Actually never heard of this until the Full Metal Archivist got curious about the English lyrics to the song she was teaching onechan in Japanese. Thought I'd include some things I found along the way, just to show that I can at times be more than a one-note blogger during the golf season! (But how about that Paula Creamer making 4 birdies on her last 5 holes to overtake Jeong Jang at the Fields Open? Wow!)
First the Johnny Cash version:
Interesting how the grandfather basically calls for...robots near the 1876 song's end, eh?
Then some Vanilla Mood:
Next, the daikon slide whistle:
And finally, the MTV generation learns Japanese:
No, wait--let's not forget the NHK generation!
In Japan, the song is all about the loyalty of the clock (kinda like that song about the dog), whereas in America the same general idea gets expressed more negatively. Any historians have a bead on the cultural politics of the song as a post-slavery lament? Or have a sense of its transmission lines to Meiji Japan and just how and when it got transformed in translation?