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I chanced upon karaoke

Before I knew it in the West.

One evening in Yokohama,

As beer and saké flowed, we heard

‘My Way’, a classic of its kind,

Mauled by half-drunk salarymen.

Sumo-like bouncers were on hand,

But, in truth, there was no trouble.

As we left, ‘Fly me to the moon’

Was warbled gamely through the smoke.

Later, all staggered on to trains,

Or crashed in their capsule hotel.

Nearby, journalists scarcely dared draw breath,

For fear of missing the Emperor’s death.


(A visit to Japan, December 1988)



◄ La France Profonde

Zero Sum ►


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Stephen Gospage

Sat 14th Jan 2023 09:10

Thanks, Trevor. Karaoke is strange, isn't it? It's almost impossible to sound really bad or very good. Japanese phonetic English reduces most songs to a middling drone.

The conclusion of this poem is based on a memory of passing the Emperor's residence at night and seeing rows and rows of journalists asleep on reclining seats in cars. It was known that Hirohito was very ill and he passed away early in 1989.

And thanks to Greg, Frederick, Hugh and Hélène for liking this one.

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Trevor Alexander

Thu 12th Jan 2023 23:05

Nice to know 'My Way' doesn't just get mauled here!

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