Using songs to help remember vocab readings- add your own!

I’m a lyrical person and I sing bits and bobs all the time (did you know that Epona’s Song actually works on horses?). A couple of weeks back I noticed that if I was struggling with vocab readings I could often find a song line to insert the word in to, replacing the English word. I’ll give some examples. It’s really good for remembering odd readings and rendaku, and you don’t need to remember all the lyrics, just remembering the tune helps me a lot.

  • Don’t blame it on 日光 (にっこう)
    Don’t blame it on 月光 (げっこう)
    Don’t blame it on good times,
    Blame it on the boogie
    (The Jacksons- Blame it on the Boogie)

  • When you’re alone and life is making you lonely
    You can always go: 下 (した)
    When you’ve got worries, all the noise and the hurry
    Seems to help, I know: 町 (まち)
    (Petula Clark- Downtown)

  • 万人 (ばんにん)! Move your feet and feel united, wo-oh-oh!
    (Junior Senior- Move Your Feet)

  • Give to me 一回 (いっかい )!
    (Sublime- 5446 what’s my number)

  • 兄弟 and 兄弟 (きょうだい) together will make it through…
    (Quindon Tarver- Everybody’s Free)

I dunno, maybe it just works for me because when I was a kid and first trying to learn Japanese, I used Heya by Outkast to remember the word for “room”.

Does anyone else use this technique? In the archives there was a thread where someone said they make up their own songs, but I find existing ones works really well.


I really like the idea of this! Here are two for my worst two leeches - They don’t fit in to the tune so well which I guess is the point so if anyone has any alternatives let me know!

I’m looking for a complication
Looking 'cause I’m tired of trying
Make my way back home
When I まなぶ to fly (high)
Learn to Fly Foo Fighters

Centuries are what it meant to me
A cemetery where I marry the sea
Stranger things could never change my mind
I gotta take it on the 他 side
Take it on the 他 side
Take it on, take it on
Otherside Red Hot Chili Peppers


This first happened to me when I encountered the word for “first year student”.
My mind immediately recalled the song, “when I was a first grader”.
I can’t ever forget 一年生 now!

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Hahaha this post is jokes!
起きて,立って,起きて for your rights. (Marley)

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Another one I thought of :slight_smile:

I never meant to start a 戦争
You know I never wanna hurt you
Don’t even know what we’re fighting for
Why does love always feel like…
戦場 (battlefield)
戦場 (battlefield)
戦場 (battlefield)
Why does love always feel like…
戦場 (battlefield)
戦場 (battlefield)
戦場 (battlefield)
Why does love always feel like…

Jordin Sparks Battlefield

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