kitto nido to wa kaerenai
Ii sa     kono mama     konya kurayami ni tokete

Odorimashou     motto choudai
Kono isshun wo     motto choudai

Anata no nioi ga suru     ai to shi no nioi ne

Baby omae no munamoto     myaku utteiru dokudoku
Ai wo kurai Dance
Baby baby muchuu da     buttondeiru koshitsuki
Sei wo kurai Dance     ai wo kurai Dance

To be, or not to be

Dancing mou tomaranai     kitto kono yo wa kyouran
Sou sa kono mama zecchou     konya kurayami ni odore

Kemono no nioi ga suru     ai to shi no nioi ga

Baby omae no munamoto     myaku utteiru dokudoku
Ai wo kurai Dance
Baby baby muchuu da     buttondeiru koshitsuki
Sei wo kurai Dance
Dead can dance     suteki da     myaku utteiru dokudoku
Ai wo kurai Dance     sei wo kurai Dance

Doushitemo doushitemo     tomaranai ze
Ikitemo    ikitemo     tarinainda
Doushite doushitemo     tomaranai ze
Ikitemo    ikitemo     tarinainda