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Fullmetal Alchemist Discussion Board > Fullmetal Alchemist Discussions > FMA Music > FMA-1 Anime Music
Tobu Ishi
((If you'd like to avoid my rambling, just scroll down to the lyrics! It's fine, truly. smile.gif ))

Three years ago, in the autumn of 2004, I got into a show called Fullmetal Alchemist. In Japanese, Hagane no Renkinjutsushi. I was fascinated by the world it presented, and particularly touched--as many fans were--by the beautiful choral theme in Russian that pervaded the show.

One day, not long after I'd finished watching the series, I was making chocolate chip cookies in my college dormitory kitchen and thinking about that lovely tune. Earlier that day, I had looked up some literal Russian-to-English translations of it, but they weren't really singable. Word-for-word translations usually lose a little of their flow in the process. Language is just like that.

While I was stirring my cookie batter and humming, I started to think up slight alterations to those lyrics I'd read, singable words that might hopefully still preserve the heart of the song. The first line that burst into my mind was, "Beautiful mother, soft and sweet...once you were gone, we were not complete..."

And the rest, I guess, is sort of Fandom History.

Except, of course, that these lyrics would never have become so popular without the help of Vic Mignogna, Edward Elric's English voice actor, and my friend Marianne, a budding voice actress in her own right. She liked the lyrics and showed them to Vic, and he liked them so much that he added them to his performance repertoire. It was such a kind-hearted thing for them both to do, and I'm flattered to this day.

Unfortunately, there's one double-edged sword in having a famous voice actor sing your song. Over time, the lyrics have become more associated with Vic than with me. This isn't his fault. He always credits where credit is due. The main problem, I think, is that I don't have my own website to post my lyrics for reference. But I can at least try to get them out there in their full form. Better late than never, right?

So here are the lyrics. The full version. (Vic accidentally left out the second half of Alphonse's verse.)

(And just to make sure I, like Vic, give credit where it is due, here are the original translations I used to write my own version. I could never have done it without them. (I don't, for the record, speak Russian--only English and Japanese.)
Full Literal Translations. For that matter, the original Russian version was composed by the venerable Michiru Oshima, and was sung by the childrens' chamber choir of the Moscow Music School.)

I have been amazed and touched to see the response to these lyrics. And I have been amazed at the way my simple words and Vic's wonderful voice have apparently touched so many FMA fans.

Thank you, everybody. God bless.


How can I repay you, brother mine?
How can I expect you to forgive?
Clinging to the past, I shed our blood
And shattered your chance to live

Though I knew the laws, I paid no heed
How can I return your wasted breath?
What I didn't know has cost you dear;
For there is no cure for death

Beautiful mother, soft and sweet
Once you were gone we were not complete
Back through the years we reached for you
Alas, it was not to be

And how can I make amends
For all that I took from you?
I led you with hopeless dreams
My brother, I was a fool

Don't cry for the past now, brother mine
Neither you nor I are free of blame
Nothing can erase the things we did
For the path we took was the same

How could I expect to call you wrong?
How could you be blamed for what we've done?
Both of us were fools in our desires
As we flew too close to the sun

Beautiful mother, soft and sweet
Once you were gone we were not complete
Back through the years we reached for you
Alas, it was not to be

My dreams made me blind and mute
I longed to return to that time
I followed without a word
My brother, the fault is mine

So where do we go from here?
And how to forget and forgive?
What's gone is forever lost
Now all we can do is live


A note to the moderators: Please don't merge this thread into the existing discussion thread? I'm trying to get the word out, and I'm afraid it will get lost in the eleven pages of posts about the song in general, Russian and English versions. Thank you! <3
edo little kid
oh !!!

thank you very much happy.gif
I cry myself to sleep every night when I listen to this song.
This is possibly the best and most beautiful song I have ever listened too.

OnT. Thank you veyr much, have been trying to find a translation for some time now. Now I can finally understand what the angels are singing.

Ps. Sorry for the RP-ing. Just love this song so much!
Do you know if anyone has ever sung this version with the missing verse?
Are you really the person who made the English version?

Thank you so, so much. I love this song (in all of its incarnations), and your English version is so beautiful. It gave me the chance to be able to sing the song fluently, without wondering if I was vocally murdering someone else's language. (I obviously don't speak Russian. xD)

Because I heard Vic sing it before ever finding your original lyrics, I thought before that there was actually just a hole in the song. I tried several times to patch it myself, but no matter what I did, my wording was clumsy and nowhere near as pretty as yours, so it stood out. Finally, someone made a little fancomic that uses the lyrics, and I discovered the "missing" verse through that. It was so perfect (especially to me, after trying to make one myself) that I cried.

I cried the first few times I heard Vic sing it, too, actually. Hahaha!

Anyway, I've made a couple of pieces of fanart for FullMetal Alchemist (and your lyrics!) and I've posted them on DeviantArt. They're not "current" (the art looks kind of... squishy to me now), but I would like you to see them anyway. Uh, be forewarned of the angst. xD
1- Foolish Endeavor
2 - Shared Grief

There's another one that's a reference in title only ("Soft and Sweet"), but it doesn't actually have the lyrics on it like those two.

So, in closing... thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou! They're beautiful and everyone appreciates them! You did the melody and the original version both justice, not to mention the series itself. C:

EDIT: Forgot to mention that I refer to this as my "One True Song" as a joke, but... yeah. :'D


You wrote the Englsh version to this song?! Good god, this is amazing! I just thought the english version was a translation of the russian song, but I guess I was wrong, of course. xD

When I first heard the song, the thing that I heard first was the lurics, I didn't really pay attention to Vic's singing, but instead to the lyrics and just thought they were beautiful. And then I thought Vic's voice did the song justice paying more attention to the singing the next erm...15 times I listened to it.

But really, I think it's just amazing. Wow. Thank you for writing this. I know this thread is kind of dead and you might not see this, but I just wanted you to know that's just awesome. :]
Misty- Nala
I have to agree with Jeneration: lyrics make this version special. Vic's singing didn't give it any justice. I have heard your story before and I have to say I'm pissed. You worked in the moment of inspiration and created somethign this beautiful. It's amazing, true art.
I'm not Vic's fan, partly because of this.
That's pretty neat that your song got recognized and is out there. I know how not being properly credited is really hard on an artist who's created a wonderful work of art.

Just think though about how many people really love the song, especially the translated version of it, regardless of it being sung by Vic.... That in itself would make me proud to know that my words were heard all OVER the world..... smile.gif

BTW: I've finally mastered the piano version of the song lol. laugh.gif Just thought I'd share.
Oh, my hero *_*
Thank you! Sadly I don't know russian, and I love your version!

I've never read/heard Al's missing vers before, and it's so perfect, I'm crying!
"How could I expect to call you wrong?
How could you be blamed for what we've done?"
and particulary;
"As we flew too close to the sun"
It's beautiful, thanks again!
I shed brotherly tears when i heard this song for the first time . . .

thanks for the lyrics!
Full Metal SHORTY!!!
It is SUCH a pretty song smile.gif

I love it to bits!
This song goes with the anime, without a doubt.

It just fits.
Thank you for posting this, it really is a beautiful translation!
I heard vic's version of the song in English on YouTube (your version/lyrics) ABD it was AMAZINGGG!! thanks sooo much <33333

I can't believe they didn't add al's part!
Uh, I forgot how utterly gorgeous this song is. Both versions. The original Russian lyrics and your English translation are both haunting and sweet. <3
And thank you, for writing this. It is just stunning and gorgeous, and I wish I was a poet right now so that I could accurately explain how much I love it. It shows their regret, and love, and hope so well, and never fails to make me tear up.
Thank you. <3
Both versions have their own little touch to it that not only makes them equally as beautiful musically, but haunting lyrically. I will say that the english version really does bring tears to my eyes, especially towards the end.
QUOTE (Anamy @ Mar 4 2008, 01:51 PM) *
Do you know if anyone has ever sung this version with the missing verse?

Yea I think some1 has
Oh my goodness, your English version is way better and actually fits with the songs vocals! I'll try to get my sister's band to sing it and record it. I hope she can do it since it's really good!

Thank you very much for this version <3
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