Sunday, July 6, 2014

Utada Hikaru (宇多田ヒカル) - COLORS

It's been a long time.

I haven't been blogging for over 3 months.  I was just too busy - work, Japanese, personal investments etc. etc.  Every week I told myself to just write it.  Unfortunately, I've only got some free time now during this Independence Day holiday weekend.

Ok.  The lyrics of COLORS is quite abstract.  I've read various interpretations on the Internet.  Here's my own interpretation.  I think it's about a woman who, upon breaking up with her boyfriend, tries to sleep with as many men as she wants.  On the other hand, she hasn't quite given up her hope on love (the colors black and white represents hopelessness).  It's just that she wants to indulge herself due to her heartbreak.

The 1st paragraph takes place in a love hotel.

ミラーが映し出す幻を気にしながら
When I realize the mirage reflected in the mirror
いつの間にか速度上げてるのさ
Suddenly, speed has been picking up

"Mirage" represents orgasm.  Once you understand that this is a love making scene, you'll know what it's meant by "picking up speed."

The 2nd paragraph is the woman's recollection of the breakup.

どこへ行ってもいいと言われると
When I am told that you don’t care where I go
半端な願望には標識も全部灰色だ
All the road signs towards my fragmented hope turn gray

Since it's "fragmented hope", she's not sure whether the relationship would bear fruitful to begin with.  Now that he's leaving, even those fragmented hopes were gone.

The 3rd paragraph is also her recollection, of the romantic times with her lover.

炎(ほのお)の揺らめき 今宵も夢を描く
Tonight, flames are flickering, and again we’ll be painting our dreams
あなたの筆先 渇いていませんか
My darling, has the ink gone dry on your brush tip yet?

"Painting dreams" = Making love.  Needless to say what the next sentence means.  Notice that 2 words for "you" in Japanese are used here, あなた (anata) and 君 (kimi).  A Japanese woman usually calls her husband あなた (anata).  So, "anata" in the lyrics refers to her lover (since she's still using anata, it means that she still loves him).  On the other hand, "kimi" refers to the other men she's been sleeping with.

The 4th paragraph is the chorus.

青い空が見えぬなら青い傘広げて
If there’s no blue sky in sight, let’s open a blue umbrella
いいじゃないか キャンバスは君のもの
Isn’t it nice?  The canvas is his
白い旗はあきらめた時にだけかざすの
A person holds up a white flag only when he gives up
今は真っ赤に 誘う闘牛士のように
For now, I’m like a luring bullfighter flushing in red

Since "painting" means "making love", it's obvious what it's meant by "the canvas is his", and the description of the bullfighter that follows.  She said she's not given up on love, though she's been sleeping with all these men.

The 5th and 6th paragraphs are as follows.

カラーも色褪せる蛍光灯の下(もと)
Under the fading fluorescent light
白黒のチェスボードの上で君に出会った
I met you on a black and white chessboard

僕らは一時 迷いながら寄り添って
For a moment, we cuddled in confusion
あれから一月 憶えていますか
It’s been a month since then, do you still remember?

"Fluorscent light" reminds me of clubs and bars.  And "chessboard" reminds me of the game of calculation between dating men and women.

We're back to chorus in the 7th paragraph.

オレンジ色の夕日を隣で見てるだけで
I wish I could be just watching the orange sunset by your side
よかったのにな 口は災いの元
Unfortunately, disasters came out from the mouth
黒い服は死者に祈る時にだけ着るの
A person wears black clothes only when he is praying for the dead
わざと真っ赤に残したルージュの痕
Intentionally left behind a bright red rouge mark

She reiterates that she has not given up on love as she's not dead yet.  She also wish she could watch the beautiful sunset with her lover.  As for "rouge mark", it's another sexual reference, that she's been sleeping with other men.

And here comes the last paragraph.

もう自分には夢の無い絵しか描けないと言うなら
If you say that you can now only produce dreamless paintings
塗り潰してよ キャンバスを何度でも
Then just paint the canvas over and over, no matter how many times!
白い旗はあきらめた時にだけかざすの
A person holds up a white flag only when he gives up
今の私はあなたの知らない色
By now you have no idea what color I’ve become

Again, "painting" refers to love making.  "Dreamless paintings" means she's making love with men she doesn't love.  And now, she's been "painted" with colors that her past lover would never realize.

This is it.  It is just my own interpretation.  I guess we'll have to interview Ms. Utada in order to understand the true meaning of her lyrics.

Here's an official clip on YouTube: http://youtu.be/P8EdOtFrc5w

COLORS

曲,詩:宇多田ヒカル

ミラーが映し出す幻を気にしながら
いつの間にか速度上げてるのさ

どこへ行ってもいいと言われると
半端な願望には標識も全部灰色だ

炎(ほのお)の揺らめき 今宵も夢を描く
あなたの筆先 渇いていませんか

青い空が見えぬなら青い傘広げて
いいじゃないか キャンバスは君のもの
白い旗はあきらめた時にだけかざすの
今は真っ赤に 誘う闘牛士のように

カラーも色褪せる蛍光灯の下(もと)
白黒のチェスボードの上で君に出会った

僕らは一時 迷いながら寄り添って
あれから一月 憶えていますか

オレンジ色の夕日を隣で見てるだけで
よかったのにな 口は災いの元
黒い服は死者に祈る時にだけ着るの
わざと真っ赤に残したルージュの痕

もう自分には夢の無い絵しか描けないと言うなら
塗り潰してよ キャンバスを何度でも
白い旗はあきらめた時にだけかざすの
今の私はあなたの知らない色

COLORS

Composer, Lyrics: Utada Hikaru

When I realize the mirage reflected in the mirror
Suddenly, speed has been picking up

When I am told that you don’t care where I go
All the road signs towards my fragmented hope turn gray

Tonight, flames are flickering, and again we’ll be painting our dreams
My darling, has the ink gone dry on your brush tip yet?

If there’s no blue sky in sight, let’s open a blue umbrella
Isn’t it nice?  The canvas is his
A person holds up a white flag only when he gives up
For now, I’m like a luring bullfighter flushing in red

Under the fading fluorescent light
I met you on a black and white chessboard

For a moment, we cuddled in confusion
It’s been a month since then, do you still remember?

I wish I could be just watching the orange sunset by your side
Unfortunately, disasters came out from the mouth
A person wears black clothes only when he is praying for the dead
Intentionally left behind a bright red rouge mark

If you say that you can now only produce dreamless paintings
Then just paint the canvas over and over, no matter how many times!
A person holds up a white flag only when he gives up
By now you have no idea what color I’ve become

No comments:

Post a Comment