Swallowtail Butterfly (Ai no Uta)

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"Swallowtail Butterfly (Ai no Uta)"
Chara Swallow.jpg
Single by Yen Town Band (Chara)
from the album Montage
B-side "Mama's Alright"
Released July 22, 1996 (1996-07-22)
Format CD Single
Genre J-pop
Length 4:49
Label Sony Music Japan
Songwriter(s) Chara, Shunji Iwai, Takeshi Kobayashi, Takayo Nagasawa, Bryan Burton-Lewis
Producer(s) Takeshi Kobayashi
Yen Town Band (Chara) singles chronology
"Tiny Tiny Tiny"
"Swallowtail Butterfly (Ai no Uta)"
"String Module Error: Match not found"
"Tiny Tiny Tiny"
"Swallowtail Butterfly
(Ai no Uta)
"Chara no Boogie Shoes" with The 99 1/2

"Swallowtail Butterfly (Ai no Uta)" (あいのうた?, Suwarōteiru Batafurai Ai no Uta, "Love Song") is a song by Chara, released under the name Yen Town Band.[1] It was the lead single from Montage, a concept album released for the Shunji Iwai film Swallowtail Butterfly that also starred Chara. This song was used as the theme song for the film.

The single debuted at #31 on Oricon's singles charts. Two months later, after the release of the film and album, the single managed to reach #1.[2]

The song was written by Takeshi Kobayashi, in collaboration with Chara and film director Shunji Iwai.

Music video[edit]

Chara in the music video.

The music video begins with a long panning shot over a cityscape. It then shows Chara against a farm windmill. It then switches to a junkyard, where Chara and several other people are filtering through rubbish. They eventually find a working piano, which they bring back on the back of a pickup truck. Chara plays the piano as the car drives off. This scene is intersperces with scenes from the movie.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Lyrics Music Arranger Length
1. "Swallowtail Butterfly (Ai no Uta)" Shunji Iwai, Takeshi Kobayashi, Chara Takeshi Kobayashi Takeshi Kobayashi 4:49
2. "Mama's Alright" Takeshi Kobayashi, Takayo Nagasawa, Bryan Burton-Lewis Takeshi Kobayashi Takeshi Kobayashi 4:11

Chart rankings[edit]

Charts (1996) Peak
Oricon weekly singles[3] 1
Oricon yearly singles[4] 26
Charts (2010) Peak
RIAJ Digital Track Chart Top 100[5] 40
RIAJ Digital Track Chart Top 100[6] 45


Chart Amount
Oricon physical sales[4] 878,000

Cover versions[edit]


Preceded by
"Take Me Higher" by V6
Japanese Oricon Chart number one single
October 7, 1996
Succeeded by
"Save Your Dream" by Tomomi Kahala