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"Sukiyaki" by Kyu Sakamoto

Japanese Pop Music

Kyu Sakamoto was a Japanese singer best known for his international hit song “Sukiyaki,” which was sung in Japanese. Despite the  language barrier, the wonderful orchestration and his voice tell the story about the singer hiding his broken heart by looking up and whistling as he walks so the tears don’t fall, but the tears come anyway. (The song has nothing to do with the English title, as Skuiyaki is a soup or stew of meat and vegetables. The real title is  “Ue o Muite Arukō” and translates to “I Look Up As I Walk.”)  In  1963, the song  went to  #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 — and it remains the only song in Japanese to do so. It also reached #18 on the R&B Chart. “Sukiyaki” has sold more than thirteen million copies worldwide.  A cover  by A Taste of Honey in 1981 was also successful, peaking at  #1 on the Billboard Soul and Adult Contemporary Charts as well as #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Sadly, Kyu Sakamoto died at the age of 43 in the August 12, 1985, crash of Japan Airlines Flight 123.

Here is a translation of the lyrics to “Sukiyaki” by Kyu Sakamoto :

“I look up when I walk
So the tears won’t fall
Remembering those happy spring days
But tonight I’m all alone

I look up when I walk
Counting the stars with tearful eyes
Remembering those happy summer days
But tonight I’m all alone

Happiness lies beyond the clouds
Happiness lies above the sky

I look up when I walk
So the tears won’t fall
Though my heart is filled with sorrow *
For tonight I’m all alone

*(Whistling)

Remembering those happy autumn days
But tonight I’m all alone

Sadness hides in the shadow of the stars
Sadness lurks in the shadow of the moon

I look up when I walk
So the tears won’t fall
Though my heart is filled with sorrow *
For tonight I’m all alone

(Whistling)”

For More Golden Oldies Music       

The Daily Doo Wop Rec Room has daily featured doo wop, rock and roll, R&B, or rockabilly songs that were hits during the first era of rock and roll (that is, from about 1952 until the British invasion in 1964). After a song is featured, it then goes into the juke box. You are welcome to listen to any of the 40+ selections there. Every weekend, there is a Golden Oldies Juke Box Saturday Night, and the juke box is full of song requests from the 1950s and 1960s.

Please click here for the Daily Doo Wop YouTube channel, to which you can subscribe. Thank you for stopping by The Daily Doo Wop. Hope you enjoyed “Sukiyaki” by Kyu Sakamoto.

1 Comment

  1. bob says:

    i remember the song but i never saw the lyrics before. thanks. interesting but sad ending.

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