Saturday, August 20, 2011

"Home on the Range" in Yonago, Japan

My Kansas City friends will be glad to hear this one. When I first came to Yonago over ten years ago, I found that they play a different tune of instrumental music over a PA system to be heard through out the city, every day at 8:00 a.m, 12:00, and 5:00 for about thirty seconds. This music is to mark your day, when to get ready for ork or school, lunch, and going home. But to my surprise, at 5:00 everyday they play an instrumental version of "Home on the Range." Well, that's a song I know well. I'm from Kansas and that's our state song. I had to learn it in elementary school. My Japanese friends and students were surprised to hear I knew it and it was an old cowboy song. I often taught the words to my students. What are the chances? I don't know if many cities in Japan have a similar custom of playing music though out the city. I know all don't. Many Japanese I met who came from somewhere else were just as surprised as I was. Incidentally, in Japan, they play "Old Lang Syne" to mean a store is closing, like we play "Happy Trails to you". 
Here are the lyrics to Home on the Range.

Home on the Range
Oh, give me a home,
Where the buffalo roam.
Where the deer and the antelope play,
Where seldom is heard,
A discouraging word,
And the skies are not cloudy all day,

Home, home on the Range,
Where the deer and the antelope play,
Where seldom is heard, a discouraging word,
And the skies arte not cloudy all day

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