machi no akari (City Lights)

  • Lyrics: Kazuya Yoshii
  • Music: Kazuya Yoshii & Hideaki Kikuchi
  • Arrangement: The Yellow Monkey

Original Lyrics

すきとおる青い空の下 お酒を飲んでのらりくらり

そこの素敵なお姫様 僕はあなたの靴みがき

L’amour est merveilleux
L’amour est merveilleux

尋問・連行・仮釈放、 僕は見かけ通りさ

L’amour est merveilleux
L’amour est merveilleux
「赤や青のメモリアル 血湧き肉踊る我が魂
朝も夜も目は光る 苦しいけど楽しいこの世界」

L’amour est merveilleux
L’amour est merveilleux
L’amour L’amour
L’amour L’amour

Romanized Lyrics

sukitooru aoi sora no shita osake wo nonde norari kurari
koibito sagashi mo raku janai no sa
mashite ya wa ga mi wa boro zoukin
tsumetai kisetsu ni mo megenai
yume wo ookiku sakasemashou

soko no suteki na ohimesama boku wa anata no kutsu migaki
shiawase no cream wo surikomeba
kono yo wa tachimachi barairo sa
tsumetai shigusa ni mo megenai
yume wo ookiku hirogemashou

L’amour est merveilleux
samishigariya no uta wo
L’amour est merveilleux
kiite kudasai na

sono tsugi me no mae ni arawareta no wa
ha narabi no warui omawarisan
jinmon renkou karishakuhou boku wa mikake doori sa
tsumetai seken ni mo megenai
yume de sekai wo kaimashou

L’amour est merveilleux
samishigariya no otoko ga
L’amour est merveilleux
hito gomi no naka de sakebu
“aka ya ao no memorial chi waki niku odoru waga tamashii
asa mo yoru mo me wa hikaru kurushii kedo tanoshii kono sekai”

L’amour est merveilleux
machi no akari ga tomoridasu
L’amour est merveilleux
toki wa tomaranai
L’amour L’amour
samishigari no uta wo
L’amour L’amour
kiite kudasai na

Translated Lyrics

Drinking and meandering about beneath the clear blue sky
Looking for a lover is no easy business
To say nothing of the fact that I’m pretty ragged
I’m not discouraged when the seasons turn cold
Let’s make our dreams bloom in a big way

Oh lovely princess, I’ll be your shoeshine
When I rub in the cream of happiness
The world will immediately turn rose-colored
I’m not discouraged by being treated coldly
Let’s make our dreams unfold in a big way

Love is so wonderful
Please listen to this song
Love is so wonderful
Of a lonely person

And then before my eyes appeared
A police officer with crooked teeth
Questioning, arrest, released on parole; I’m just as I seem to be
I’m not discouraged by society treating me so coldly
Let’s buy the world with our dreams

Love is so wonderful
Amidst a crowd of people
Love is so wonderful
A lonely man cries out
“A blue and red memorial, my soul is so encouraged and excited
My eyes shine both day and night, this world is painful but fun”

Love is so wonderful
The city lights come on
Love is so wonderful
Time doesn’t stop
Love, love
Please listen to this song
Love, love
Of a lonely person


Machi no Akari - Yoshii and Emma Butt Grab (Jaguar Hard Pain Tour, 1994)
Not only is there a black and white filter put over the recording from the Jaguar Hard Pain tour, but Yoshii also appears to be grabbing Emma’s butt here.

I’ve pointed out a few different songs on Jaguar Hard Pain that have a rather unique sound to them, compared to Yemon’s usual fare. And machi no akari may be the most unique one yet, both lyrically and musically. Every inch of this song oozes with atmosphere, to the point where you can practically picture the surroundings. I don’t really have the musical vocabulary to describe what the music itself sounds like: It kind of bounces around in a way that makes you feel like you’re at some sort of carnival. Or more likely in this case, a bustling city. It also is very Queen inspired, particularly with Emma’s guitar licks going into the chorus. He doesn’t normally incorporate too much of Brian May’s guitar style into his own, but it really hits you over the head here! And this was definitely his idea, since he’s credited with writing the music.

Machi no Akari - Emma's Brian May Guitar (Mekara Uroko 29, 2018)
Emma played machi no akari on a Brian May guitar during the performance at Mekara Uroko 29 in 2018.

It’s pretty apparent from the lyrics that Jaguar has now moved on from Reina (perhaps having given up most of his money to spend time with her), and wanders around town in a ragged and disoriented state. It’s quite possible alcohol may not be the only thing he’s consuming though, given that opium was mentioned in previous songs. In fact opium could very well be the “cream of happiness” that turns the world “rose colored”. This time around his high seems to have him in a more much light and jolly mood though, despite being arrested and being generally down on his luck. Maybe he’s thinking of Mary back home. These lyrics are almost too up-beat and positive, particularly for Yoshii as we’ve seen him so far. That’s part of what makes the song stand out so much. It does a ton for the variety of tracks on the album, and in my opinion is a very underrated song in general.

Machi no Akari - Emma and Annie (Mekara Uroko 29, 2018)
Two brothers having fun playing together (Mekara Uroko 29, 2018)

I’m not sure what the deal is with Yoshii sneezing in the part after the solo, before going into the next verse. There’s no real way of telling if it was intentional or not, but even if it wasn’t he seems to have leaned into it given that he’s done it (and maybe emphasized it even more than in the recording) during live performances.

Machi no Akari - Yoshii (Mekara Uroko 29, 2018)
Yoshii shouting “Alright!” at the end of a series of Freddie Mercury-like “Day-oh”s

Unfortunately, machi no akari has not been a very frequently played song live. It was initially performed during the Jaguar Hard Pain tour in 1994, and as far as I can tell not again until Mekara Uroko 29 in 2018. The previously mentioned Queen-like sound that this song has may even be the reason that they included in Mekara Uroko 29, given that the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody had just recently come out that year. In fact that performance was prefaced by talk of Queen (Emma mentioned that he saw them in concert in the 80s), and Yoshii even did Freddie Mercury’s “day-oh” crowd interaction during the pause that they put in the song live just before the final “kiite kudasai na”. The original performance in 1994 also features a completely original vocal part that didn’t appear in the recording, in place of part of the rather long instrumental part after the solo.

(Jaguar Hard Pain Tour, 1994)