Confusion over song lyric


The song in question is 龍葬 by 陰陽座 from 龍凰童子. In the song, 竜鱗 is said as ‘いろこ’. And even the reading ‘いろこ’ is an irregular reading of 鱗, which I assume in this case, means scale. My question is, from the lyrics, you can deduce that ‘竜鱗’ means dragon scale. At least, that’s what I think it means. But in the song, only いろこ is said, which is 鱗. So how would you know, just from listening, that it’s a dragon scale? Because 竜 is literally never said, but it appears in the lyrics. And I’m definitely not hearing it wrong. Something vital here I’m missing? Or perhaps this uncommon reading いろこ for 鱗 is only or mainly used for a dragon scale (?)

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Well, that’s irritating.

I realize that’s not helpful, just never encountered that before.


My dictionary says this is「うろこ」の古形, so presumably it’s going for a kind of archaic (or maybe poetic) feel.

Maybe it just adds flavor to the (written) lyrics. I see stuff like that in vocaloid music every now and then. I don’t think you’re supposed to be able to tell it’s a dragon scale by just listening to it, unless the other parts of the song makes it obvious.

I don’t know anything about this, so I searched a bit and found this bit of etymology:

いろこ and いろくず were used for the the term “scales” in the Heian period. いろこ was more slang.

This says “scales from an animal such as a fish or dragon.”

I see this difference between written lyrics and the sung lyrics all the time. It seems fashionable to use outdated terms as well.

Edit: also “裂ける鱗は” I’m guessing would mean “ripping/tearing scales”. Maybe the lyricist assumed most people wouldn’t think of fish scales?? l

Unless context makes it clear that it’s specifically a dragon scale, you probably wouldn’t know. This is really just a case of the furigana (what’s actually said) not being exactly the same as the kanji (what’s meant) (although technically not only kanji will get furigana in such cases, but). You’ll see it every now and then in song lyrics and other texts. Another example from a song I can think of off the top of my head is in the TeniPuri character song 伝い落ちるもの伝えたいこと when Fuji says チーム but the lyrics say 僕ら. It just provides some flavor I guess for people who look at the lyrics

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@eglepe Yes, I believe the more common reading for this word is うろこ. Initially, I thought along the same lines, that perhaps it was done in a poetic way. But that just didn’t make sense to me, how can you change the way a word’s spelt, just so it sounds better (unless it’s a slang term or what have you). After looking it up however, Wiktionary mentions いろこ as another more ‘irregular’ reading, so it is definitely a reading of the word.

@spaceboy6 Yeah I got scales too ^^ いろこ being more slang is definitely an interesting one. I am sure that from the rest of the lyrics you could work out that these scales do indeed belong to a dragon, this whole occurrence just seemed very bizarre to me is all, truth be told. haha
I would say using older and possibly out-dated terms is also the style of the band too. I can usually work things like these out, this was just… never seen anything like it before!

I see, that’s very interesting! So it’s happened in other cases too. I didn’t even know this was possible which is why it’s confused me so much.

The only reason I can deduce that いろこ is used as opposed to saying the whole term ‘竜鱗’ is because it sounds/ fits better. That’s all lol But it’s there as 竜鱗 in the lyrics for completion’s sake, or because, that’s how it was written initially. Like how I’d show a full calculation in a report to be complete, even though I already know the answer.

desir by garnidelia has loads of these, i’ve seen it a bit in other songs but this one has the most (and most different) i’ve seen so far i think

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Oh my goodness, these are even worst lol And they’re completely different words too. What is that, future, freedom and dream all replaced with ‘願い’. YOU CAN’T DO THAT. But apparently you can. This is crazy. I guess never take a Japanese song at surface level because all the lyrics be holding Godamn secrets or something.

Reality/ illusion is also said as tomorrow. Why? Is it just because it sounds better? Or is the artist trying to portray a deeper meaning by doing this?

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The first time I experienced that was with Sailor Moon opening song ムーンライト伝説. Last line of the first chorus is like this:

同じ地球くにに生まれたの ミラクル・ロマンス

with 地球 being sung as くに


i assume it’s this, i definitely have a greater appreciation for the song now i know what’s under all those 願いs. in literally any other medium i find it really cool (you see it relatively often in books or manga) but in music, where you can’t see what’s going on it’s an odd one. lesson is always check the lyrics, i suppose


It helps that Japanese people like to plaster text everywhere. Most of the time you can see all the cool ateji right in the MV

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