Sometimes it takes one random song in my iPod to take me down memory lane and today, it was La Familia, a song Matsujun composed for their Iza Now Tour in 2004, when Arashi was five years old.
Arashi is a typical “boy group” (I’d prefer male group since they’re not exactly boys anymore but let’s go with the convention because, hey, even Backstreet Boys still gets referred to as a boy band), which means they don’t exactly compose the songs for their albums. That’s why, whenever they do, it becomes very special, like in the case of Sketch (composed by Sho and Nino for their fifth anniversary) and 5×10 (composed by all five for their 10th anniversary).
They have also tried their hand composing their solos, specifically Nino and Sho, and, but very rarely, Jun. La Familia is one of those “rare” moments for composer Jun (I guess he already has his hands full producing their concerts).
The lyrics are typical Arashi when they write, so down-to-earth and relatable and you can actually put the words into a specific period. In short, it’s very narrative, like you’re reading about a part of their lives in a song.
Subete wa hawai de hajimari A.RA.SHI A.RA.SHI for dream
Haado ma mainichi ga tsuzuku naka de minna to kawashita akushu
Chikara ga nakute jibun ga nakute fuan bakari kakaeteta
Sore de mo mienai michi o mite hitasura hashitte ita
It all started in Hawaii with “A.RA.SHI A.RA.SHI for dream”
As the stressful days went on, I shook hands with all of you
I had no strength, I had no self-worth, all I carried with me was anxiety
But still I kept my eyes on the invisible path and just kept running
Arashi fans would know that while they don’t deny their bond (a magazine once featured them in a red string photoshoot), they don’t parade it around as “friendship” or “brotherhood”. They don’t even know how to describe it except that it’s a “separate genre called Arashi”.
That’s why La Familia’s lyrics is a rare treat because Jun, in this case, becomes expressive.
Found a reason to be strong
You are the one
Always in my heart, my friend
Every time you call my name
I will be there
No matter how far, we are friends
This song was written when they were five years old as a group and he wondered what it would be like five years down the road. In the NHK documentary that aired last year, Jun said he didn’t even see them making it to the 10th year. So imagine the weight of these words:
Sono toki dare ga soba ni iru darou? kitto gonin de iru darou
Mawari o mireba anata ga iru sou negai omoi o koko ni tsuzuru
Who will be beside me then? I know it’ll be the five of us
As I look around, you’re there – that’s the wish I’ll spell out here
I love that moment when the four appeared onstage. Nino’s smile was precious, and so was Jun’s (yes, my Matsumiya kokoro is showing) as he pointed at them singing “my friend”. It is very seldom you’d see Arashi being this demonstrative. Sure, they show skinship in the name of fan service and fun, but they are seldom showy with words. I guess they believe more in action.
I wish Jun will perform this in a future concert. If they have Arafes this year, I’d surely vote for it. Of course he needs to tweak the lyrics now since the group is sweet 16 this year. Imagine that. I bet Jun didn’t when he wrote the song.
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