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Nuclear Gypsies, a song by Tokio Kato

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  • Romi Elnagar
    Nuclear Gypsies (Genpatsu Jipusii) A Song by Tokiko Kato┬ęTokiko Kato 1981 - [play] Exposed all over, to the invisible rays Till the red buzzar screeches In
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 1, 2013
      Nuclear Gypsies (Genpatsu Jipusii)
      A Song by Tokiko Kato┬ęTokiko Kato 1981


      - [play]
      Exposed all over, to the invisible rays
      Till the red buzzar screeches
      In the dark world, with the masks on
      Swaggies on the road
      Swaggies on the road


      Identity is not required, good only for the day
      Counting the number of scars on the body
      Peek over the glass walls, at the hell
      Swaggies on the road
      Swaggies on the road


      To a coastal town, at a small inn
      Drifted along, in search of a job
      A sweet deal or a death blow
      Swaggies on the road
      Swaggies on the road


      The setting sun flames and the sea gleams
      On the beach, the sea splashes
      The devil's furnace casts its huge shadow
      Swaggies on the road
      Swaggies on the road
      Notes
      The refrain is literally "travelling gypsies" but it should be
      something like "swaggies/swaggers on the run/on the road"? Or does the
      word swaggies/swaggers conjure more of a hobo kind of old fashioned
      bohemian image? The red buzzer refers to the "radiation dosimetre" nuke workers are
      required to wear. When the level of daily allowable radiation is
      reached, it goes off (and the worker is not meant to keep on working
      that day, but in reality, they either ignore the warning themselves or
      they are told to continue working to finish the job). The workers even
      take protective masks off because they cannot keep on working in humid
      and hot confinement.

      All fifty five reactors sit on the coast in Japan, like the ones in Fukushima.

      Kato is probably the most radical mainstream singers who continuously succeed in writing and performing songs of important social themes
      without alienating the mass audience.
      Her social conscience is evident not just in her materials. More
      recently, she gave a free concert to the villagers of Iitate, just
      before the entire village was to evacuate because of the incredible
      amount of radiation fall out from the crippled nuclear power plants in
      Fukushima.


      Genpatsu Jipusii (Nuclear Gypsies)
      Inspired by the book of the same name written by Kunio Horie. Genpatsu
      is an acronym meaning the nuclear power plant. The term may be
      offensive, yet, the author who had spent a few years working with them
      to write the book, this is exactly the term used by those transient
      workers. The nuke plant needs to be stopped once a year or so for
      maintenance. These "gypsies" do the worst kind of jobs imaginable,
      cleaning and fixing the power plant, constantly exposed to high level of radiation. They migrate from one plant to the other because the
      "occupational safety" regulation stipulates that they cannot continue
      working once they have accumulated certain amount of radiation.

      Kato's song was originally recorded and released in 1981 as "Genpatsu
      Jipusii", only to be recalled a few weeks later by the record company.
      She had to alter the title to "Kage no Jipusii (Gypsies in the shadow)". The record company then insisted the use of the term "Jipusii" is
      offensive. Subsequently, she altered the lyrics as well as the title.
      The version now available is called "Yami no naka de" (Kept in the
      dark).'

      http://unionsong.com/u711.html


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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