Wales and Japan

Wales and Japan

Recently, I was searching recordings of Sou Gan. I found a clip on YT from the movie, "Empire Of The Sun" where a boy was singing the tune in what appears to be an internment camp for Europeans in Japan during WWII. Is this historically correct?

Re: Wales and Japan

It was probably added to the film. The movie is based on an autobiographical novel of the same name by JG Ballard, who is English, as is the character in the film. It’s been a long time since I read it, and I can’t find my copy, so I don’t know if the novel mentions the song, just says the character sings, or doesn’t have singing at all. The song’s popularity with the general public comes from multiple recordings inspired by the film.

I’ve got a couple of gigs this weekend and I should stick this back into the rotation.

Re: Wales and Japan

Suo Gân, if you’re looking it up.

Re: Wales and Japan

I used to love that film as a kid and hadn’t heard the Welsh nursery rhyme before (always assumed it was a Japanese song until I looked it up as an adult).
It also blew my mind when I later realised the main actor kid was actually a young Christian Bale (of Batman/American Psycho etc etc fame)

Re: Wales and Japan

@You’re right, good catch. I guess, "sou" would make it French rather than Welsh.

Re: Wales and Japan

Just to add that Suo Gân in Welsh literally means ‘lullaby’ (from suo, ‘to lull (to sleep)’ or ‘to sing’, and cân means ‘song’).