You know, one interesting similarity about American and Japanese elementary school graduations is that there is a song that the students have to sing. I must be getting old or something because I can’t remember what my 7th grade, elementary school graduation song was**. I want to say it was Michael Jackson’s “Heal The World,” but I really don’t remember. My Dad was also a teacher at one point and I do remember what his elementary school kids were singing at his school for one of his graduations. I remember because I want to say my Dad practicing the piece on his saxophone at home (remember when saxophones were cool?). That song was Tevin Campbell’s “Tomorrow.” I actually thought that’s pretty fitting graduation song, because it oozed with positivity and hope, not to mention that little Tevin could sing his butt off. For some reason I think a lot of elementary schools sang that song in the early 90s.
At my shogakko (小学校) graduation ceremony, I felt the song was also very fitting. The name of the song was simply “Arigatou” by Ikimono Gakari. It definitely sounded a lot more ballad-ish than the “Tomorrow” song, but I thought it was simple message and a great way end the year saying a simple “Thank you” between peers, to parents, and to the teachers. This was the song that all of the younger grades sang to the sixth grade graduating class, as like a show of respect. But I heard that song many times last year. The actual song the sixth graders sang, I don’t quite remember. But “Arigatou” seemed like a school-wide theme for the year.
I thought it’d be neat to listen to the difference in a 1990s, American, elementary school graduation song and a current, Japanese one.
I love how the kid chorus jumps in near the middle of the song.
**I know some people graduated elementary school during a different year, but in my area, the middle school concept caught on a little late. It was kindergarten through 7th grade, then high school was 8th grade to 12th grade.
What was your elementary school song? Did you have one? Do you remember? I’d love to hear it what it was . Of course, the cheesier the song, the better. it was something that wFeel free to leave it in the comments section below.