exist†trace — Lost in Helix

A super-belated Happy New Year, O Readers! ^_^;

Below are the lyrics, romanization, and my English translation of this beautiful track from Vanguard – Of the Muses. At the very bottom is a translation of part of a miko blog entry where she talks about this song.

Lost in Helix

水面に浮かぶ満月を 見上げる身体の無い意思よ

巡る周期をただ待ち焦がれ 何度天を仰いだだろう

月は満ち繰り返す 生と死を永遠に
私は今 再び生まれる

廻り廻る螺旋で 愛しいあなたに会いたい
遠いあの地で もう一度愛しいあなたに会いたい

絶え間無く押し寄せる波 満ち欠けは止まりはしない

月は欠け叫び出す この魂震え出す

廻り失くした記憶で出会った あなたに会いたい
遠い遠い輪廻ではぐれた あなたに会いたい


廻り廻る螺旋で 愛しいあなたに会いたい
遠いあの地で もう一度愛しいあなたに会いたい

Lost in Helix

Note: Italicized words in brackets represent what’s actually sung for the word written in the lyrics that immediately precede them.

minano ni ukabu mangetsu wo miageru karada no nai ishi yo

meguru shuuki [“toki”] wo tada machikogare nando ten wo aoida darou

tsuki wa michi kurikaesu sei to shi wo eien ni
watashi wa ima futatabi umareru

mawari mawaru rasen de itoshii anata ni aitai
itsuka mata shi ni wakaretemo
tooi ano chi de mou ichido itoshii anata ni aitai
kibou nakuseba subete ushinau you na ki ga suru no

taemanaku oshiyoseru nami michikake wa tomari wa shinai

tsuki wa kake sakebidasu  kono tamashii [“karada”] furuedasu
yami ni kieta anata ni furerareta nara

mawari nakushita kioku de deatta anata ni aitai
fukai nemuri wo koete ima
tooi tooi rinne de hagureta anata ni aitai
kibou no asa wo nando de mo

tsutsumikomu youna yawarakana hitomi [“me”] de
yurui kyokusen [“kaabu”] no rasen no doko de matteiru no

mawari mawaru rasen de itoshii anata ni aitai
sore ga hitotoki da to shite mo
tooi ano chi de mou ichido itoshii anata ni aitai
watashi no tamashii [“karada”] to eikyuu ni tomo ni are

Lost in Samsara1

My disembodied consciousness looks up at the moon floating on the water’s surface

How many times have I looked to the heavens, just waiting anxiously for the time to come around?2

The moon waxes repeatedly, life and death for eternity
Now, I’m born again

I want to meet you on this spinning immortal coil3
Even if death do us part once more
In that far-off land, I want to meet you one more time,
Because if I lose hope, I feel like I’ll lose everything

Relentlessly crashing waves, like the ceaseless waxing and waning

The moon wanes with a sharp cry; my soul starts to tremble4
If that was you, reaching out from beyond the darkness you’d disappeared into…

I want to meet you
The person I met in memories since lost in the spiral
Now, from beyond this deep slumber
I want to meet you
The person I got separated from in this endless cycle of death and rebirth
The morning I’ve wished for so many times…

Where on this gently curved helix are you waiting for me with those soft, embracing eyes?5

I want to meet you on this spinning immortal coil
Even if it is for but a brief moment
I want to meet you once again in that far-off land
Would that I be with you forever

miko blog February 20, 2012
VANGUARD-only Shimokitazawa MOSAiC

Today, we played a song we hadn’t done in a while, the deeply contemplative “Lost in Helix.” It’s a ballad I love which we’d played live often, but since last year’s disaster [the March 11, 2011 earthquake & tsunami in northeastern Japan], it’s been sealed away, not played even once. Because after that disaster, I became unable to sing the words “taemanaku oshiyoseru nami” (Relentlessly crashing waves).

The “waves” in this song refer to the ebb and flow of the tides which change along with the waxing and waning of the moon. In turn, I liken the moon’s waxing and waning to the cycle of transmigration. So even if someday death separates us from loved ones, just as the moon keeps waxing and waning for all eternity, so too do we repeat the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth, and someday, we can meet our loved ones once more. I wrote that wish into the lyrics.

Some people might hear just this part of the lyrics and be frightened by them. But with this show coming right before March 11, I wanted to spread this message of hope to everyone. I don’t want to believe that we become Nothing when we die. There’s no proof that, after I die, through all time, I won’t ever have the chance to meet all of you again. And I don’t mean only the people affected by the disaster; I hope that anyone and everyone who has lost a loved one can keep moving forward without losing hope.

I played this song having thought on it for about a year, convinced that with my current expressive power, I would be able to properly convey the meaning of these lyrics. All of you listened to the song and understood its overall meaning. Thank you.

While playing, I was so overwhelmed by emotion, that even though I was happy, it was painful. Now that the seal has been broken, I want to play this song many times so that various people can hear it. Including people who aren’t VANGUARD members yet.

I will always believe in the power of music!

1. I think “Lost in Helix” doesn’t convey the meaning of the song at all to the average English speaker. Before reading the lyrics, I thought it would have something to do with DNA. The key to this “helix” is 輪廻 (rinne), the Japanese word for the Hindu & Buddhist concept of samsara, “the endless cycle of death and rebirth to which life in the material world is bound.” The lyrics also include 螺旋 (rasen), which is usually translated to “spiral.” This also points to the concept of transmigration. The average American English speaker probably doesn’t know what samsara is either, but I think that seeing that unfamiliar word would actually lead people down a better track than “helix,” a word we think we know the meaning of.

2. The written lyrics say 周期 (shuuki, “cycle”) but the sung lyrics say 時(toki, “time”).

3. I heard of the bands This Mortal Coil and Lacuna Coil before I had to read Hamlet in high school. As such, for years I associated the word “coil” with “spiral” in a cosmic sense that matched the aesthetic of these bands, rather than with “commotion” as Shakespeare intended. Of course, the “spiral” miko intended is eternal, so I made it an “immortal coil.”

4. The written lyrics say 魂 (tamashii, “spirit” or “soul”) but the sung lyrics say 身体 (karada “body”). This switch is repeated in the very last line of the song.

5. Not a big deal, but here we have 目(me “eyes”) sung in place of the written 瞳 (hitomi, which can also mean “eyes” or more specifically “pupil”); and カーブ (kaabu, from the English word “curve”) in place of the written 曲線 (kyokusen, “curve”).

2 thoughts on “exist†trace — Lost in Helix

  1. Pingback: A Little More on Little Mary | Warped Frost

  2. Pingback: exist†trace — Requiem | Warped Frost

Let's talk!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.