A Trip Down Memory Lane with a Song I Love You by Position

I stumbled upon a music video by Position for “I Love You” on Youtube. It is in Korean but the tune is very familiar. I have heard it somewhere.

It turned out that the song was originally in Japanese but has been covered by many singers in different languages. The original singer and song writer was a Japanese rock singer called Yutaka Ozaki (尾崎豐), active in the late 80s to early 90s. His career was cut short when he died in April 1992 at the age of 26. So sad.


I also found out that he wrote and sang “Oh My Little Girl”. This is the song that I fell in love with in 1994 when I first heard it in Japan. It was my first long overseas trip and on my own with a classmate. Just the 2 of us. We stayed with friends and they brought us to places that a travel agency wouldn’t cover. We went ice-skating, queued for an hour to visit a museum. Had takiyako at Ueno Park. We visited a university and hung out with university students who used us as English practice. We went to Mt Fuji by private car and I fought the temptation to buy a Sony walkman. We ate DIY Okonomiyaki, sushi at a sushi bar, home-cooked sukiyaki and more.

At night, my young host had us watching a Japanese drama (この世の果て) with her. I saw a total of 2 episodes but didn’t understand a word since I don’t know Japanese. “Oh My Little Girl” was the theme song and it stuck with me for a long time even after the trip. When we left Japan, our host made us a cassette tape of her favourite songs and this song was in it. Back in Singapore, I tried to find out more about the song but couldn’t get much since the Internet was still in its infancy and there’s no Google or Youtube.

More than a decade later, I came across a VCD set of the Japanese drama. It’s called “爱没有明天” in Chinese. The English name could be “End of the World” but I can’t be sure. Finally, with Chinese subtitles, I know what the story is about and how it ended. It’s a rather sad story.

And now, I know who was behind the song that tied all these precious memories together for me. To think, he died 2 years before I visited Japan yet his song can still affect and impact me so. That’s the power of music. My little regret was that I am only able to listen to and enjoy his other songs 20 years later.


Felt like I have come full circle.

Here’s the videos that started this trip down memory lane.

I Love You by Position


I Love You by Yutaka Ozaki

Lyrics (English)

Artist: Utada Hikaru
Title: I Love You
Words: Ozaki Yutaka
Music: Ozaki Yutaka

I LOVE YOU
Please, I don’t wanna hear a sad song right now
I LOVE YOU
Run away, Run away, it’s this room I found myself in
Our love had its limitations
so we’re like abandoned stray cats * 1
this room is like our empty box, buried in fallen leaves
that’s why you cry out like a kitten
we bring naivety to the creaky bed,
when we hold each other tightly,
then we’ll close our eyes again,
and hope that our love doesn’t lose its passion in a sad song.

I LOVE YOU
there’s a secret which our love, too young, can’t reach.
I LOVE YOU
living the way we do now, we’ll never get there
We just hurt each other,
dreaming of a love living as one
You’ve heard ‘I love you’ so many times,
you can’t live without this love.
we bring naivety to the creaky bed,
when we hold each other tightly,
then we’ll close our eyes again,
and hope that our love doesn’t lose its passion in a sad song.

then we’ll close our eyes again,
and hope that our love doesn’t lose its passion in a sad song.


Translated By: Brian Stewart & Takako Sakuma

Translator’s Notes: Let’s get to the *

In our interpretation of these lines Ozaki is saying that because he and his girl are both young their options are limited by the world at large (their parents, society), so they end up in this box like abandoned kittens. Nowhere to go. 

 

Oh My Little Girl by Yutaka Ozaki

And the song that held a special place in my heart.

この世の果て / 爱没有明天