Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Particles in song lyrics.

I'm liking working with songs, because as I gain understanding of the lyrics I can run around singing them and get a sense of flow and usage. What's baffling me, though, is the use of particles at the ends of lines—I can't yet see the rationale for some of it.  例えば
dekoboko michi ya, magarikunetta michi
[it's] an uneven road, winding road
Ya や used that way reminds me of the setting-particle や in poetry, a particle that tends to end the first line of a 俳句 haiku and establishes the setting: 木の陰や ki no kage ya, "[in] a tree's shade". Maybe it's the same idea. The Akiyama grammar book is usually good about laying things out succinctly but includes only the nonspecific-list function of や.

Or this:
sonna jidai mo atta ne to
itsuka hanaseru hi ga kuru wa
the day will come when you'll be able to say,
"that's happened to me, too."
At first I misread the quotation-marking function of と to, probably because I'm not used to seeing it with 話す hanasu, to speak [with].  I might have been more aware with an 言う or a 伝う, which are more about saying and therefore call a specific quotation.

Or this:
tabi o tsuzukeru hitobito ha
itsuka furosato ni deau hi o
tatoe konya ha taorete mo
kitto, shinjite doa o deru.
tatoe kyou ha hateshi mo naku
tsumetai ame ga futteite mo

folks who keep on the journey
someday will see home again
even if tonight [you're] struck down,
if you believe, sure enough you'll find a way out.
even if today you can't see the end of it,
even if cold rain is falling....
Some of the particles make sense there; it's possible that たとえ tatoe, "even if", requires a も mo, which generally means "even [that much, or to such a degree]".  And all the も do work if you think of them as leading up to the next verbs, めぐる めぐる meguru meguru, "it [time] turns and turns".  So the も give a sense of...despite all trials, a better day will come.

What gets me is that を that ends the second line.  It wants a verb.  But now I'm thinking it may just precede the たとえ。。。も structures, and that the verb it's calling may be めぐる—the day when they see home again will return, even if...even if....  But now I'm thinking that's not possible, because that 出る seems to complete thought, not to lead to anything further.  難しいねー。

1 comment:

  1. Today 先生 gave an insight into 冷たい雨: if you run the lines together, it becomes 果てしもなく冷たい雨—cold rain that seems endless.