But I went through with it, even despite not feeling up to it. So for that alone I'll give myself some credit. Even if last night wasn't my most shining moment, at least I went for it.
The first is a song called "Louisville", named after the city that Ma and her family are from. It's a place that's close to my heart, so I wrote a song about it. A silly song with a few hiccups.
The second is part of a song called "上を向いて歩こう" (Ue o Muite Arukou), which came out in the 1960s and is sung by Sakamoto Kyuu. The writer of the song penned the lyrics expressing how dejected he felt when protests failed to prevent the passing of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan (a.k.a. the reason why US military and political presence remains in Japan even though the occupation ended 50 years ago). The song is often recognized more as a love song than a political song, but nonetheless it has the inspirational message of moving forward amidst adversity ("look up so the tears won't fall"). It also performed extremely well on the Billboard Hot 100 charts (reaching #1 when it was released in the States), and has sold over 13 million copies around the world. I learned of the song in my 200-level Japanese class freshman year, where my professor played us a video of a 2011 remake/mashup of the song that Japanese artists and locals made to encourage victims of the 2010 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.
Thanks to Shay for recording and Irene for being there to show support!
And don't forget to like me and Hilena's pages for First of February (FB / YouTube)! More vids to come from (featuring BOTH of us) in the future!