Over on Facebook, a stranger I added posted a video of Hyde singing a song called Departures. I listened to the song as Hyde performed it, then looked up the lyrics and found the song was originally performed by a group called Globe.
Without a translation of the lyrics, the song does something to my heart that I can’t quite explain. The feeling is somewhere between my heart being squeezed, my heart strings being pulled, and my heart wanting to explode. I have this awareness of the presence of my heart. I don’t know if it makes me want to love because of how wonderful love is, or if I want to love because I want my heart to ache in much the same way that a shattered mirror is beautiful in how the pieces have scattered.
Departures has an upbeat melody, with notes that seem to flow in water or perhaps float on air. In this way, the music deceives you into thinking it could be a happy song, but Departures is actually kind of sad. The song is reaching out to the singer’s lost love, recalling moments when things were good between them and longing for the return of the partner who departed after things seemed to hit a rough patch.
The song often mentions winter and snowfall in such a way that I’m reminded of a lyric from a song by Savage Garden. I Don’t Know You Anymore has a lyric that goes, “the snow was more lonely than cold, if you know what I mean.” Departures existed as a song before Savage Garden was famous, but the Savage Garden lyric seems to echo the sentiment of Departures. Departures mentions wanting to play in the snow, which isn’t exciting to do when you’re alone. The song also talks about the long winter nights. I do know what the Savage Garden lyric means; there’s a certain something to the snow-filled months that are better when you’re not single. Autumn isn’t romantic, it’s a nice time to bundle up in a blanket and read a book while drinking warm apple cider. Winter is all about doing things with the person you love, whether it’s ice skating together or warming up by the fire. It’s about seeing someone you love as they light up as much as a Christmas tree when you give them the right gifts or you show them amazing decorations. It’s fitting, then, that Departures has a wintery theme, suggesting that the season is the reason for the singer to reminisce about the past and the love that got away.
The Globe recording of the song features a lovely female vocalist. I do prefer Hyde’s vocals, however, and I might be partial to him because he’s a favorite Japanese singer and songwriter. The song feels like a natural fit for Hyde, as if it was a song from his album Roentgen or if it was a ballad he recorded for L’arc en Ciel or Vamps. Both versions of Departures are ear candy, and I wouldn’t discourage anyone from downloading the Globe version from iTunes just because I had a vocalist preference.
A studio recording of Hyde singing Departures can be found on YouTube. The translated lyrics are supplied by Centigrade-J, with the original lyrics posted elsewhere. It’s such a good song that I’ve been playing it repeatedly for the past hour without wanting to listen to anything else, though I chose to repeat the one song so I could still focus on it while writing about it. Not everyone will enjoy the song to that extent, but I’m sure Departures will be appreciated by anyone who is willing to listen.