ai love music

Battle of the Songs: The Battle for Heisei’s #1 Song

Welcome to another Battle of the Songs here on my new site!

Today marks the beginning of the new era called Reiwa (令和). The Japanese calendar measures time by the reign of an emperor. Emperor Naruhito’s reign started today, thus called the first day of Reiwa 1 (令和元年). His father, Akihito, reigned as Emperor under the Heisei (平成) era from January 8, 1989 to yesterday (April 30, 2019).

I was born in the first year of Heisei, so yesterday was a bit sad as I saw the era that I was born in and only experienced so far come to an end. Though it ups and downs, Heisei was a pretty decent era.

To commemorate the end of Heisei, this month’s battles will be Heisei-themed battles. Today’s battle will be about the number one song vs. the number one artist of this wonderful era.

Number One Song: SMAP – “Sekai ni Hitotsu dake no Hana”

SMAP was the biggest boy band of the Heisei era. With the group members being in various media from singing to hosting TV events, SMAP captured the hearts of many in Japan as well as overseas. My favorite member was Shingo as he was funny, cute, and a bit crazy (if you ever heard the Shingomama song).

This boy band was more of an idol group as the focus was more on the group’s talents and looks than their singing talents. Trust me, Masahiro Nakai would never make it in the group if it was only about vocal talent. Nevertheless, the group had some pretty great songs, especially “Sekai ni Hitotsu dake no Hana” (The Only Flower in the World).

This song has been a favorite among elementary students as it sung at various school events like sports day and graduation. During a recent field trip with students during spring break, a bunch of boys suddenly sang this song on the bus, knowing every note and word by heart. And, it’s for good reason. This song is uplifting and has a great message: Don’t try to be number one, try to be unique.

Take a look at the lyrics while listening to the song. Don’t you see the inspiring message?

The Lyrics of “Sekai ni Hitotsu dake no Hana”

There’s no need to be Number One
You are a special individual.

I saw many kinds of flowers lined up in front of the flower shop.
Everyone has their favorite kinds but all of them are pretty.
Without competing to see which was the best among them,
they were standing straight up proudly inside the bucket.

So why then do we humans have to compare ourselves to one another?
Even though each and every person is different,
why do we want to be number one?
Yes, we are each…

The only flower in this world
and each and every one of us carries a different seed
We should focus all our efforts on trying to make that flower bloom.

There are people who are constantly unsure of what they want,
as they laugh a little put out.
It can’t be helped, all those flowers,
that did everything they could to bloom, are pretty.

When at last that person comes out of the store,
they’re holding a colorful bouquet
and I see them smiling happily as they go by me.
I never knew their name but
that day they made me smile.

We too are like flowers that bloom in places where no one pays any attention.
Yes, we too are each…

The only flower in this world
and each and every one of us carries a different seed
We should focus all our efforts on trying to make that flower bloom.

Small flowers and big flowers, none are the same as one another.
There’s no need to be Number One
You are a special individual.


Number One Artist: B’z – “Ai no Mama ni Wagamama ni Boku wa Kimi Dake wo Kizukenai”

Whew, that title was a mouthful!

B’z was the top-selling artist during the Heisei era. This rock duo has countless number one singles and albums since their debut in 1988. However, their 1993 single “Ai no Mama ni Wagamama ni Boku wa Kimi Dake wo Kizukenai” (My Love is Selfish, But I Won’t Hurt You) remains their top-selling single to date.

I admit that I am not a big fan of this song. I prefer other songs that feature Tak Matsumoto’s amazing guitar skills like “LOVE PHANTOM” or “Ultra Soul”. But, “Ai no Mama ni Wagamama ni Boku wa Kimi Dake wo Kizukenai” is a decent song that showcases classic 90s’ B’z rock style.

I have been a fan of B’z since 2001 due to their unique hard rock style. My brother is also a fan for the same reason. Vocalist Konishi Inaba and guitarist Tak Matsumoto — and their amazing session musicians — showcase their talents in well-crafted songs like “Ai no Mama ni Wagamama ni Boku wa Kimi Dake wo Kizukenai”.

Check out the translated lyrics here:

You whispered, “I can’t believe anymore” and hung your head
Dangling the ingredients for anxiety on my waist, it bit at my heart
I know we match, like a perfect fit 
Because it’s the two of us, let’s go as far as we can go

As my love, selfishly, you are the only one I won’t hurt 
Even if the sun freezes over, just “me and you” please don’t disappear

That’s right, over praying to a worldly god that only saves te ones who believe in him,
It would feel so much better to stay with me forever
If you just cry about all the pain, you’ll only increase the number of wrinkles in your heart 
Because it’s the two of us, let’s have fun and dance

As my love, selfishly, you are the only one I won’t hurt 
Even if the sun freezes over, just “me and you” please don’t disappear

If we are hand in hand I won’t ever let go, even in the pouring rain
Even the dusty bonds will begin to shine

As my love, selfishly, you are the only one I won’t hurt 
Even if the sun freezes over, “you and me”” please don’t disappear 
Because it’s now, because I love you, don’t live giving up 
Even if someone’s blood runs, let’s hold up our earnest feelings 


What Will It Be?

Now it is your turn to vote! Who will be the victor of the first-ever “Battle of the Songs”? Tell me in the comments below! Also, tell me why you choose a particular version! I can’t wait to hear what you guys think!

I am also part of The “Battle of the Bands” blog collection. After you vote, please visit the other battles from this blogger circle. There are really exciting battles!

Visit TOSSING IT OUT by clicking HERE.
Visit MIKE’S RAMBLINGS’by clicking HERE.
Visit CURIOUS AS A CATHY by clicking HERE.
Visit ANGELS BARK by clicking HERE.
Visit THE DOGLADY’S DEN by clicking HERE.

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