Album: I Am Mortal
2015.11.11 cutting edge


Guignol
Lyrics: Sakurai Atsushi
Music: Miyo Ken

Un. Deux..
Un. Deux. Trois celluloid ahh on one leg
So slowly the turning music box let us dance...my devil1

Leaning from the windowsill let us fall in love2
Your twirling eyes just like the moon turning inside out oh

Tell me why I know nothing of love in cotton creases3
Neither tears nor blood I shed as I break in the tale4

Lifting up our dresses' skirts let us make our love5
My melting eyes just like the mud sink into the dark oh

Oh tell me who you are and tell me of love6
With your staring vacant eyes made of glass marbles
Oh tell me who I am as you keep making me dance
Oh make me dream a dream though I fall apart
lullaby forgotten deep in time
Grand Guignol pantomime7

Un, Deux, Trois, let us dance, oh stop time for me
Un, Deux, Trois, let us dance, just the same as that day
Un, Deux, Trois, let us dance, O thou Time, stop for me8
Un, Deux, Trois, let us dance, just as we were on that day
On one leg standing

Lifting up our dresses' skirts let us make our love
My melting eyes just like the mud drop into the dark oh

Oh tell me who you are and tell me of love
With your staring vacant eyes made of glass marbles
Oh tell me who I am as you keep making me dance
Oh make me dream a dream though I fall apart

Oh tell me of love ah give me your kiss
As you make me dance into eternity
lullaby forgotten deep in time
Grand Guignol pantomime
The end of time9

It is the end time


Note: Guignol was a style of puppet theater which originated in Lyon, France, during the late 1700's. The show featured a central character named Guignol, so eventually the entire style of puppet theater came to bear the name Guignol as well. Since Lyon was a center of the silk industry and most of the original patrons of Guignol shows were silk workers, Guignol himself was also usually portrayed as a silk worker, though he also played a variety of other roles, depending on the story. As a character, Guignol was a poor but brave and righteous everyman with a robust sense of humor and equally robust sense of justice, and most Guignol stories involved themes of triumph of good over evil. The Guingol puppets themselves had solid plaster or papier-mâché heads and cotton clothing. While as a puppet show, it naturally appealed to children, Guignol plays were also packed with witty jokes to amuse adults. Interestingly, the term "guignol" later came to be used as a French slang term for a fool or buffoon, but this was not true to the spirit of the original character.

The Grand Guignol Theater, on the other hand, was an entirely different matter. Opened in 1897 in Paris in a retrofitted chapel (which is exactly as goth as you think it is), the Grand Guignol Theater specialized in naturalistic horror shows and was known for its luridly realistic special effects. Typically, five or six plays were staged per evening, and most were graphic horror stories involving all kinds of violence, abuse, rape, murder, insanity, et cetera, with a comedy or two thrown in to help the audience keep sane. Most of the Grand Guignol horror plays offered no moral or hope for salvation - they were simply a showcase of the macabre and shock value was part of the theater's express purpose - it was common for audience members to scream, vomit, or faint from shock, and the theater's directors and actors considered this not only acceptable but desirable. Yet despite its gruesome reputation, the Grand Guignol achieved exalted status and during its heyday was regularly attended by both celebrities and royalty. Even after closing in 1962, the theater's legacy loomed large, and it continues to influence and inspire directors, theater companies, and other artists to this day. The Grand Guignol is well known among the gothically-inclined set in Japan - ur-goth-loli group Ali Project released a song called "Gesshoku Grand Guignol," while noted Buck-Tick fan and manga artist Kaori Yuki wrote a manga called Grand Guignol Orchestra.

It's worth noting that in addition to staging original plays that were written specifically for the theater, the Grand Guignol also staged classics, including Shakespearean tragedies, so the cluster of references in this song isn't as far-flung as you might think.

1) In this line, Sakurai split up the word "odorimashou" ("let's dance") with an ellipsis, to create a beautiful double meaning - "odori mashou" means "devilish dance." Sakurai employed this same technique several times throughout these lyrics.

2) Given the overt "Hamlet" references throughout this album, I'm going to go ahead and say that this line is probably a reference to the famous balcony scene in "Romeo and Juliet," where Romeo comes to profess his love for Juliet as she hangs out over the railing of her balcony. As Romeo approaches the balcony, he speaks the line, "What light through yonder window breaks...it is the East, and Juliet is the Sun" - and though it may be a coincidence that a similar idea appears in the lyrics to "Mother," the symmetry of references is lovely whether intentional or not.

Also, for what it's worth, the word "koi," which Sakurai uses here, means love specifically in the romantic sense. Everywhere else in the song, Sakurai used the word "ai," which means love in all senses, including fraternal love or cosmic unconditional love.

3) In this line, Sakurai wrote the phrase "watashi wa" ("I am...") in katakana, split with an ellipsis into "wata...shiwa," which means "cotton wrinkles" - like the wrinkled cotton of an old puppet.

4) In this line, Sakurai split the word "kowareteiru" ("I'm breaking") with an ellipsis so that it reads "koware...teiru," meaning "broken tale." (Tale, as in story.)

5) One might lift up one's dress to dance, or one might lift it up to play Hide the Salami or Sexual Tacos or other games which are played exactly the same way but have different creative and amusing names. Sakurai has made it very clear in the live performances of this song that he fully intended both meanings. I also find it interesting how this lyric is a bit like the reverse of a similar lyric in "Dress" - "I'll put on a dress and dance for you."

6) Sakurai writes the word "dare" ("who") with an extra hiragana "a," which calls to his lyrics for "Keijijou Ryuusei" and his use of the line from Japanese children's game Kagome Kagome, "ushiro no shoumen daare?" meaning, "who is the face behind your face?" The phrase sounds like just as much nonsense in Japanese as it does in English...but then again, it does kind of make sense if you think about it, and it certainly works well in this song, too. Sakurai reworks images he previously used on Arui wa Anarchy all over this album, so I find it hard to believe that the deliberate mis-spelling of "dare" is a coincidence.

7) In Japanese, Sakurai used the word "oshibai," which literally means "play." However, I translated it to "pantomime" because it fit better with the syllable count, it rhymes, and also, puppet plays are in essence pantomimes. Furthermore, Sakurai has been doing some very fine pantomime in his stage performance of this song, so I don't believe it's much of a stretch in meaning.

8) The Japanese phrase "toki yo tomare" is extremely high-tone and dramatic, so I made an effort to preserve that in my translation.

9) In the Japanese, Sakurai sets up a beautiful word play by following the word "oshibai" ("play") with "oshimai" ("the end"). I tried to preserve it as best I could with "pantomime" and "time," but it's never going to sound as cool in English, which is too bad, but one of the facts of life as a translator #translatorproblems.



Guignol
作詞:櫻井敦司
作曲:三代堅

Un. Deux..
Un. Deux. Troisセレロイド 片ああ..足デ
ゆっくりと廻るオルゴール踊り..マショウ

窓辺にもたれ恋をしよう
君の瞳がぐるり 月は裏返るよ

どうして 愛を知らない ワタ..シワ
涙も血も流れない 壊レ..テイル

ドレスをまくり愛をしよう
僕の瞳はどろり 闇に堕ちてゆくよ

あなたはだあれ 愛を教えて
虚ろな瞳 ガラス玉
わたしはだあれ 踊らせていて
夢を見させて 千切れても
lullaby忘れ去られた
グラン・ギニョルお芝居

Un, Deux, Trois,踊ろう 時を止めて
Un, Deux, Trois,踊ろう あの日のまま
Un, Deux, Trois,踊ろう 時よ止まれ
Un, Deux, Trois,踊ろう あの日の様に
片足デ..サア

ドレスをまくり愛をしよう
僕の瞳はどろり 闇に落ちてゆくよ

あなたはだあれ 愛を教えて
虚ろな瞳 ガラス玉
わたしはだあれ 踊らせていて
夢を見させて 千切れても

愛を教えて 口づけをして
躍らせていて いつまでも
lullaby忘れ去られた
グラン・ギニョルお芝居
お終いだね

おしまいさ



Guignol 
Lyrics: Sakurai Atsushi
Music: Miyo Ken

Un. Deux..
Un. Deux. Trois sereroido     kata aa...ashi de
Yukkuri to mawaru orugooru odori...mashou

Madobe ni motare koi wo shiyou
Kimi no hitomi ga gururi     tsuki wa uragaeru yo

Doushite     ai wo shiranai     wata...shiwa
Namida mo chi mo nagarenai     koware...teiru

Doresu wo makuri ai wo shiyou
Boku no hitomi wa dorori     yami ni ochiteyuku yo

Anata wa daare     ai wo oshiete
Utsuro na hitomi     garasu dama
Watashi wa daare    odoraseteite
Yume wo misasete     chigiretemo
lullaby wasuresarareta
Guran ginyoru oshibai

Un, Deux, Trois, odorou     toki wo tomete
Un, Deux, Trois, odorou     ano hi no mama
Un, Deux, Trois, odorou     toki yo tomare
Un, Deux, Trois, odorou     ano hi no you ni
Kataashi de... saa

Doresu wo makuri ai wo shiyou
Boku no hitomi wa dorori     yami ni ochiteyuku yo

Anata wa daare     ai wo oshiete
Utsuro na hitomi     garasu dama
Watashi wa daare     odoraseteite
Yume wo misasete     chigiretemo

Ai wo oshiete     kuchizuke wo shite
Odoraseteite     itsumademo
lullaby wasuresarareta
Guran ginyoru oshibai
Oshimai da ne

Oshimai sa