05. Songs in Triple Time Are Still Sung in Duple Time



1. 鳥取春陽, “籠の鳥”

1. Shun’yō Tottori, “Kago-no Tori” (Caged Bird)

From: Medley of “Suzuran” (Lilly of the Valley), “Kago-no Tori” and “Sutoton” / Medley of “Renbo Ko-uta,” “Café Ko-uta” and “Sute Kobune”. Imperial Phonograph, Hikōki 1262, 1924, 78 rpm.

Shun’yō Tottori: vocals; anonym: piano.


In this shorter version of “Kago-no Tori” (music by Shun’yō Tottori; lyrics by Kaoru Chino),  Shun’yō Tottori sings the first three verses by himself accompanied by a piano, while a full version, which was also released in September 1924 as Hikōki 1204A, he sings this dialog song with Kyōko Tatsumi.


 2. Ichiryū Ishida & Fumiko Ishida, “新籠の鳥”

2. 石田一涙 & 石田二三子, “Shin Kago-no Tori” (New Version of Caged Bird)

From: “Renbo Koi-uta” (Enamored Song) / “Shin Kago-no Tori”. Tokyo Chikuonki, Tokyo-Fujisan 3186B, ca.1925, 80 rpm.

Ichiryū Ishida: vocals; Fumiko Ishida: vocals; Jinsei Saitō: violin.

This new version of “Kago-no Tori” is a typical enka song in the mid-1920s, complete with the scratchy violin accompaniment. The tune is a variation of the original “Kago-no Tori,” which the performers must have learnt from ears.

3. 砂川捨次 & 河内家芳子, “萬歳 新籠の鳥”

3. Suteji Sunagawa & Yoshiko Kawachiya, “Manzai Shin Kago-no Tori” (Comic Dialog: New Version of Caged Bird)

From: “Manzai Shin Kago-no Tori” / “Ochiteru-yo” (It’s Lying There). Taihei Chikuonki, Kirin K635-A, ca. early 1930s, 78 rpm.

Suteji Sunagawa & Yoshiko Kawachiya: stage dialog; Suteji Sunagawa: vocals.

This parody of “Kago-no Tori” consists of lyrics with four stanzas, each of which is preceded by a comic dialog between a man and a woman. The man, who must have learned the song from ears, sings without any accompaniment. The record company,Taihei Chikuonki, was in operation in 1930-36.

4. Masahide Tawara and others, “ふるさと”

4. Masahide Tawara and others, “Furusato” (Home Village)

Live performance at an unidentified day-care center on August 25, 2010.

Masahide Tawara: harmonica; aged males and females: vocals.


This song known to almost all the Japanese is sung here by aged people at a day-care center under the guidance of a man who plays the double-reed harmonica without being unconsciously restrained by the metrical defect of the tune at the end of the third musical phrase.

5. Satoshi Kubota and others, “ふるさと”

5. Satoshi Kubota and others, “Furusato” (Home Village)

 Live performance at “Kaasan-no-ie,” a sing-along café, in Azumino, Nagano.

Satoshi Kubota: accordion; aged and middle-aged males and females: vocals.


The leading accordionist, who emphasizes the triple time of this song, is fully aware that the singing men and women invariably insert an additional beat after the third musical phrase unless he gives a gestured warning.