”Even if I become an old lady,” nothing has changed for Chisato Moritaka (photo: Sankei Visual)
The lyrics were written by Chisato Moritaka herself, of course. The lyricist Chisato Moritaka’s writing ability and prowess are more memorable than her records.
“At first glance, however, this song has the look of a comic song. I remember that it was ‘consumed’ as a ‘story’ at karaoke events, with women singing it with a half smile on their faces.
“However, when I peeled off the comic song skin, what came out from inside was a question raised like a knife with a sharp edge.”
Even if I become an old lady, will you still take me swimming?
I am very worried because you like young girls.
And the song’s greatness lies not only in its own concern that her boyfriend might abandon her because of aging, but also in the fact that it thrusts a knife at the other party (her boyfriend).
When I become an old lady, you will become an old man.
You may say all the cool things, but your stomach will grow out.
This phrase is the sharpest and most brilliant part of the song.
You said women are 19 when they are ready to get married.
There was still a tendency at the time to refer to a woman’s marriageable age as “Christmas cake,” and to press women to get married by the age of 25, likening it to a Christmas cake whose price drops dramatically after December 25th and then drops again on December 26th.
According to “Hit Song of Heisei Era” (Shincho Shinsho), this passage was “actually uttered by one of the staff members around her (note: Chisato Moritaka)”. A quote from the same book.
For Moritaka, who was in her early twenties, most of the men at work must have been older than her. The phrase “The woman is 19” may have been just one word in a casual conversation, but Moritaka could not let it go unheeded. What does it mean for a man to decide what is a “woman in her prime” based on her age? In contrast, Chisato Moritaka, in 1989, said, “I am a woman.”
In contrast, Chisato Moritaka, in her 1989 book “Chisato Moritaka: It’s No Secret,” (Rikutsu ja nai) published by Kodansha Ltd. released in 1989, Moritaka Chisato described her own lyric writing technique:
“Moreover, I am a person who cannot tell a lie. Not only is it bad, but it shows on your face and in your attitude. （So I decided to sing lyrics written by the person closest to me, with the sensibility closest to my own.)”
For the staff who carelessly said in front of Chisato Moritaka, “The Woman is 19,” Moritaka, who “sings the lyrics she wrote from a position closest to herself, with a sensibility closest to her own,” seems to have been a bit of a bad partner.
Lyricist Chisato Moritaka cuts through the bubble-era society of old men
In her other songs, lyricist Chisato Moritaka also slams the society of old men of about 30 years ago.
If you don’t know rock ‘n’ roll, you’re a moron.
(Cover up the stinkin’ thing! 1990)
He’s always flying, a fly man, rubbing his hands against his boss.
(The Fly Man, 1993)
To expand on the topic a bit, these lyrics by lyricist Chisato Moritaka kicked off the scaffolding of the macho society of older men who had been comfortably protected by the bubble economy, but suddenly began to waver after the bubble burst.
Chisato Moritaka, the lyricist, is a lone heroine who, wearing a miniskirt and beautiful legs, dazzles old men in double-breasted suits with shoulder pads and cigarettes in hand, who approach her with a superior attitude, and thrusts her words like a knife with a sharp point.
It was once pointed out to me at the time that Chisato Moritaka resembles Yukio Aoshima.
The important things in life are timing, c-tone, and irresponsibility.
(Hajime Hana and the Crazy Cats, “Irresponsible Ichidai Otoko,” 1962)
In a sense, the high economic growth era was more like a bubble than a bubble, and the broadcaster and lyricist Yukio Aoshima identified “timing, tone C, and irresponsibility” as the things that supported the era. The song is the theme song of the movie “Nippon Irresponsible Era,” which Nobuhiko Kobayashi described in his book “Japanese Comedy Man” the secret state of the nation where no one is responsible for anything.
In contrast, Chisato Moritaka, the “Yukio Aoshima of the Heisei era,” wrote “Even if I become an old lady” as a “scalpel for the bubble era, for which no one is responsible.” Speaking of which, both Yukio Aoshima and Chisato Moritaka have in common the fact that they weave sharp words but never become humid and have a dry lightness to them.
When I thought about who has inherited lyricist Chisato Moritaka’s writing ability and prowess, Aimyon’s name came to mind.
I wanted you to get a little closer to me, thinking that you would never listen to rock music.
(“Kimi wa Rock wo Kikanai” (You Don’t Listen to Rock, 2017))
However, this song, like the earlier Chisato Moritaka’s “Put a lid on the stinky stuff! is a man talking about “rock” to a woman, but the attitude is completely different, the way “I” look at women in “You Don’t Listen to Rock” is meltingly gentle.
The times are moving in a gentler direction, if only slightly. I believe that lyricist Chisato Moritaka’s contribution to this change is by no means small.