This is the Hina Matsuri Song. Hina means doll and matsuri means festival, so Hina Matsuri (雛祭り) is literally Doll Festival (also called Girls' Day). There's a tradition in Japan of displaying special dolls for Hina Matsuri on a tiered stand. The two most important dolls to display are the Emperor and Empress. Girls also dress up specially on this day in their best kimonos. Some girls will dress up like the dolls and have little parties.
Let's light the lanterns on the tiered stand.
Let's put peach blossoms on the tiered stand.*
Five court musicians are playing flutes and drums.
Today is a happy Dolls' Festival.
Sadao Mazuka wrote this line as, "Let's put peach blossoms in the flower vase."
Akari wo tsukemasho bonbori ni
O hana wo agemasho momo no hana
Gonin bayashi no fue daiko
Kyou wa tanoshii hina matsuri
Here's the computerized text: (we apologize if it doesn't display properly on your screen):
If you'd like to read more about Hina Matsuri or the Doll Festival, there's a post about it on Mama Lisa's World Blog. Click the link to read all about it. Or you can read more about the Origin of Hina Matsuri in a later blog post.
Thanks and Acknowledgements
Many thanks to Monique Palomares for creating the midi music. Thanks also to Petter Mæhlum for the transliteration. Thanks to Sadao Mazuka for helping with this song.
Many thanks to Sakura and Hatsami for singing the Hina Matsuri Song and to Peter Galante of Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com for allowing us to use this wonderful recording! The recording is from their podcast about the Hina Matsuri Festival (it's mainly in English).
Many thanks to CM2 (5th grade) students, St-Ambreuil (71), France, school year 2008-2009, for singing this song for us also and for the wonderful illustration!