najikawa shiranedo kokoro wabite

mukashino tsutaewa sozoro minishimu

sabishiku kureyuku rainno nagare

irihini yamayama akaku hayuru

I don’t know why, but my heart is sad.

An old legend is circling in my head.

Lonely – it’s getting dark around the floods of the Rhine,

and the mountains are glowing in the dusk.

In 1888, this song was published in the first part of the “Meiji song book”, however, with different lyrics and another title, namely “Trip on the sea in February” (by Makura Torii). In 1909, this song was published in a song book for female voices with the lyrics we are using that are a translation of the German original lyrics by Sakufû Kondô. Kondô also translated the lyrics of “The wild rose”. Just like in those lyrics, here, Kondô also succeeds impressively at expressing the substance of the German lyrics concisely and true to the original in the Japanese language of his time.