Cocco was barely more than a girl when she began writing what would turn into a pop sensation. Sometimes whispering and sometimes shouting her macabre juvenile fantasies, her arrangers did their best to find layouts for her lyrical delirium that would still please a crowd. Now Cocco is an adult and she has not made much noise for quite some time until now.
Her most recent album, Kira Kira, seems to reflect a desire to revisit her roots. Cocco is an island child. Okinawa is a decidedly mystical place full of fearsome stone dogs, flowers that resemble paint splotches on stems and fiery food. People usually go there seeking escape. Where do its residents go? Into their own heads it seems. In the white hot sunshine, Cocco sifted sand flecked with coral between her toes and thought. Not of blood. Not of thorns. Not of tenderly rending lovers into soft pulpy ribbons.
She got nostalgic.
This is the Chochoi Lullaby. (チョッチョイ子守唄). According to Cocco, it was written from forgotten fragments of a tune her mother used to sing. The lyrics were not Japanese but uchina or native Okinawan. The song is about a little boy getting ready to sleep. He asks a sparrow (in this case, a bird like a sandpiper) to wake him in the morning with its cry. Cocco admitted only two sounds remained in her ears and these were "Cho-choi" or "chirp chirp". She spun her own thread from there. Cocco has never revealed the roots of her lore quite in this way before. She has many lullabies. But these did not come from home, they came from her.
The story goes like this.
Sandman wearing Radiohead's sneakers picks up his guitar and begins plucking it like a sanshin. When the vibrations reach the black sea, its waves soften and hush. Calmed by heat and perfume, o-hime sings.