Tag: Girei

Girei (Pain’s Theme)

Girei (Pain’s Theme)

Girei Lyrics Discussion

Today we’re doing something a little different from anything we’ve done in the past. I’ve completed reviewing all of the anime series I’ve watched up to this point so it’s time to start writing about other topics, but fear not, there will be more anime reviews in the future.

While browsing Quora I came across a question asking, “what are the lyrics to the song ‘Girei?,'” also known as Pain’s theme, from the anime Naruto: Shippūden. Since Shippūden is one of my favorite series, and I’ve often seen misinformation about the lyrics of this song spread around the English-speaking internet, I figured I’d answer the question.

While I originally answered the question on Quora, I decided I’d write a slightly more in-depth answer to and discussion of this question here on DoubleSama.com

For those who aren’t familiar with the song “Girei,” it’s the song that plays whenever Pain, one of the main antagonists of the series, appears in Shippūden. The controversy surrounding the lyrics of this song are due to the fact that official lyrics were never actually released.

Because of this, the community has had to determine the lyrics to the song for themselves and this has caused an extreme case of misheard lyrics which have essentially become considered canon by the English-speaking internet. In the next section, I’ll be going over these incorrect lyrics, going over the “probably” correct lyrics, and breaking down the lyrics as well.

Pain (Yahiko Body) from the anime Naruto: Shippuden
Pain (Yahiko Body)

Girei Lyrics

First let’s go over just one of the incorrect lyric versions. As you’ll see, these lyrics are in English which is most likely due to English-speakers mishearing words in the language they know the best: English. Remember, these are the wrong lyrics:

“As we forgive for love

but we can not pull through

if we can not forgive

we all tribute to love”

So to start off, the fact that these lyrics are in English should be the first hint that they’re incorrect. English is not uncommon in anime soundtracks, but there are no other English songs on the Naruto soundtracks so why would this be the only one? There are English lyrics in the opening/ending songs, but those don’t typically count as part of the official sound track of an anime unless they’re “character songs.”

Second, the lyrics are pretty vague and don’t exactly fit the character the song is the theme of. While this alone isn’t enough to prove the lyrics are wrong, once we take a look at the correct lyrics it should become clearer that these English ones just don’t make as much sense.

So what are the correct lyrics? Well the first thing is that the correct lyrics aren’t even in English, they’re in Japanese, as in the language spoken in Japan, the country this series is made in. The correct lyrics are here:

“Me sei no Rikudo

Aniki no boku

Girei te no ronri

Kono te boku wa”

Before we get to breaking down the lyrics line by line, there are two things I feel I need to explain. The first is that I think some of the confusion over the language of the lyrics can in part be attributed to Pain’s name. In English we know him as “Pain,” but in Japanese he’s known as “Pein.”

While his name is technically in English, we need to think of it as the borrowed word that it is. Just as Pain’s name is borrowed from English, the English language borrows words from a number of different languages as well, such as “tsunami,” which comes from Japanese.

This means that just because his name is an English word, it doesn’t mean anything else about him has to do with the English language. Just as the word tsunami can be used in English context, the word pain (pein) can be used in Japanese context.

I think the misunderstanding about the origin and context of Pain’s name is one reason so many think the lyrics to his theme are also in English.

The second thing I need to explain is that the title of the song is “Girei.” Why does that matter? Well the word “girei” is in the correct (Japanese) lyrics. It’s true that the title of a song can be in Japanese while the lyrics are in English, but the English lyrics don’t really have anything to do with the word “girei,” so it would be a strange choice.

Pain’s Theme Lyric Breakdown

The first line of the correct lyrics, “Me sei no Rikudo” is translated as “A pair of Six Paths eyes.” This is undoubtedly referring to Pain’s Rinnegan eyes which were the defining feature of the Sage of Six Paths and are what allow Pain to perform the Six Paths jutsu to control multiple bodies.

The second line, “Aniki no boku” has two different translations which I think could work. The first of these two, and the one I prefer, is “My older brother.” This translation would be referring to Yahiko, Nagato’s (Pain’s) childhood friend who was the real founding member of the Akatsuki who died and whose corpse Pain uses as his main body.

The second translation that could also work is, “Anonymous.” This would instead be referring to how Pain has chosen to live his life. Nobody knew his true identity because he goes by a pseudonym rather than his real name and he uses surrogate bodies. While this translation works, I think the reference to Yahiko is more in character.

The third line, “Girei te no ronri” can be roughly translated to “Hand of Providence.” This is another reference to his Rinnegan eyes like in the first line, but with a different meaning.

While in the first line the reference to his Rinnegan was being used as a description of his appearance and skills, this third line is referencing his Rinnegan as an explanation for his divine right to rule. The Rinnegan are seen as the symbol of the divine and Pain is the only person known to have them other than the original Sage of Six Paths (as far as we’re concerned for the sake of this post).

The fourth and final line, “Kono te boku wa” is a simple declaration that translates to “This is who I am.” combined with the other three lines, this last line is saying that the character known as Pain is a combination of his Rinnegan, his childhood friend Yahiko, and his divine right to rule.

Just like with anyone else, Pain is simply a combination of all his past experiences throughout his life and that’s exactly what these lyrics for his theme convey.

Pain using "Almighty Push" from the anime Naruto: Shippuden
Pain using “Almighty Push”

Conclusion

So what have we learned? “Girei,” also known as Pain’s Theme, has Japanese lyrics, not English ones. Unfortunately, I have seen the incorrect English lyrics spread far and wide across the internet, including on Quora which is supposed to be a site where experts answer questions.

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