I found this album recently, called “Aryuna’s HECKING Good Song Collection 2.” The songs are all sung in a cheerful, vocaloid voice, but the lyrics are disturbing. I found the dissonance fascinating, attractive. The songs are more powerful because of that – they stick with me because I couldn’t put it nicely in a box.

The first song in the album is called Sirenomelia. The lyrics are in 3 different languages. Because most of it wasn’t in English, after hearing the song I was very surprised to read the translation and find that it was completely not what I imagined. Indeed, the part in English is the most innocuous. Starting from

I’m a fish out of water,
not belonging anywhere.
Left behind with rain all over me,
The sun won’t smile on me.

it goes to (in translation)

I carefully pointed my knife at my tail.
I stabbed it and tore it apart, so that it can become feet.

and then

I’m drowning in a sea of my own blood and my tears.
It would’ve been better if I never lived.

To me this song is about trying to be something that you’re not. Society – the people around us – pushes us to be different from who we are. We change ourselves in order to fit in, to have “friends.” And sometimes we do it willingly, cheerfully, thinking that is the right “story”, and don’t notice that we are standing in a pool of blood until it’s too late.

One story is the little mermaid love story. But another story is that: Sometimes, a mermaid should stay a mermaid. So to all the mermaids & other fantastical beasts out there – be who you are. Don’t chop off your tail.


Songs, Spring 2015

Every semester I add a few songs to my starred playlist on Spotify. The playlist becomes like a stroll through time – how do my tastes in music drift? What was my it like at that period of my life?

And at the end of every semester I feel there’s a song that represents it. I don’t choose it, it just bubbles to the surface.

  • Hold On When You Get Love And Let Go When You Give It, Stars (lyrics): A song about being open about love (which has been a theme this year), about not taking it for granted. Songs that have this mindset about love resonate with me – like Heart to Heart, Take a Chance on Me, You Can’t Hurry Love, Brighter than the Sun. (On the average I like old songs – like 80’s songs better – because they suggest a slower pace of life, and a more open, uncertain, wait-and-see kind of view.)”You can evoke the stars above But that doesn’t make it something,” questioning the tendency to see the relationships we fall into as destined, or even deserved endings to happy stories – when they are in fact, just random happenings.

    “What do I do when I get love?” (Actually, it’s “lonely”, but I always mishear it as “love”.) Not knowing what to do when you get love is very strongly not taking it for granted.

    “The only way to last… the only way to live it, is to hold on when you get love and let go when you give it.” Because love isn’t about clinging. Giving love is as much about letting go.

And the rest of the starred songs, with some little notes.

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