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There is a line in the 「この涙 星になれ」, which is a song of ZARD (Sakai Izumi):

父なる砂漠 コイン投げて 明日を占おう

I don't understand the meaning of 「父なる砂漠」. It's quite strange to think of it as the desert that has been a father...


Thank you very much.

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

As sawa suggested, 母なる大地 (which literally means “the earth which is a mother”) is a fixed phrase to refer to Mother Earth, a common personification of the earth. Just to clarify, 父なる砂漠 is not a common phrase, but it clearly builds on top of the phrase 母なる大地. The phrase may be an invention by the writer of the song.

Interpretation of song lyrics is a delicate art, and I will not try to do it here.

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Thanks a lot Ito San. If I knew 「母なる大地」, I would have no problem understanding 「父なる砂漠」. In my language, there is “大地母亲”, which is very similar to 「母なる大地」, but なる made me confused. I thought it meant "became". – ShinyaSakai Jul 31 '11 at 17:32

It does not say it has been a father. It says it is the father. Vast natural things like sea, earth, desert, universe, etc. are often metaphorically expressed as mother, father, the ancestors, or the homeland of human.

  • 母なる大地
    'Earth, the mother of human'
  • 父なる砂漠
    'Desert, the father of human'
  • 生命のふるさと、海
    'The sea, the homeland of life'

I dont' think this is particular to Japanese. But suddenly sticking in this phrase in this piece of lyrics does not make much sense. I don't think the quality of the lyrics is that high.

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Thank you very much for your help. In fact, before I gave out this question, I had searched 「父なる砂漠」 on google, and saw no other page containing it completely other than this piece of lyrics. So, I mention the lyrics just to explain the source of my question, not to ask for anyone else's appreciation for her lyrics. Although I think it is encouraging and marvellous. – ShinyaSakai Jul 31 '11 at 3:32

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