Unbearable Sadness and Sonnet Of A Fool: Spring in Your Step

さだまさし、歌詞(Lyrics)『道化師のソネット』(English Translation)

Released in 1980, Sonnet of a Fool has been considered one of the best songs by Masashi Sada. Exploring our life journey with striking imagery, this song highlights underlying and inevitable sadness we go through in spite of our thirst for pushing away negativity.

It starts with prayers for smile. There are two kinds of smile: Smile that you give to others and to yourself. You smile to someone in the hope of making a positive influence on the situation when you feel powerless in the face of difficulty. You can also give a smile to yourself, a smile of affirmation. You know you are the first and last person to say yes to who you are.


The song delves into the meaning of sadness by depicting our existence with powerful imagery. Our existence is absurdly small, so incapable and hopeless that we sometimes get lost wondering how to unload overwhelming sadness. The song, however, claims that we are destined to load our life down with sadness. All we can do is let it go just as letting a boat go down the stream. We tend to believe we need to resolve our feelings and get over ourselves at each stage of our life course but our journey doesn’t allow us to tidy things up.


In the office, on the street and at home, we are more or less frustrated and disappointed and need a thrill of a smile, but a fake smile disheartens us all the more. Smile is not there for driving away negativity but for getting us to face the reality in a fun and ridiculous way. We need to start from this understanding that we sometimes have to play out a fool to confront challenges and a fool knows our existence is weak, small and sorrowful.


Sonnet Of A Fool

I wanna see your smile
So both of us can go another mile

Our existence is like a tiny boat
Loaded with sadness
With each of us at the helm
Steering down the passage of time

Your hands, so small
With overwhelming sadness
If a smile could help you out,
I would be a fool

I wanna see your smile
So both of us can go another mile
All of us have our own journey to go
Walking along the same stream

Our existence is like a climb
To each summit to conquer
As tireless as wayfarers
Toiling over the vast expanse

Your arms, so weak
Filled with unbearable sadness
If a smile could help you out,
I would be a fool


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