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I didn’t mean to, but after hearing this song a million times (slight exaggeration), I just had to do another song by Wednesday Campanella.

Sorry.

But even if you don’t particularly care for the silliness (it is my kind of silliness), there are some really fun words and phrases in this song.


Introduction

This song is about – er… Is that the right word? “About” implies meaning and this song really lacks meaning – Thomas Edison, the inventor.

The song mentions two Edison inventions:

蓄音機(ちくおんき)

phonograph; gramophone


活動(かつどう)写真(しゃしん)

moving pictures [mostly silent films; translated directly from English “motion pictures”]

This line is especially fun:

間違(まちが)いなくこれからの時代(じだい)()るのは活動写真(かつどうしゃしん)

There’s no doubt, the next big thing to come is moving pictures.

Invest in 活動写真(かつどうしゃしん) today!

Just as we don’t say “moving pictures” anymore, modern Japanese use 映画(えいが) instead of 活動写真(かつどうしゃしん)  which was a direct translation of the English and now mostly refers to the silent film era.

And then there is the One Piece reference:

そんな発明王(はつめいおう)にオレはなる

I will become the king of inventors.

One Piece is a manga/anime about a boy, Monkey D. Luffy (モンキー・D・ルフィ), who dreams of being the pirate king. His most famous line is:

海賊王(かいぞくおう)におれはなる!

A pirate king, I will become!

The songs of Wednesday Campanella are full of references to Japanese culture and fun word play like this.

Here’s another one found in today’s song:

YouTubeを()()る 1%のひらめきインスピレーション

The 1% of inspiration I get from watching YouTube

Do you get the reference? It’s a quote by Thomas Edison. Here it is in Japanese and English:

天才(てんさい)とは、1%のひらめきと99%の努力(どりょく)である。

Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.

It’s a very famous quote that is well-known in Japan. Yumi learned it in elementary school. She wasn’t aware of the English version with it’s rhyme and got a chuckle out of it upon hearing the “inspiration” and “perspiration.”

Here are a few other vocabulary words found in the song to pay attention to:

  • V+(ひま) time to … [(ひま) means you have free-time and you aren’t busy. Adding an action verb before it shows what you have time to do.]
  • 発明(はつめい)する to invent
  • 自尊心(じそんしん) self-esteem; self-respect; conceit; pride [自 (oneself); 尊 (revered; valuable; exalted); 心 (heart; mind; spirit]
  • サブスク subscription [this is a fairly new word that can be used for subscriptions such as Netflix, Spotify, or even older media like newspapers and magazines.]
  • バズる to go viral; to create a buzz (on the internet)
  • SNS Social Media [SNS stands for Social Networking Service]
  • インスタ()え to post on Instagram in order to get lots of likes [()える (to glow; to look attractive; to look nice)]

If you aren't familiar with Wednesday Campanella (水曜日(すいようび)のカンパネラ), you can read about them on Wikipedia here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wednesday_Campanella

And you can see our previous Wednesday Campanella song lesson here on 招き猫.

A customer of ours introduced us to them a few years back and we've taken a liking to the music. It's weird—very weird—but fun.

The lyrics rarely make much sense, but the songs tend to be based on some topic of Japanese (usually) culture. This song, while not on a Japanese person or Japanese culture specifically, follows their style nicely.

The lead singer recently changed from a lady named コムアイ (known as KOM_I in English) to 詩羽(うたは) (Utaha). Utaha has carried on the style and substance well, I think.

This song, 『エジソン』 Edison, was just released this year, 2022. We hope you both enjoy the song and learn a little from it.

While this lesson is free, Makoto+ and Patreon supporters have access to bonus content including a downloadable PDF and sound files. If you are a member, please click here for the bonus content.

Please consider supporting us by becoming a member or patron!


Video of the Song

Warning: The more you listen to it, the more addicting the weirdness becomes...


Sound File of the Lyrics

Here is a recording of all the lyrics spoken with pauses between lines. See below for breakdowns of every line with individual sound files.


Lyrics in Japanese with Furigana

Japanese Only Lyrics with Furigana



Line-by-Line with Vocabulary and Translation

Please note, due to the poetic nature of songs, other translations are possible. If you have a suggestion for a better translation, please leave a comment.

(おど)(ひま)があったら発明(はつめい)してえ)

If I had time to dance, I’ll spend that time inventing.

Vocabulary & Notes


(うた)(ひま)があったら発明(はつめい)してえ)

If I have time to sing, I’ll spend that time inventing.

Vocabulary & Notes


ライブのブッキング()って発明(はつめい)してえ)

I’ll kick away (the idea of) getting tickets for a live show and invent instead.

Vocabulary & Notes


そんな発明王(はつめいおう)にオレはなる)

I will become the king of inventors.

Vocabulary & Notes


(おど)(ひま)があったら発明(はつめい)してえ)

If I had time to dance, I’ll spend that time inventing.

Vocabulary & Notes


(うた)(ひま)があったら発明(はつめい)してえ

If I have time to sing, I’ll spend that time inventing.

Vocabulary & Notes


ライブのブッキング()って発明(はつめい)してえ)

I’ll kick getting tickets for a live show and invent instead.

Vocabulary & Notes


そんな発明王(はつめいおう)にオレはなる

I will become the king of inventors.

Vocabulary & Notes


(おど)るエジソン 自尊心(じそんしん))

Dancing Edison – self-esteem

Vocabulary & Notes


(うた)うエジソン ジソン(しん)

Singing Edison – self-esteem

Vocabulary & Notes


(おど)るエジソン 自尊心(じそんしん)

Dancing Edison – self-esteem

Vocabulary & Notes


(うた)うエジソン ジソン(しん)

Singing Edison – self-esteem

Vocabulary & Notes


幼少期(ようしょうき)(ころ)から)

Since childhood

Vocabulary & Notes


(いえ)()いてた音楽(おんがく)はハウスミュージック

The music I listened to at the house was House Music.

Vocabulary & Notes


サブスクのプレイリスト()いて)

Listening to my subscription playlist

Vocabulary & Notes


(きょく)ディグったならクラブで DJ

While digging through songs, DJ at the club

Vocabulary & Notes


パソコン(ひら)いたならDTM ソフトは Ableton Live

If I open my computer, I make music; the software is Ableton Live

Vocabulary & Notes


だけど(いま)(つく)りたいのは蓄音機(ちくおんき)

However, what I want to make now is a phonograph

Vocabulary & Notes


サークルでの宴会芸(えんかいげい)

Performing at a party among my circle

Vocabulary & Notes


ノリで(はじ)めたバンドで)

Started a band on the spur of the moment

Vocabulary & Notes


まぐれでバズってメジャーデビュー)

A lucky break, went viral, and a major label debut.

Vocabulary & Notes


なぜか(いま)はしがないミュージシャン)

For some reason, now, I’m a musician with little to show for it

Vocabulary & Notes


(おど)るエジソン 自尊心(じそんしん)

Dancing Edison – self-esteem

Vocabulary & Notes


(うた)うエジソン ジソン(しん)))

Singing Edison – self-esteem

Vocabulary & Notes


(おど)るエジソン 自尊心(じそんしん))

Dancing Edison – self-esteem

Vocabulary & Notes


(うた)うエジソン ジソン(しん))

Singing Edison – self-esteem

Vocabulary & Notes


YouTubeを()()る 1%のひらめきインスピレーション

The 1% of inspiration I get from watching YouTube

Vocabulary & Notes


SNS(とお)して(つな)がる発明家(はつめいか)のコミュニケーション

Communication of inventors connected through social networking sites

Vocabulary & Notes


インスタ()(ねら)った投稿(とうこう)

Posts meant to look good on Instagram

Vocabulary & Notes


webニュースで情報(じょうほう)収集(しゅうしゅう))

Gather information from web news

Vocabulary & Notes


間違(まちが)いなくこれからの時代(じだい)()るのは活動写真(かつどうしゃしん)

There’s no doubt, the next big thing to come is moving pictures.

Vocabulary & Notes


(おど)(ひま)があったら発明(はつめい)してえ)

If I had time to dance, I’ll spend that time inventing.

Vocabulary & Notes


(うた)(ひま)があったら発明(はつめい)してえ

If I have time to sing, I’ll spend that time inventing.

Vocabulary & Notes


ライブのブッキング()って発明(はつめい)してえ

I’ll kick getting tickets for a live show and invent instead.

Vocabulary & Notes


そんな発明王(はつめいおう)にオレはなる

I will become the king of inventors.

Vocabulary & Notes


(おど)るエジソン 自尊心(じそんしん)

)

Dancing Edison – self-esteem

Vocabulary & Notes


(うた)うエジソン ジソン(しん))

Singing Edison – self-esteem

Vocabulary & Notes


(おど)るエジソン 自尊心(じそんしん))

Dancing Edison – self-esteem

Vocabulary & Notes

 

(うた)うエジソン ジソン(しん))

Singing Edison – self-esteem

Vocabulary & Notes



For upper beginners and above.

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