A list of songs that feel “yellow” to give you a dose of hope in life.
The previous song recommendations:
Light, gentle, bright.
Associated work: Kara no Kyoukai/Garden of Sinners
Colour justification: The tone, accompaniment, and everything feel very iyashikei.
Highlight: [3:21-3:42] “こんな小さな君の手を取って/いたいほどかがやきがあって” (As I hold onto your hand that’s so small / there’s a glow so bright that it hurts)
Notes: The version I chose starts out a capella, unlike the original. This song may be my favourite thing about Kara no Kyoukai’s seventh film.
“Kimi ga Hikari ni Kaete Yuku” (2009)
Associated work: Kara no Kyoukai
Colour justification: The song describes a soft light.
Highlight: [1:08-1:44] “こんなに哀しい景色を/君が光に変えて行く/小さな涙の粒さえ/宝石のように落ちてく/未来の中へ” (Even this sad scene, you turn it into light / even tiny tear drops fall like jewels / into the future)
Notes: Title translates to “You Turn it into Light.” It has been translated it as “Turn You into Light” or “You Turn into Light,” but that would be incorrect (though it would be kind of cool). The concert I chose is a fairly early one. Keiko’s voice doesn’t sound so different, but I feel like there’s a rounder quality to Wakana’s voice. My choir teacher used to describe voices as “round” vs. “flat,” so I hope you’ll get what I mean.
“I have a dream” (2010)
Associated work: Eve no Jikan/Time of Eve
Colour justification: Dreams are cream yellow to me. Pleasant dreams that you wake from and forget most of, that is.
Highlight: [3:12-3:33] “春が来る 風が吹く/僕達は歩いてく/変わらない日々のため/小さな夢を抱きしめている” (spring comes, the wind blows / we walk / for the sake of unchanging days / we embrace our small dreams)
Notes: I have nothing relevant to add, except that I think of Martin Luther King Jr. whenever I hear this song.
Lively, distinct, bold
“Hikari no Senritsu” (2010)
Associated work: Sora no Woto/Sound of the Sky
Colour justification: Folk music vibes, especially with that MV. The “hikari” in this song feels bolder than the ones in “Kimi ga Hikari” or “Alleluia.” Hikaru’s vocals must be what’s making the difference.
Highlight: [0:34-0:55] “君の手がまだ/夢に遠くても/思い出してよ 優しい声を/誰かが君のため/歌った幸福(しあわせ)の和音(コード)” (Even if your hands are still / far from reaching your dream / please remember the gentle voice / that someone used / to sing you chords of happiness)
Notes: The lyrics of this one are quite touching. I see it as being about delivering salvation to someone through music.
Associated work: Rekishi Hiwa Historia/The Secret History
Colour justification: The lively, rhythmic Kajiura-go lines make this song mustard yellow.
Highlight: [0:20-0:29] “romance of life/君のことをいつも歌いたい” (I always want to sing about you)
Notes: I actually prefer the OST version of this song that’s purely in Kajiura-go. It’s not Kalafina though, so I can’t put it in here… Definitely give it a listen though – it’s one of my favourite OSTs by Kajiura. The sound is simply so pure and ethereal.
Bright, magnificent, optimistic
“Mune no Yukue” (2011)
Colour justification: Empowering vibes.
Highlight: [0:40-1:00] “冬の雨に震えてた街角に/何を置いて来たのだろう” (In the street corner where you shivered in the winter rain / what have you left behind?)
Notes: Title translates to “Course of the Heart.” Both songs in this category are about the future. Well, many Kajiura songs are about bright futures. These two feel the most motivating, I think. Keiko rocks this one’s verses.
Associated work: Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica/Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Colour justification: Mami is yellow…
Highlight: [1:08-1:33] “裏切り続けて/それでも小さな祈りを/諦めないよ/届かないと泣き濡れた/君をただ/抱きしめたい” (The betrayal continues / but even so I won’t give up / on this little prayer / I soak myself in tears because I can’t reach / I only want to embrace you)
Notes: “Mirai” means “future.” The irony of this song being one of Mami’s themes is simply cruel. Fun fact: Wakana once named Mami as her favourite anime character! My next favourite line is Wakana’s “少し優しい未来を信じていいんだと” (hey, it’s okay to believe in the kind future a little)
There are fewer “yellow” songs than “red/blue,” I think. Still really appreciate them though! Look forward to black/white next.