Sayonara Amerika, Sayonara Nippon


Yet Another Unjustly Overlooked Song by The Kinks

Posted in Music,The Kinks by bourdaghs on the July 25th, 2014

Do yourself a favor and take three minutes to listen to this 1971 recording, an outtake from the Muswell Hillbillies sessions.. Make sure you read Ray Davies’ lyrics, too. The song has everything: (working) class consciousness, a critique of urban renewal, a deft melody and la-di-doo-da nonsense syllables, which here take on distinct semiotic content. You’re welcome.

“Lavender Lane” (source)
Written by: Raymond Douglas Davies
Published by: Davray Music Ltd.

Daisy and Teddy had two Cockney boys
And two Cockney sisters and they all shared their toys
With old Rosie Rooke and Peggy O’Day
They all lived together down in Lavender Lane

Lavender Lane, oh my Lavender Lane
The people were poor and the people were plain
They didn’t have much but they shared what they gained
Contented to drift along Lavender Lane

Oh Lord, such a pity that the world’s gotta change

All of the houses were old and decayed
The people were proud who lived in Lavender Lane
Oh Lord, Lavender Lane
Oh Lord, Lavender Lane

Sometimes I wanna get back home and do the things we did before
And break down the old school tie, and all the la-di-do-dahs

The knobs and the toffs sent down two la-di-dahs
To mix with the people and to drink in their bars
They looked down their noses and they puffed their cigars
Instead of ‘off’ they say ‘orf’, instead of ‘yeah’ they say ‘ya’

And oh Lord
And Ted and Daisy said, ‘what a shame’

They’ll knock all the houses down for financial gain
And send all the people to a new town estate
Oh Lord, they gutted Lavender Lane
Whoa-oh, they gutted Lavender Lane

Sometimes I wanna get back home and do the things we did before
And break down the old school tie, and all the la-di-do-dahs

In the great London Council a decision was made
By the bright civil servants and the people in grey
They sent all their navvies with their buckets and spades
To knock all the houses down in Lavender Lane

But worst of all, they’ve taken all the people away
Now only memories are all that remain
Of all of the people down in Lavender Lane
Oh Lord, they gutted Lavender Lane
Whoa-oh, they gutted Lavender Lane
Whoa-oh, they gutted Lavender Lane
Whoa-oh, they gutted Lavender Lane

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Watch and Listen to Yours Truly

Posted in J-Pop,Japanese literature,Music,Putting One Foot in Front of the Other by bourdaghs on the July 7th, 2014

It’s become common these days for universities to videotape public lectures and make them available online. A few talks I’ve given in recent years are available for your viewing pleasure, should you be so inclined.

Last October at the University of Chicago’s Humanities Day, I spoke about the curious life and career of Kasai “George” Jiuji, UChicago Class of 1913, and how his example might help us rethink the meaning of the Cold War and Japan’s role in it:

A few months before that, I gave a talk at Boston University on “Misora Hibari and the Popular Music of Cold War Japan: Mimesis, Alterity, Cosmopolitanism.”

Michael Bourdaghs, April 11 2013 from BU Center for the Study of Asia on Vimeo.

In addition, a 2013 talk at Penn State on Natsume Soseki and “Theorizing Literature from Japan, 1907” is available online.

Another 2011 talk I gave on “Psychology and Natsume Soseki’s Mon (The Gate)” at the University of Michigan is available here.

If you prefer listening to watching me, a 2012 segment on Japanese popular music that I did for the public radio program “To the Best of Our Knowledge” is archived here. And if you want to hear what I sounded like as a callow lad of 19, you can hear the recently unearthed recording of a January 1981 interview with The Replacements (probably the band’s first-ever radio interview), back when I was a deejay for WMCN, Macalester College’s radio station.

On the whole, though, the printed word remains my medium of choice.

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