Jack Vreeswijk – “Norsk Blues” (Norwegian Blues).

   Hi all you people! 🙂 

   Today, let’s listen to Jack Vreeswijk. Like many children of famous people, I suppose Jack is also most well-known for being the son of Cornelis Vreeswijk and for covering a lot of his music. However, Jack is definitely not only that, because he writes his ownn music as well. And this is one of his self-penned songs. I’ve been really liking it ever since my affair with the Norwegian language has started, even though of course the song is in Swedish, but it’s indirectly about Norway, as you’ll find out. 

   I was able to Translate it, but in this song he’s sailing on a ship and I don’t even really have a particularly extensive vocabulary of marine-related vocabulary in my native language, let alone Swedish or English, so I just didn’t get some things. In particular, there’s the verse where he goes into the cafeteria and gets himself something. I suppose most people would expect it to be some kind of food or drink, at least that was my thinking, except there’s the word “brigg” which apparently means something to do with ships in Swedish, I don’t even clearly know what and haven’t figured out what its equivalent in English is for sure. And then a couple lines below there’s also “rigg” which is apparently also something from the same field. 

   At some point he states literally that “my ticket is simple/easy” which doesn’t make sense to me, I’m assuming maybe it can also mean cheap or something like that? 

   There’s also a line that literally says: “What deep inside the forest…” My first thought seeing this phrase in that context was that perhaps it’s some sort of quirky Swedish expression equivalent to the English “what on Earth” or “what in the world” etc. Though I’ve never come across it anywhere else. It seems like Google doesn’t know of anyone using the phrase either, so I translated it just literally, even though it makes little sense to me, the most reasonable explanation of that I have is that he came up with the whole cruise idea in a forest. 😀 Maybe it’s just some poetic metaphor which my brain just can’t convert. 😀 

   Then he uses a phrase which in Swedish is “så kan det gå”. It would literally mean “So it can go” but, while I’m not perfectly sure of that, it seems to me that it’s more like a way of saying something along the lines of “That’s how it is”, “That’s life”. I could be wrong though. 

   I may be also wrong in other places without even realising it, that’s always possible. 

   If, like me, you’re ignorant and have never heard of Hurtigrutten before hearing this song, I’ll tell you that it’s the Norwegian coastal transporting service. 

    From Tromsø to Stavanger I have a Ticket
And this is all I have at this moment
I remember I heard someone say
Take your hat and stick
And so I came aboard on this ship somehow
Now I am walking here on the deck on seasick legs
And I am asking myself frantically how I came up with this idea
But the fact remains that Hurtigrutten is making headway
With me aboard and ask how I am feeling
And the storm she is roaring and the waves are hitting
And my brain feels as if it was made of macadam
My ticket is simple [cheap?] and now I only ask myself
What deep inside the forest could have caused
Me to leave you for good
I go to the cafeteria and get myself some (… [?])
And brood on what my future will be like
Stavanger in the middle of winter and a useless economy
Then sooner or later you end up on a (… [?])
You could have asked me to stay but that’s how it goes [?]
Now you’re sitting in Tromsø and are probably wondering
If I have left you for good

2 thoughts on “Jack Vreeswijk – “Norsk Blues” (Norwegian Blues).”

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