Learning Japanese with Music: The Blue Hearts

Part Two: 「キスして欲しい」by The Blue Hearts ブルーハーツ

If musicals aren’t your thing, how about remembering grammatical structures with punk rock? The Blue Hearts (ブルーハーツ) were a popular punk rock band in the 1980-90s. Their music was the prominently featured in the 2005 movie リンダリンダリンダLinda! Linda! Linda!. It’s a cute movie; I recommend renting it.

One of my favorite Blue Hearts’ songs is 「キスして欲しい」(kisu shite hoshii), or “Kiss Me.” The lyrics are pretty simple and sung clearly in this Beach Boys’ inspired song.

Grammatical Point
(て)ほしい (to) want

Nounが欲しい (I) want (noun)
クッキーが欲しい I want a cookie

Te-form of verb + hoshii
てはしい
(I) want to (verb) (nuance: I want something done for me) (ほしい is usually in kana)

あなたがクッキーを食べてほしい I want you to eat a cookie

In the song, the first refrain repeats the phraseキスしてほしい, which means “I want you to kiss me.” As in many Japanese sentences, the subject and object are dropped. The phrase literally means “Want to kiss,” but the subject and object are implied in the てほしい clause and the context of the song.

In the second refrain, the phrase is教えて欲しい, which literally means “want to teach.” In Japanese, the verb 教える also means tell, as in 電話番号を教えてください, Please give me (tell me, teach me) your phone number. So, in this case, the narrator says his lover, “I want you to tell me–sometimes things do end, right?”

This grammatical structure is similar to V-stemたい (to want to verb). ~が欲しい allows you to use “want” a noun. Additionally, the implication of てほしい is that you want someone to do something for you, versus wanting to do something.
写真を撮りたい I want to take a picture.
写真を撮って欲しい I want you to take a picture.

Also like ~たい、(て)ほしい is very direct, so use caution when using this phrase. It’s like the difference in English between “I want you to take a picture” 写真を撮ってほしいand “Excuse me, could you take a picture?” すみません、写真を撮ってもらってもいいですか。

See Tae Kim’s grammar guide for more on expressing desires.

文法を勉強してほしい Oh yeah.

Leah Zoller is a first-year CIR in Anamizu, and The Blue Hearts are the soundtrack to her studies.

Full lyrics with translation
The lyrics are property of The Blue Hearts. This is my translation, but neither I nor Ishikawa JET claims any rights to the original song or associated with THE BLUE HEARTS.

トゥ トゥ トゥ…トゥ トゥ トゥ…
Too too too too too….
どこまで行くの 僕達今夜
このままずっと ここに居るのか
No matter where we go, how bout we stay here just as we are for tonight?
はちきれそうだ とび出しそうだ
I feel like I’m going to burst; like I could just fly
生きているのが すばらしすぎる
Life is just too amazing!

△キスして欲しい キスして欲しい
I want you to kiss me; I want you to kiss me
キスして欲しい キスして欲しい
I want you to kiss me; I want you to kiss me
二人が夢に 近づくように
As if our dreams were close to coming true
キスして 欲しい△
I want you to kiss me; I want you to kiss me

トゥ トゥ トゥ…トゥ トゥ トゥ…
Too too too too too too…
もう動けない 朝が来ても
Even though morning’s come, I can’t move anymore
僕はあなたの そばに居るから
Because I’m at your side
雨が降っても 風が吹いても
Even if the rain falls, even if the wind blows
僕はあなたを 守ってあげる
I’ll protect you

教えて欲しい 教えて欲しい
I want you to tell me; I want you to tell me
教えて欲しい 教えて欲しい
I want you to tell me; I want you to tell me
終わる事など あるのでしょうか
Sometimes things do end, right?
教えて 欲しい
I want you to tell me; I want you to tell me

キスして欲しい キスして欲しい Oh yeah
I want you to kiss me; I want you to kiss me Oh yeah

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