Anja Garbarek – “I Won’t Hurt You”.

   Hey guys! 🙂 

   We haven’t had anything Norwegian in quite a while, or so it feels to me. So for today I chose a song from an artist who is very much valued and recognisable on the Norwegian music scene, but whose music I’ve only really discovered quite recently, despite I’m generally into  Norwegian music  quite a lot and I tend to like Norwegian experimental music, electronic, alternative and indie stuff which are all genres that this artist is comfortable in. For people who are into jazz music, her surname will be familiar because of her father, the saxophonist Jan Garbarek. Even I who have very little to do with jazz, and the saxophone as such  is one of my least favourite instruments, knew about him way earlier than I first heard of Anja, thanks to our  sophisticated and highly cultured Polish Radio Programme 2 which I like to listen to sometimes or my Mum does in the kitchen. 

   As far as I’m aware, Anja released only one album in Norwegian, but despite the song I want to share with you comes from an entirely English-language release (Smiling and Waving Fromm 2001), the whole album feels extremely Norwegian, well, at least to me, in its dreamy minimalism, and there’s something icy cool to it but in a cool way (pun intended) at least cool to someone like me who really likes ice in all its forms. 

   This is a cover of the 60’s song by a psychedelic American group The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, and the original is also very good. 

Rachel Hair ft. Ron Jappy – “Looking at a Rainbow Through a Dirty Window).

   Hiya people! 🙂 

   Today I have for you a really lovely folk tune, from the duo whom I’ve already presented before sharing this set from the same album, as well as I also shared a song by Rachel Hair Trio. I think the harp and guitar go together really well, and Rachel Hair and Ron Jappy are very competent with their respective instruments, so I really like this album. This particular tune was composed by Scottish multi-instrumentalist Calum Stewart. 

Celtic Woman – “Danny Boy”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I’d like to share with you this very popular and well-known Irish song sung by Celtic Woman. I have shared this song by Declan Galbraith from his debut album, and shared  more about the song and its origins in that post. Celtic Woman have sung this song many times, I guess the most famously with Méav Ní Mhaolchatha as the lead vocalist, but despite my sentiment for the original line-up, I think this more recent live performance  where they sing in harmony is really impressive. 

Slobodan Pilic – “Flute Quartet no. 1 – Harp Version”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   For today, I have for you a classical harp pie, which is originally a flute piece, namely Mozart’s Flute quartet no. 1. It is played by Slobodan Pilic, who I guess would most fit the “relaxing harpist” category, because practically the only thing I know about him is that he has released this little EP called Harp Sleep, containing his arrangements of several classical pieces, and I’ve actually already shared one of them before, Pavane Pour une Infante Defunte

Nansi Richards – “Pwt ar y Bys” (A Bit on the Finger).

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I have an interesting little polka piece (or should I say peas 😀 ) for you. I’ve read that it is originally Irish, but it is also known in the north of England, and obviously in Wales. But its history seems to be a bit tangled. Its Welsh title as you can see is Pwt ar y Bys, where pwt means something short or a little bit, so it’s supposed to be something short for the finger, and was apparently meant as a little exercise for harpists (though it’s not like it’s played only on the harp). Curiously, in England, this tune is known as Buttered Peas. The way it must have most likely happened is that some English folks heard it in Wales and heard that it’s called Pwt ar y Bys (poot are uh bees) and were like: “Eh? What? Aha, they’re saying buttered peas!” 😀 I’m not sure how Ireland is fitting into that picture, perhaps that bit of info I’ve got is incorrect, or perhaps it’s just the melody that originates from Ireland maybe some Welsh harpist came across it and “stole” it and gave it their own title. 

Lynn Saoirse – “Michael O’Connor”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I’d like to go back once again to the Irish harpist Lynn Saoirse’s album The Seas Are Deep, which contains compositions of Turlough O’Carolan. As is clear from the title, this tune is also a plenty, although unfortunately I don’t have the slightest idea who Michael O’Connor was in O’Carolan’s life. But that’s the cool thing about planxties (similarly to Sámi joiks) that you can try to imagine the person for whom it was composed based on what it sounds like, at least that’s something I like to do. 

Question of the day.

   What’s a saying in your language that probably doesn’t have a straight-forward translation into other languages? 

   My answer: 

   Well, in my experience, when translating anything between Polish and English, it’s English that has more words that are untranslatable into Polish, simply because English has loads more words than Polish does. That being said, we do have a lot of sayings, also proverbs, idioms, colloquial or downright slangy words that are very handy yet don’t seem to have a straightforward translation into English, and as much as, when speaking Polish to a non-English speaker, I often sorely lack the huge amounts of weirdly specific and descriptive words that English has, on the other hand, when speaking English, I really feel the lack of all those very picturesque and often quite humourous and to the point sayings, idioms etc. of my native language. As you may know, I have always envied people who are multilingual since early childhood, but as my own language development keeps progressing, I am increasingly more inclined to believe someone I was once writing with who was raised bilingual, and who told me that being bilingual is not all amazing, because, according to him,   when you speak two or more languages fluently from a very early age, in a way you can’t develop either of them as well as a monoglot can, and you have gaps in each of them and mix them up a lot totally accidentally etc. I was raised monolingual, so that was not my experience, but now that my thinking is pretty equally divided between Polish and English, and my Swedish is also pretty strong, I think I am starting to see that myself. When I speak English, I still don’t know a lot of niche words or am unfamiliar with some structures, or make a lot of mistakes, or am just not sure how to express some very specific thing, or  like I said  lack some colourful idiom from my native language. But when I speak my native language, I find it increasingly difficult to resist the temptation of snobbishly throwing words from other languages in between or awkwardly calquing expressions from other languages, or otherwise it sometimes takes me ages to remember what something’s called in Polish which feels and appears ridiculous. Also I write a lot less in Polish these days than I do in English and sometimes I have an impression that ever since I’ve started writing loads in English, like blogging and having mostly English-speaking friends, my writing skills in Polish have degraded slightly but visibly, while I still haven’t developed as distinctive a writing style as I’ve had in Polish. I shared that observation with my grandad a few months ago and he said that perhaps this is evidence for why humans might not actually be built for being multilingual. It’s an interesting theory and could sort of make sense at the first glance, because in the past people rarely travelled so far that they’d need more than one language to communicate effectively with everyone, nonetheless I don’t believe in this theory one bit. AlSo yeah, linguistic dilemmas. But anyway, I’m digressing already before I’ve even managed to properly start answering the question. 😀 

   So, an untranslatable Polish saying? The first thing that comes to my mind is one that would literally translate to “to think about blue almonds”. At least on the surface, that may seem like the best literal translation for it, even though it’s not really right or exact but we’ll get to that in a minute. If you’re thinking about blue almonds, it means that you are dreaming, usually about something that isn’t very likely to come true, or, in any case, you are not doing anything to get closer to it coming true. It is also strongly associated with being idle and lazy, like, instead of doing what you’re supposed to do, for example doing your job so that you can eventually get a raise and gradually become richer and possibly very rich, you just sit there thinking about blue almonds, that is in this case  how cool it would be to be a billionaire and what you’d be doing if you were one, but you’re not even trying to increase the likelihood of it happening. I’ve also heard it used several times to signify something more like zoning out, for example, you’re in the middle of doing something, and then you stop in the midst of it and suddenly appear deep in thought, so someone might ask you what you’re thinking about and you could say: “Oh,  just thinking about blue almonds”, meaning that you’d simply zoned out and weren’t thinking about anything in particular at all or just mind wandering or something. But generally it’s most basic meaning I’d say is idle, lazy daydreaming of very unlikely or perhaps utopian things. 

   But why blue almonds, actually? Well, the thing is that they aren’t really blue. The Polish word for blue (niebieski) also has another meaning – “heavenly”. – It is much less commonly used, these days you’d mainly see it in religious texts like the Bible (lol my Mac is so brainwashed by me already that it autocorrects Bible to Bibiel 🤣 ) or hymns or prayers (so essentially in Polish Heavenly Father means the same as blue father, and I remember that when I was little I found that really odd) or such, or otherwise perhaps astronomy-related stuff where it would mean “celestial”. I guess it’s because the word for heaven (niebo) is the same as sky in Polish, and well, the sky is blue. Or perhaps there’s a more logical reason behind that. So technically the almonds aren’t really supposed to be blue, but heavenly. But since “niebieski) is more  commonly used as meaning blue these days, most people think the almonds in the saying are actually blue and interpret it as to think/daydream about something very weird/fantastical/surreal, ‘cause blue almonds don’t exist. Apparently, in the past centuries, the Polish word for almond (migdał) was also used to mean something delicious, perhaps a bit sumptuous, exotic, luxurious, that you didn’t eat every single day. So I guess a more fitting literal translation would really be something like “to think about heavenly delicacies”. 

   Or am I wrong in assuming that this doesn’t have an English equivalent? If so, please do enlighten me.

   . How about you? Or if you’re not sure what sayings from your language are or are not translatable to others, what’s your favourite saying in your native language? 🙂 

Georgia Ruth – “Sylvia”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   The song I have for you today comes from Georgia Ruth’s album Fossil Scale. This is a mostly English-language album, if I remember correctly this song is the only Welsh one on it. And it’s actually a cover, because it was first sung by Meic Stevens who also wrote it himself. Meic Stevens is a very prominent figure on the Welsh folk and folk rock music scene, a lot of his songs are considered classics and many have a sort of psychedelic feel to them. I have actually shared one of his songs, a Christmas one called Noson Oer Nadolig (Cold Christmas Night). I believe Sylvia was released by him in the 70’s. I really like Georgia Ruth’s arrangement of it. 

Phamie Gow & The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards – “The Water of Life – Uisge Beatha”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I want to share with you another piece from the Scottish composer and multi-instrumentalist Phamie Gow, in collaboration with The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. As you may know, its title refers to whisky, called uisge beatha in Scottish Gaelic, which means water of life. 

Question of the day.

   Simple question today: 

   What book are you reading right now? 

   My answer: 

   Me, well, I think the GoodReads widget on my blog is still working, in which case you should be able to see that I am reading Catherine of Siena by Sigrid Undset. I’ve read a lot of books by this author during the last year or so. I first read Kristin Lavransdatter some years ago, mostly because I read about it in my favourite Polish author’s – Małgorzata Musierowicz’s – books, because a lot of her female characters have read and like Kristin and either Mrs. musierowicz herself or one of her characters said that this is a book that every woman should read or something along those lines. In hindsight, I can add that, in particular, every Catholic woman, and every introverted woman. Not that men or non-Catholics won’t find it interesting and insightful as well. I thoroughly enjoyed that book reading it for the first time, mostly because of Undset’s understanding and sensitive way of portraying people’s characters, inner lives etc. as well as the daily life of the characters (it’s a historical novel set in medieval Norway), and the strongly Scandinavian vibe generally, but also something else drew me to it that I couldn’t quite pinpoint. Not much later, I came across The Master of Hestviken and enjoyed it even more mostly for the same reasons, and again primarily was drawn to it by something that I was not really able to name. 

   I’d always wanted to reread both of them, and possibly read her other books if I could get hold of any, but only actually did that last year, when I bought both of these books for my Mum. We had fully “converted” to Traditional Catholicism not long before last Christmas,  started attending Traditional Latin Mass exclusively and all that, and I think that was what made me think of these books again, because Undset wrote both of them after converting to Catholicism, and she herself lived pre Vatican II, and so  obviously did her medieval characters, and so when I started to attend Traditional Latin Mass more regularly, read Traditional Catholic books etc. it all starkly reminded me of Kristin and Olav (Olav is the main and title character of The Master of Hestviken). And so I thought that my Mum would really enjoy them, because of the TradCat flavour, and because my Mum likes old classics, as well as Scandinavian literature (Mika Valtari for example) and I thought she and Kristin and Olav would get along supremely well. And that turned out to be very much the case, because Mum says now that Kristin Lavransdatter is the book of her life (even despite a rather clunky Polish translation which really is a translation of the German translation and initially the clunkiness and weird pseudo-archaisms in it bothered my Mum, just as they did me). Olav took more time for her to develop a liking for, but I think that might be the case for a lot of people and I totally get it even though weirdly enough I had no such problem myself. To me, as a person, Olav is actually more interesting than Kristin, because Kristin, while an introvert, is shown more from the outside, like through her daily life, what she was doing, how everything was changing etc. and, compared to Olav, her personality isn’t as well-developed. My Mum initially disagreed with me and, again, I get why, ‘cause Olav is difficult to get to know in a way, but once she read the whole Master of Hestviken she agreed with me that, despite he’s in his own head most of the time (or imho precisely because of it), he has more of a character.

   So anyway, I couldn’t just look at how my Mum was reading my two favourite books, I had to reread them myself too. And I have more time for reading than my mum and a more messed up sleep cycle so I finished both way before Mum was done with Kristin. And this time it was precisely the spiritual life of those people that grabbed my attention the most about those books, and their relationship with God, their religious customs, their thoughts about faith etc. Perhaps this was the thing that I initially was so drawn by but couldn’t quite specify, although I think there is still something more to those books  that I can’t pinpoint. Further rereads are due, I guess. But yeah, this second time I enjoyed both of them even more, and noticed a lot more about them aside from just the external stuff which was what I mostly noticed when reading them for the first time. 

   Kristin and Olav only wetted my appetite further, and so I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Sigrid Undset’s Gymnadenia (The Wild Orchid I guess it’s more commonly known as in English) series is in our blind library. I must have somehow not noticed it before because it was there way before I first read Kristin. It was weird because I was actually looking for The Wild Orchid all around the web before and it either hadn’t occurred to me to look in such an obvious place, or for some reason I didn’t see it there or something. So, even though the recording is very old and sound quality not overly enticing, and even though the narrators mispronounced most Norwegian words like people’s names or place names in both parts of the series as if they were  French or German or something which drove me up the wall, I read the whole series. It is set in early 20th century so definitely feels very different than the other two books by her that I’d read. It tells the story of Paul Selmer and focuses in particular on his way to converting to Catholicism. It didn’t captivate me nearly as much as Kristin and Olav did, and really dragged in places, the first volume was particularly difficult to get through, I guess simply because Paul as a person and his life as such resonated with me less rather than because it was a worse book or something. But I found it very interesting nevertheless to see Paul’s transformation throughout the series and read about his various reflections relating to the Catholic faith, Mass, being Catholic etc. I thought that my ardent Mum would resonate with it even more, and again, I was right. She says that, even though it is obviously not really a religious book as such but just a work of fiction, it drew her closer to God and felt very spiritually enriching for her to read at that particular point in time when she read it. 

   And while I found The Wild Orchid in our library, I also found two other books by Undset, that is Jenny and a re-telling of the Arthurian legends but I’m not sure if the latter has been translated to English so no idea what it’s called in English. I believe both of these were written before her conversion, but to someone who knows that she eventually did, you can sort of read between the lines that she was having some sort of spiritual/existential breakthrough or something. Jenny was kind of disappointing, I don’t know, I guess I just expected it to be better than it actually was and didn’t really enjoy it all that very much, but it’s still worth reading by all means and I definitely don’t regret doing it. And the Arthurian legends, well I’m a Celtophile so… yeah, had a lot of fun reading it and seeing the whole thing from a bit of a different angle than the other Arthurian legends books that I’d read before show it. It was kind of weird and kind of funny though, considering that Sigrid Undset could overall definitely be classified as a Christian writer, that these legends are absolutely full of lust, murder and other similar obscenities and there’s a lot of focus on that, like reading it you’d think their lives consisted almost solely of adulterating, fighting/killing each other and drinking and it can make you feel kind of demoralised if you’re sensitive to such things. But there was still a lot of beauty in between and a lot of Christian accents, even though not as obvious as in Kristin or Olav. 

   Since then I’ve wanted to find some other of her books but had no luck, at least in Polish. Yet, I was able to find Undset’s aforementioned biography of Catherine of Siena in English on Audible, so I got it right away. Actually before I heard a sample on Audible, I thought that it was more of a fictionalised account of her life, since I’d only read fiction books by Undset before and was a bit surprised that it’s a proper biography, but I think it just shows that she was a really incredibly versatile writer. I am slowly finishing this book and I am really liking it because of how detailed it is. It isn’t just a biography like a lot of saints’ biographies that is written solely to inspire the faithful to follow her example, it actually shows in a very realistic way what sort of person she was overall, what her life must have looked like at the time when she lived, all the chaos going on at the time around the pope’s relocation from Rome to Avignon and the relationship between France and Rome etc. so that the reader can have a pretty detailed picture of everything, while at the same time it’s also quite obviously not just a historical book because, as a devout Christian herself, she also does focus a lot on the most important thing that is Catherine’s spiritual and mystical life so I’d say it’s a very edifying read at the same time and I feel sad for my Mum that she probably won’t be able to get hold of it anywhere in Polish unless some second-hand bookshop if she’s lucky. My dream is now that I could read her books in Norwegian one day, but for now the mere thought feels rather intimidating. 😀 Also, having read quite a few of her books by now, I am growing more and more curious of Sigrid Undset herself, as a person, and her life. I mean, I’m usually like that, when I read a book, or listen to music or anything like that, I quite automatically think about the individual behind it and what they must have been like to create that particular thing, but in this case I’m actually very seriously curious, and I wish someone wrote a thorough biography of her, but so far haven’t come across anything like that. Also these days I have another reason for being so much into her books. I’ve been praying for someone who is Norwegian, and I find it extremely encouraging and heartening in my efforts to know that such very deeply Christian books were born in Norway, and not very long ago at all, when Norway was already a largely secular country. 

   So, how about your current read(s)? 🙂 

Clannad – “An Mhaighdean Mhara” (The Mermaid).

   Hiya people! 🙂 

   Today I have for you a beautiful and sad traditional Irish song, which I believe I first heard sung by Órla Fallon, whose version is also lovely. This song is about a mother of two children – Maire and Padraig, or Mary and Patrick in English – who was a mermaid or apparently in some versions she is a selkie, and who really longed for the sea, but her cloak that she put on to shapeshift into a mermaid was hidden somewhere. One day, her children discovered it near the sea, and then their mother swam away. I got the translation from here

   It seems that you have faded away and abandoned the love of life
The snow is spread about at the mouth of the sea
Your yellow flowing hair and little gentle mouth
We give you Mary Chinidh to swim forever in the Erne
My dear mother, said blonde Mary
By the edge of the shore and the mouth of the sea
A mermaid is my noble mother
We give you Mary Chinidh to swim forever in the Erne
I am tired and will be forever
My fair Mary and my blond Patrick
On top of the waves and by the mouth of the sea
We give you Mary Chinidh to swim forever in the Erne
The night is dark and the wind is high
The Plough can be seen high in the sky
But on top of the waves and by the mouth of the sea
We give you Mary Chinidh to swim forever in the Erne

Inge Frimout-Hei – “Waning Gibbous”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   The last time I shared with you something from this Dutch harpist, it was a piece called Jupiter from her album Planetary Impressions. Today it’s a piece from a different album, but also a celestial-themed one, inspired by phases of the moon. 

Aryeh Frankfurter – “Polska Efter Ola Lans” (Ola Lans’ Polska).

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I want to share with you a piece from the multi-instrumentalist Aryeh Frankfurter, whom I personally associate most with nyckelharpa and collaborating with the Celtic harpist Lisa Lynne. I’ve already shared some polskas on here and mentioned that it’s a Scandinavian dance which possibly does have some sort of link to Poland but it’s not a sure thing (it might have been brought to Scandinavia from the Polish court and be a relative of the polonaise), but it can also be kind of confusing because Polska happens to mean Poland in Polish, as well as Polish (as in the language) in Swedish, so it kind of makes it seem like the link must be stronger here. I’ve even heard a story of how some Nordic folk group had a concert here in Poland and they had T-shirts with the word “Polska” on them, which obviously made everyone think that they must be so in love with the country or something. 😀 But despite this is a Polska, the harp and the penny whistle give this tune a bit of a Celtic vibe imo. 

Celia Briar – “Elizabeth McDermot Roe”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   This is another plenty tune composed by the blind Irish harper Turlough O’Carolan. As its title says, it is dedicated to Miss Elizabeth McDermot Roe, and as I’ve already written previously, McDermots were O’Carolan’s strongest supporters and patrons. His father worked for them as a blacksmith, and after his death, it was Mrs. Anne McDermot Roe who gave Turlough education and essentially helped him become a harper, and they maintained a good relationship throughout his life, so no wonder that he has created numerous planxties for them, some of them I’ve shared before played by different people. Elizabeth was the daughter of Anne and Henry McDermot Roe. 

Jack Vreeswijk – “Underbart” (Wonderful).

   Hey people! 🙂 

  Today I thought I would share with you a song by Jack Vreeswijk. A lot of music that Jack has released are covers of his Dad – Cornelis Vreeswijk’s – songs, or his musical arrangements of his poems that were not released as songs by Cornelis himself. But aside from that, we should not forget that Jack composes and writes his very own, original material, of which I’ve actually already shared some on here and today’s song is another one written by Jack himself. 

   I was able to translate this one, however it’s a bit different this time because I did it completely by ear, since the lyrics don’t seem to be available anywhere. I usually avoid translating by ear because there’s even more of a potential for mistakes when you’re already translating between two languages that aren’t your native, but here it’s a rather simple song vocabulary-wise and I already understood it almost whole before attempting to do this translation. There is only one verse where there is one word that I either don’t hear right or can’t figure out what it means ‘cause what I seem to be hearing doesn’t make sense, so I had to omit it. Still, like I said I’m not a Swedish native speaker so there could be more issues with it that I’m not aware of or something. Inn case anyone’s curious, I guess this isn’t about Jack’s personal experiences. as far as I’m aware, he does not have any siblings, unless perhaps half- or step-siblings or something, and his father and mother didn’t live together for all that long. From what I know, Jack grew up in a district of Stockholm called Hökarängen, and it was quite recently that I came across an interview with him where he said that it was a nice place, very green and where people knew each other, so kind of like a village. Now he also lives somewhere that feels rather rural from what I understood. 

   Here lived I
My father and my mother
And my beautiful sister
And my little brother
And here I want to rest
And why I do not know
Don’t want to die in a city
Where no one knows me
It is so wonderful
It is so beautiful
It is so quiet
So warm and nice
It is so wonderful
It is so beautiful
And it is so quiet
So warm and nice
It hurts to go
I see well-known things
It hurts to remember
So I don’t remember anything
And everything I once was
Ends in this little village
Where everything [?…]
And the moon was new
It is so wonderful
It is so beautiful
It is so quiet
So warm and nice
It is so wonderful
It is so beautiful
It is so quiet
So warm and nice

   Jack Vreeswijk – “Underbart”. 

Llio Rhydderch – “Y Tincer Bach” (The Little Tinker).

   Hey people! 🙂 

   For today, I have for you another piece from the Welsh harpist Llio Rhydderch, coming from her album Carn Ingli recorded together with Mark O’Connor and Tomos Williams. This seems to be Llio’s arrangement of a tune that’s otherwise known as Y Bachgen Bach o Dincer (The Little Tinker Lad) which I think I first heard sung by Yr Hwntws and which I believe is a traditional Welsh folk song. 

Grainne Hambly – “Sir Arthur Shaen”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   For today, I chose another piece composed by the  Irish harper Turlough O’Carolan. It’s played by the Irish Celtic harpist Grainne Hambly, by whom I’ve shared one other tune on here. As you may know and as I already wrote before when sharing Turlough O’Carolan’s tunes, he composed a lot of his songs for specific people, usually his patrons. And I guess sir Arthur Shaen must have been one of them. He seems to have been a baronet of Kilmore. 

   Grainne Hambly – “Sir Arthur Shaen”

Question of the day.

   Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, what are some annoying things that the opposite do? 

   My answer: 

   Well I’m an introvert, and what I’m going to say obviously aren’t things that I think ALL extroverts do, just what I experienced with quite a few of them. 

   The most annoying thing imo is how a lot of extroverts see introversion as something weird, abnormal or pathological, something that is the worse option of the two and that you should at least try to change, or else you’re crazy, strange or something. I think if it’s something pathological, it’s not introversion but anxiety or other things like that, and introversion is just a totally neutral trait. Sure, there are more introverts than extroverts who have social anxiety or are shy, but that doesn’t mean that introversion alone is something that is deemed to make you pathologically shy and socially crippled, or that extroverts cannot develop those things (I actually wonder if something like social anxiety wouldn’t be even more painful and frustrating for an extrovert to live with). It’s kind of like being tall vs being short for example – each has its own upsides and downsides and potential risks that are more linked to the one but not the other, but none is inherently better or worse than the other. – 

   A lot of extroverts I know have a bit of an egocentric mentality, which sometimes really annoys me. They always readily assume that you must enjoy the same things as them, and if you’re not into partying or going out with their whole group of friends that you barely know, and if you politely refuse or something, they’ll assume you’re haughty/rude/cocky or that you don’t like them, alternatively they’ll keep trying to persuade you because they know that you want to do it and that you need company and someone who’d make your life less “boring”, you just don’t know it yourself yet, and even if you really do not want it, it’s the normal thing to do so you should. Speaking of extroverts assuming that you’re haughty or rude, that’s something that, to me personally as both an introvert as well as someone with AVPD and all that fun stuff that affects my peopling capacity, isn’t just annoying but also quite hurtful, because the last thing I want is for people to assume that I’m being deliberately rude towards them or don’t like them or consider myself superior in relation to them. 

   Insisting that you come in and stay at theirs when you just popped for a little while. Sure, it is hospitable to offer that, but insisting more than once when the invited individual already said “No, thank you”, to me it seems rather pushy and sometimes even threatening when someone is hellbent on having it their way. A lot of my family do that, and so does my Dad when people come to us. I always feel for them when they’ve come to, for example, just take their car back after last night’s party and my Dad invites them to come all over again and they’re like: “Oh no, no, thank you, we’d like to but we have this and this and that to do at home!” And he keeps going: “Oh but just stay for a cup of coffee” Guests: “Sorry but…” Dad: “I’ll make you a cuppa, come in, come in!” Guests: “But we really can’t stay long…” Dad: “Milk or sugar?”… That’s obnoxious! I totally get that he just wants to be nice and hospitable but, for flip’s sake, there’s a limit to everything! 

   And something that is objectively very minor but a real pet peeve of mine is how extroverts call introverted people “quiet”. I hate this word so, so much! Like, really? You see me for five minutes, during which I don’t really have much to say to you because I barely know you (and, as we’ve already established, I don’t know how to do peopling really) and you already know that I’m quiet? You should spend a minute in my brain. 😀 I can be very quiet, but I can  talk up a storm just as well in the right circumstances, and I think many introverts are like that, it depends how comfortable they feel in a given situation and how much they have to say on a specific topic. Some people, in addition to quickly labelling others with the “quiet” label, say it in a way that sounds as if they perceived those so-called “quiet” people as pretty dull and boring. And I do get that a lot of introverts seem like that at  first glance indeed. Sometimes even at second, too. And that group of introverts absolutely includes Bibielz too, perhaps even in the top 5! 😀 But if you label someone as “quiet” right away, you can’t expect them to ever open up to you. We’ll let you see what you want to see, we wouldn’t want you to get a shock from finding out how intense it can get when we go “loud”. 😀 And even those who are truly  quiet and very careful with how much they say at all times, they can be extremely deep people in their inner peace and balance, even deeper than those of us who hide intensity behind quietness, and in my experience can be really wise and anything but boring, but it takes time to get to know them of course. 

   So I think these are all the things that I find particularly annoying about some extroverts. 

   You? 🙂 

Cornelis Vreeswijk – “Sluskblues” (Sloven Blues).

   Hiya people! 🙂 

   Yeah, I decided that, given the fact that it was Cornelis’ death anniversary on Saturday, I want to share yet another song by him, but this time it’s his original song and vastly different from the lullaby I shared yesterday, as it’s quite rough and filled with intense yucky feelings. It always reminds me of Gustav Fröding’s poem Ett Gammalt Bergtroll (An Old Mountain Troll)  which Cornelis also interpreted since I’d say it kind of deals with the same thing. 

   This song is featured in the soundtrack to Amir Chamdin’s 2010 movie Cornelis, with Hans-Erik Dyvik Husby aka Hank von Helvete as the main character, where Cornelis plays it live and says that this is just a song about some random guy, that this is by no means an autobiographic song because his parents, unlike the lyrical subject’s in this song, were respectable people. And indeed, I remember him saying in one interview that his childhood was “idyllic” for the most part, and if we look at these lyrics literally, then a lot of things here certainly are not true about Cornelis. But I guess it doesn’t require a particularly deep analysis if you know a bit about him, to come to the conclusion that it could still relate to him and how he saw himself in a more metaphorical way. It seems to be pretty widely known in Sweden that he struggled a lot with stuff like confidence, self-esteem and all that, also substance misuse obviously and had a rather stormy life in many ways. Plus I suppose it might also be more or less influenced by his socialist worldview. It comes from his second album Ballader ooh Grimascher (Ballads and… well Grimasches, I guess? Some people translate grimasch as grimace but grimace is grimas in Swedish as far as I’m aware, and I’ve never come across the word grimasch outside of Cornelis’ music). 

   The translation below is Bibiel’s, and I honestly had some vocabulary dilemmas here (the perks of translating between two non-native languages), because it has so many weird slangy words that I had totally no idea what they should be best translated as into English, because I had a more or less vague understanding of what they’re supposed to mean in Swedish, but didn’t know their exact definition, even the slusk in the title. Looking around the Internet, I found quite a few different translations of this word into English, which have some things in common yet are quite different from one another: slop, someone who’s clumsy, lout/bastard, brute, hulk, prone, someone sleazy etc. I doubt that slusk’s meaning is so wide. So eventually I looked it up in my dictionary, which says that slusk means “sloven”. Which makes sense, but I’m not sure if sloven and slusk, despite sharing the same meaning, also have the same vibe and conotations. I guess sloven is pretty dated in English and not really slangy, whereas I’m pretty sure that slusk is very slangy and more or less on the vulgar side. So it’s possible that some of the words in this translation might not be the most fortunate in this slangy context even if their meaning is similar as the original. 

   I am a sloven, I am a swine
I like it rough, but you are fine
You drink wine for the sake of pleasure
But I like wine ‘cause then I get drunk
People like me should be put in cages, shouldn’t they?
You like nice stuff, but I like shit
Your life is safe, mine to and fro
You drive around in those sporty cars
With those little ladies with the silly profiles
Imagine being able to sleep until late in the day, fuck me!
I am filthy, anything but hygiene
What have you done, you who are so clean?
You are refined and sophisticated
I am ruined and degenerated
What if we were to switch one day, you and I!
I am a sloven, born in a kitchen sink
Father, he was alky, mother was a whore
My father obviously died in the gutter
But your dad took a bullet to the temple
The reason was of course unrequited amour towards your mother
I am slovenly, you are a fop
I am an asshole, of course you’re right
But when you are dead I still will be standing
And writing an epitaph to be carved into the stone
Death with no cause, life with no reason, with no soul