Happy Days

Happy days

[Album] Oku Hanako BEST -My Letters- – CD 2 track 9
[Album] Kimi no Egao -Smile Selection- – track 10
[Album] BIRTHDAY – track 13
[Single] Waratte Waratte – track 3



I wake up in the morning 5 minutes before my alarm clock rings
Normally I’d feel like I had suffered a loss
But today something makes it feel like a gain

The old man jogging, the old woman walking a Maltese
And the children carrying their backpacks – it’s the usual morning scenery

I’ll try working a little harder
I’ll try giving it my all

Smiling and working, crying and loving
Linking ordinary days together – Happy Days
It’s the usual Happy Days

I’m like a goldfish in a fish tank, nobody will feed me however long I wait
So today I again hurry towards the station

Some days I want to run away because nothing is going as planned
But it’s in times like this when I realise that I can’t do anything alone

I’ll break through the bricks that have piled up
I’ll try taking a step forwards again

Whatever it is that puzzles me, it will have more than one answer
Even if someone laughs at me, I’ll be fine as long as I stay true to myself
That’s why tomorrow will also be Happy Days

Today is ending so let’s take off our tired shoes
Even the hot-tempered chief keeps a family photo in his record book

The days of everyone I meet will all grow old
And everyone will experience different things tomorrow

Smiling and working, crying and loving
Linking ordinary days together – Happy Days
Whatever it is that puzzles me, it will have more than one answer
A smile emerges from many tears – Happy Days

Happy and crying, sad and closing my eyes
A smile emerges from many tears – Happy Days
I will arrive at your side – Happy Days


Translation notes

My first impression upon translating this song was that it was about the singer’s optimism that days will be good. After reviewing my translation several times, I considered that the source of the optimism was love. One hint that I should perhaps have noticed before translating was the fact that Happy Days is included on disc 2, the Songs of Love, of Oku Hanako BEST -My Letters-.  That suggests that I should find a note of affection in the lyrics.

As for the lyrics themselves, I guess they are subtle about the singer’s love. In the first verse the singer mentions that something is different enough to make her eager to wake up earlier. Perhaps it is because she is in love, that she wants to see or do something for someone special.

In verse 6, the singer reveals she has learned that it is difficult for her to do anything when she is alone. And then in verse 7 the singer decides to “try taking a step forwards again”. The singer would say “again” because the first time she would have failed and learned that she can’t to do it on her own. Her decision to try again may be caused by having someone with her, perhaps someone who loves her.

Finally, in verse 9, the singer claims that her superior keeps a family photo close while at work. This hints that the singer believes that people work for the ones who are dear to them.

I admit that verse 5 appears cryptic in this context because it implies that the singer has to look out for herself and thus may be alone. Though, perhaps it actually means that the singer is independent, that she prefers to have an active role in her life rather than a passive one.

The hints of love that I saw in the lyrics affected my translation of the third line in the final verse. In Japanese, the line is

あなたに届くよHappy days
Anata ni todoku yo Happy days

あなた (anata) means “you” and 届く (todoku) means “to arrive”. If I correctly understand how the particle に (ni) is used (Tae Kim’s Guide to Japanese), its meaning here is that “you” is the object of “arrive”, so “arrive at you” or “arrive where you are”. As I understand, the particle よ (yo) is used to end sentences (Tae Kim’s Guide to Japanese; Maggie Sensei), so the “Happy days” at the end is most likely unrelated. Despite that, the Japanese line is missing the subject, and my initial thought was that the implied subject was “Happy days”, i.e.

Happy Days will reach your side

Once I decided that the lyrics were subtly about the singer being in love, I decided that the subject was the singer and changed the line what it is now.

I will arrive at your side – Happy Days


Simplified Chinese

闹钟大响  在那5分钟前就醒来的早晨

慢跑的老兄  带着玛尔济斯的老婆婆
背着书包的小朋友  和平常一样的早晨风景


边笑  边工作  边哭  边恋爱
平凡的每天  渐渐连系起来 Happy days
和平常一样的 Happy days

像鱼缸里的金鱼一样  就算等待也没人会喂饵

也有想逃走的日子  没办法事事顺心
但正是这种时候  才发现自己一个人什么都做不到


无论如何迷惘  答案都不只一个
就算被谁笑了  只要有自己的风格就好
所以明天也是 Happy days

今天也要结束了  把疲劳的鞋子换下吧
老是发飙的部长  纪事本里也有全家福照片

明天也一样每个人  都会发生不同的事

边笑  边工作  边哭  边恋爱
平凡的每天  渐渐连系起来 Happy days
无论如何迷惘  答案都不只一个
从许多的泪水中  转变为笑容 Happy days

开心  落泪  悲伤  闭起眼
从许多的泪水中  转变为笑容 Happy days
传达给你 Happy days


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