Hey people! 🙂
Fairly recently, I shared with y’all a song by Cornelis Vreeswijk called Turistens Klagan and explained in that post how it originally was released in Norway on a double album called Felicias Svenska Suite (Felicia’s Swedish Suite) and why it wasn’t released in Sweden and all that. Well, so today I thought I’d share another song from that album. Felicias Svenska Suite was a concept album, built around the theme of Felicia – a character in the novel Varulven (The Werewolf) by Danish-born Norwegian writer Axel Sandemose – and the song I want to share with you today is about her very directly.
From what I hear, many people in Sweden have a problem with this song. It definitely makes sense in a way, because, well, when I first heard it, it made me bristle up a bit too because it just sounded like a fancier way of saying: “Just shut up and have sex with me). Add to that the fact that Cornelis generally does have a bit of a reputation for being all the appalling things like chauvinist and mysoginist (which I personally think is definitely justified, even though some examples on basis of which he’s been most frequently accused of being those things aren’t really valid examples of those specific attitudes in my opinion) and the bristle factor increases.
But, I’ve known this song for years now and I don’t really see it like that anymore. After all, I do think that, in a healthy relationship, there should be place (and yes, time to be used) for both of these things – talking with/listening to each other as well as sex and physical intimacy. The two, I’d imagine (since the regular people on here know that I have zilch personal experience so I can just imagine) don’t necessarily go very well together, at the same time. So that’s really how I see it now. After all, it doesn’t really sound like the lyrical subject is trying to force Felicia to do anything, just encouraging, albeit very strongly. It actually seems to me that, in a way, he even enjoys her endless chatting, or at least tolerates it leniently, like people tend to grow to tolerate, and then become accustomed to or even fond of, their other half’s shortcomings. I do agree that there IS a hint of slight but very annoying condescension in it, and I believe he doesn’t even listen to her since we don’t learn what she was talking about so incessantly, but let’s just hope that Felicia is similarly magnanimous as her lover appears to be towards her and can be similarly lenient on those flaws of his and doesn’t take it too personally. 😛 Also I’d think that Felicia generally wants it too, just is a bit apprehensive, perhaps even fearful since he tells her not to be afraid and some people do talk a lot when they’re anxious, perhaps she feels the need to explain or discuss some things beforehand and once she says everything she had to say, she gives into it as well. So while it has the potential to make one feel a bit uneasy, I don’t think we can assume that the lyrical subject’s relation to Felicia is abusive or something, just because it kinda sounds like it could be and because Cornelis’ relationships with women irl often went wrong, because there are no real signs of it in this particular piece.
Below is Bibiel’s translation which is probably a bit wrong in a few places. I don’t know exactly what’s the deal with the “dizzy brothers” or who they are lol, but in some other version of this song he sings “thirsty brothers” so I assume this must be some sort of allusion to a song by Povel Ramel called “Törstigaste Bröder” (Thirsty Brothers) which Cornelis had covered as well and which is apparently some sort of parody or something of Fredman’s Epistle 83 by Carl Michael Bellman (Bellman was a famous Swedish 18th century poet and composer by whom Cornelis was very much inspired) which has a crazy ong title that features some three lost brothers, but I’m too ignorant about Bellman to figure this out and what it’s supposed to mean and I’m not even sure if my little theory is true at all.
Felicia talks and talks
And love hates
All time that is used wrongly
That is lying there, dead and stiff
All the while Felicia is talking in sixteenth notes.
Felicia, come to my bed now
And do not be dressed now
Give me your copper mouth
I’ll drink it like a well
Felicia, do not be afraid now in our moment.
Your sun sets in the south
For dizzy brothers
Who want what they cannot.
Felicia, see your man
And know that he is still glowing
Where he was burning before.
Felicia talks too much,
The lovely thing
Now she’s talking continuously.
But if you kiss her right
She gives in to the pressure and makes love
Till she is satisfied