Yuko & Hiro

Closing The Great Escape (unless you count what sounds like a short reprise of “Ernold Same”) is this strange and sad song that on the surface appears to be sung from the perspective of a Japanese worker (hence the working title “Japanese Workers”) that has to work rediculously long hours and doesn’t have much time to spend with his loved ones, but in reality it’s presumably a thinly-disguised lament about Damon and Justine Frischmann not getting an awful lot of time together due to band obligations: “I never see you, we’re never together, I love you forever”. 

Their unidentified employing company, in the meantime, will protect them if they work hard, but from what do they get protection? Financial downfall? Evil britpop fans? Oasis? Not from loneliness and alcohol abuse, that much is certain from the lyrics.

Damon had wanted “proper Japanese singing, not some Japanese rock chick”, and doubting producer Stephen Street could get the right vocal threatened to buy a CD with the type of singing he wanted to use that instead. Street delivered though, and what we hear are some of the first verse’s lines translated (somewhat roughly) into Japanese.

A sweet live version can be found on Live At The Budokan.

Ben Folds, in the meantime, appears to have been fascinated by “Yuko & Hiro”. On his Songs For Goldfish album we find a “Hiro’s Song” in which Hiro is a 51 year old that leaves his family for his 22 year old secretary… named Yuko. Of course the age gap (and the fact Yuko was a highschool friend of Hiro’s daughter’s) gets between them and Yuko leaves Hiro again for a “drum programmer”.

Published in: on July 31, 2007 at 12:02 pm  Leave a Comment