Aishiteru, aishiteta is one of the most amazing pieces of lyrical writing that I have ever had the pleasure to read. Its topic is love, but this is not your average love song by any means. The way in which the lyricist Yoshida Miwa conveys the relationship in the song is genius. I feel a very strong connection to this song.
Featured on both the original album Magic and the Dreams Come True best collection called The Soul, this song is the group at its best.
This song was the first one that inspired me to try my hand at translation. So, here is my first attempt with the most interesting ideas highlighted for effect. There may be mistakes in my approach to things and I was slightly liberal in places that were ambiguous. I apologize for my errors in advance. I am certain that readers will find some of the ways that Yoshida conveys closeness between two people to be original and effective.
Please note that the word "aishiteru" (愛してる) may be translated as simply "to love" but it carries with it a connotation of deep love--the 'forever' kind. So I translated this as "love and cherish" in the song. I couldn't find a word in English with parallel meaning.
a i s h i t e r u . a i s h i t e t a
Performed by Dreams Come True
Lyrics: Yoshida Miwa
Music: Yoshida Miwa
Arrangement: Dream Come True
English Translation: tsubasa
I can hear your voice, which has become a recording on the machine.
I'm pretending to be away, which doesn't really seem like I'm trying
To say I'm sorry does it?
"I'll call again." It was a mere ten second message.
But I'll rewind it over and over again.
You call out to me with your tender voice.
I love and cherish it all.
I don't want to say sayonara to you,
So I can't bring myself to call you back.
I wish that I could find at least the courage to return your call,
Forgive me, I'll cry if we speak to each other, so...
Your old ring... Your pierced left ear...
The long arms and scratched elbows...
Short fingernails... The mole on your shoulder...
And your cold hands... I loved everything.
Your tender voice... Sweet words...
Long arms and scratched elbows...
Your old ring... Tin wristwatch...
And your cold hands... I cherished and loved it all.
If we are no longer in love, then
These memories are sacred, don't you agree?
I love you... Oh, I love you...
I really get an image of what this guy was like. His personality. Yoshida paints such a complete picture. He's just an average guy. But to her, with his words, he gives her sanctuary from the world. With those cold hands, he gives her a warmth and strength to go on.
I especially liked the references to everything she remembers fondly. Some of them aren't so obvious. She doesn't say, "Oh your hair was like burlap and your skin, tan" or anything straightforward. She talks about things like his wristwatch, the scratches on his elbows. Also, that his hands were cold. They seem like images drawn with a fine tip. Things she was growing, even. They are so vibrant. I don't know. The song seems much more natsukashii to me because of the choices she made. Very nostalgic and wonderful. I really think that this is probably the best example of a love song out there. Yes, it's love that is possibly coming to an end. But the emotion is there--and the strength. That's why Yoshida named it, "I love you, I loved you." At least, that's how I look at it.