Lyrics: 3びきのくま/3 Bears

Another collaboration between Sakamoto’s music and Ohnuki’s lyrics, 3 Bears captures the consciousness of how ephemeral human life is in contrast to the cosmos- nevertheless, the fact that life exists on planet earth is a miracle in its own right. This song is also a perfect example of UTAU‘s style- tranquil, delicate, yet always profound.

3 Bears, UTAU version
Koko, the original instrumental version

3 Bears[1]
Composer: Ryuichi Sakamoto
Lyricist: Taeko Ohnuki

Amidst the endless universe
I dreamed a dream again today
Even the stars do not blink
In the dark
Swaying in the wind
A field of weeds
The waves breaking on the shore
Shower snow down the dunes

The call of the one waiting
Transcend thousands of times
And reach there it will
Just that single thought
One day, illuminate the lonely darkness
It will

All vanish away
In the quicksand
Leaving behind a trail
Of a dazzling life

Amidst the endless universe
The miracle that was born-
A shard of foam
In the deep blue sea

Translator’s notes:
[1] I was once confused by the title as it seemed to have nothing to do with the lyrics, but later found Ohnuki’s own words on her creative process, which gives a comprehensive explanation of her inspiration and the meaning behind the title. Here is the translation:

This is based on Mr. Sakamoto’s instrumental piece that was used in the 2009 New Year’s cards commercial for Japan Post. The title at that time was koko. It seems that the title has various meanings, such as “here” (此処 koko) and “heart” (こころ kokoro). This time, I added lyrics to the song and sing it. To put lyrics to a specific melody is to choose 1 of 100 possibilities; you might be able to write 100 patterns of lyrics, but you choose 1 and throw away the other 99. Of course, I don’t actually think of 100 patterns, but I always think about what kind of lyrics I should put on. For this reason, I listen to the song many times. As I listen to it over and over again, the words that the melody calls for, and the feelings of the listeners in this era all point to one direction, and the lyrics are formed. The lyrics to the original song koko are titled 3 bears.

Although the title is a bit strange, Three Bears is an English fairy tale about a girl called Goldilocks. There are three bears living in a house, and little Goldilocks arrives there while taking a walk. Then she finds three plates of soup on the table. The first plate of soup is too hot to drink, the next plate is too cold to drink, but the last one is the right temperature, so she drinks it. And just like that- of the three chairs, one is too high, one is too low, and one is just right. From there, the term “Goldilocks zone” was turned into a metaphor for “just the right place.” The term is also used to describe a zone in the universe that is neither too hot nor too cold (for mankind). So, the theme of the 3 Bears is space. It was just around the time when Hayabusa returned safely to the earth after wandering in space, and I was very moved when seeing the news. And I wanted to write a song about the feelings of not giving up, of being able to reach someone no matter how far away they are, and the importance of things you can understand after you lose them.


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