Y Bandana – “Dant y Llew” (Dandelion).

   Hiya people! 🙂 

   Today, I’d like to share with you another song from the Welsh pop rock group Y Bandana, from their album Fel Tôn Gron, the last one they released before disbanding. This is one of their more popular songs in Wales as far as I’m aware. Unfortunately I was not able to find written lyrics for this one anywhere online, and while I think I understand a fair bit from it, it’s still definitely not everything, so I didn’t really have the courage to attempt doing a translation by ear for the purpose of this post. But basically, it is about girls, who are called Cadi and Mabli, and the lyrical subject of this song finds very attractive, and their hair is the colour of a dandelion. 

   Y Bandana – “Dant y Llew”

Jack Vreeswijk – “Hon Kommer Aldrig Hem” (She Will Never Come Home).

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I really want to share with you an original  song by Jack Vreeswijk, from his album Underbart (Wonderful). It has a bit of an emo vibe, which you can find out for yourselves, as Bibielz were able to translate it. Bibielz couldn’t, however,  find the complete lyrics  anywhere, so had to just do it by ear. As you might or might not recall, it wasn’t the first time I’ve translated Jack by ear, and it wasn’t particularly difficult this time either. . The only fragment I found a little unclear was the line that I translated as “you are marked by grief”, although I’m not sure that’s  what he’s actually singing, because what I hear is actually “You are marked over grief”, which, as far as I know, doesn’t really sound natural in Swedish and I haven’t found any other examples of the word “over” being used in this way in Swedish, so either I’m completely misunderstanding it, or just this one word, or it’s some phrase or construction I’m unfamiliar with. I’m sharing Jack’s live performance of this song rather than  the album version. 

   Nobody can handle you 

Nobody wants to understand 

That your grief is endless 

Though life is steaming ahead 

Who said that she was yours? 

Not her and not you 

Who believes in eternal love? 

Who believes in it now? 

She will never come home again 

She will never come home again 

Let them see you like this 

Who cares about it? 

In three hundred years 

No one will know anymore 

Let them babble behind your back 

That you are marked [by?] grief 

The grief is embracing you 

The grief is your last castle 

She will never come home again 

She will never come home again 

She will never come home again 

She will never come home again 

She will never come home again 

She will never come home again 

She will never come home again 

She will never come home again 

Bendith – “ANgel”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I thought I’d share with you this soothing piece by Bendith. For anyone unfamiliar with Bendith, it was a collaborative project between the alt-folk sibling trio Plu (who are very frequently featured on here since one of its members, Gwilym Bowen Rhys, is one of my faza  people) and Carwyn Ellis from the indie band Colorama. I was even able to translate this song for you guys, though it probably does have some mistakes or things that perhaps could have been phrased more aptly or something. There are some phrases in it that were completely new to me, like “sana i’n”, which is a colloquial phrase used in southwest Wales and means “I don’t”, but I was totally unfamiliar with it and it took me quite a while to figure out what it actually was. 

   And if something worries me 

She is the one who comes to my mind 

Nothing can stop her 

From coming to my side 

She is my angel 

 

If it all got too much for me 

So she waits, she comes straight away 

Just say the word and that’s all 

She’ll do it, by my side 

She is my angel 

Beside me, that’s where she will be 

Any time of the day or night 

If anything comes to bother me 

She is by my side 

She is my angel 

 

And if I’ll need a hand to help me 

I don’t worry, she’s still here 

To share the burdens between us 

Here by my side 

She is my angel 

Plu – “Gollwng Gafael” (Letting Go).

   Hey dear people! 🙂 

   Today I’d like to share with you this lovely song by the Welsh alt-folk trio Plu, whose music is fairly frequently featured on here. It comes from their album Tir a Golau (Lad and Lights). Quite surprisingly for myself, I was even able to translate it. You guys know that I’m still pretty bad at translating Welsh music solely by ear, and when you’re into some small languages, it’s not always as comfy as googling “Artist Song lyrics” and finding said lyrics right away, because often it might require a bit more perseverance to find what you’re looking for at the bottom of the Internet, or it might not be available online at all. Plu’s lyrics usually don’t seem to be, but what I always try to do in such cases is fish out a part of lyrics that I can completely understand and that at the same time is not too generic and distinct enough that it’s not likely to pop up in too many other contexts except what I’m looking for, and then I google it in quotes. And this time round, I happened to be lucky, because I found an S4C (Welsh-language television channel) transscript of a programme where Plu were singing this song. And the lyrics are pretty easy linguistically so I was able to translate it with no particular issues, though again, it’s not like I’m an experienced Welsh-English translator or a native speaker of either of these languages so it’s definitely possible that it has some mistakes or that it just could be better, but as always it’s just to give you more or less of an idea of what it is about. I am sharing with you a live version of this song which they sang at a Celtic music festival called Cwlwm Celtaidd. They precede the song with two verses of a traditional Welsh lullaby called Mil Harddach (A Thousand Times More Beautiful), for which the below translation comes from Mama Lisa’s website

   You’re a thousand times more beautiful than the white rose
Or the red rose on the hillside,
Or the proud swan swimming in the lake,
My little baby.
A thousand times better than all the gold in the world
Is to see your smiles in your crib,
You are my fortune and my blessing,
My little baby.

And here’s Bibielz translation of Gollwng Gafael. 

      You love the land more than the earth 

And the wave more than the water 

You love “was” more than “will” 

And what is the world without its story? 

Without sky, there are no horizons 

Without tomorrow, there is no yesterday 

Open your eyes 

To experience letting go 

For you, the inspiration is in a song 

And the bleak books in front of you 

The inspiration is everyday 

Uncovering the truth 

By pulling off every layer 

Without sky, there are no horizons 

Without tomorrow, there is no yesterday 

Open your eyes 

To experience letting go 

   You love the land more than the earth 

More than the truth 

Cornelis Vreeswijk – “En Visa om ett Rosenblad” (A Song About a Rose Petal).

   Hiya people! 🙂 

   Today I’d like to share with you a lovely, kind of bittersweet and very jazzy song from Cornelis Vreeswijk. The melody to this song was actually composed by Georg Riedel, who is a Czech-born Swedish jazz musician and who, after Cornelis’ death, released an album called Cornelis vs Riedel, with his arrangements of Cornelis’ poems, sung by his daughter Sarah and Nikolai Dunger, several of which I’ve shared on here in the past. 

   I like this song for quite a few different reasons, but I think mostly because, while it sounds like a very clear allegory of the oh so commonly occurring and depicted,  classic theme in romantic relationships where a man manipulates a woman just to hurt her and eventually leave, over the years, as I’ve been listening to this song again and again, I have realised that it also works as an allegory for many other less obvious things, or has not so obvious mini allegories within it, though no idea if it was a conscious/deliberate thing on Cornelis’ part. Perhaps it’s just one of those things in which everyone sees something a little different, or the same individual sees something a little different in it with each listen. And then I’m pretty sure that, on a more personal level for Cornelis, Ann-Katrin Rosenblad (a character who frequently appears in his songs and poems), or her real-life counterpart(s) must also be present somewhere here, it must be about a “rosenblad” for a reason. Regardless, I like how sensitively all of these allegories are handled here. I also do really like it musically, even though regular people on here know that I am generally not overly big on jazz. The translation below is Bibielz. Bibielz had no particular issues writing it, because the original lyrics are quite easy and uncomplicated language-wise, so it should be more or less alright. 

      Once upon a time, there was a little rose petal 

And the rose on which she grew was red 

Then one day she fell off because the rose was dead 

Then an icy wind passed by, then she was happy 

Because the wind was a cheerful and fiery guy 

Who was on his way from south to north 

He blew her ear full of beautiful words 

Come, sweetheart, said the wind, come 

Then she got dizzy 

She couldn’t resist what he said 

She gave him everything he asked for 

He brought her with him to a big rich city 

Here will the two of us live, he said. 

And she said yes 

But the wind was an unfaithful specimen 

Who only wanted to tumble around in the sky 

He blew her away from himself, she fell down into the mud 

Then he left the city in a hurry 

And she stayed 

Should you see a flower petal somewhere 

Among rubbish and dirt in our happy city 

Remember that she once was a beautiful rose petal 

She once loved a wind and she was his 

And the rose that she grew on was dead 

And the wind whom she loved, he’s gone 

Every night she walks into the room where I live 

She is called a rose petal 

And her colour is red 

Norland Wind – “The Snowy Birch Trees”.

   Hey lovely people! 🙂 

   Today I’d like to share with you an instrumental piece from a group which I have discovered only very recently, and find it kind of surprising that I hadn’t known about them at all earlier. They’re an international bunch of musicians who, as Norland Wind, make music which is a bit like a bridge between Celtic and Scandinavian folk music. So no wonder that I ended up liking them. It was founded by German harpist Thomas Loefke who learned to play the harp from Irish harpists in Dublin, and its other members are  such people as: Norwegian singer, guitarist and player of multiple other plucked string instruments Kerstin Blodig, whose educational background is in musicology as well as Scandinavian languages and cultures, with emphasis on Norwegian folk music, and like most other Norland Wind musicians she also works on multiple other projects and is a soloist as well (she sounds quite like my peep if she’s both into Scandinavian and Celtic folk music and then Scandinavian languages on top of that 😀 ), Irish fiddler, violinist,  viola player and singer Máire Breatnach and Scottish finger-style guitarist and low whistle player Ian Melrose who used to play with Clannad, and together with Kerstin Blodig forms the duo Kelpie. Late Clannad members – twin brothers Pádraig and Noel Duggan – also used to be part of the group’s line-up, which is precisely why I am so surprised that I hadn’t heard of Norland Wind earlier than I did, because one of my faza  people is Enya, who used to be part of Clannad, and so naturally I find Clannad and its members very interesting, both because they used to play with Enya and because they’re her family. So I like that Norland Wind has some distant connection to Enya as well, through Clannad. 

   Since it’s still winter (at least theoretically, because here it’s been raining a lot rather than snowing and feels more as if it was March or something) I decided on this wintry piece by them. 

Y Bandana – “Heno yn yr Anglesey” (Tonight in the Anglesey).

   Hey people! 🙂 

   For the first song of the day this year, I thought I would share with you a song from Y Bandana, a Welsh-language pop-rock group that consisted of Gwilym Bowen Rhys (one of my faza peeps, if you’re still not aware of that for some reason 😀 ), his cousins Siôn and Tomos Owens, and his school friend Robin Llwyd Jones. They were very successful on the Welsh-language music scene and I’ve shared a few songs by them already, and they’re well-known for writing a bit cheeky lyrics, since they were teens when starting out. The group has disbanded in 2016 as  the members wanted to try doing some different things, Gwilym is now as successful (or even more so, perhaps), and I believe Robin is a producer for the Welsh-language record label Sain. 

   Heno yn yr Anglesey” is arguably their most popular and well-known song, next to “Can y Tan”. 

   I did a translation of it, and I’d like to ramble a bit about the process, because, well, I’m still very unexperienced when it comes to translating Welsh stuff, and find it a lot more challenging than translating from Swedish, I think not just because my Welsh skills are worse than my Swedish skills, but also due to other, more practical reasons. For example,  I currently don’t have a Welsh speech synthesiser so read Welsh-language stuff either with a Polish or an English one, which makes the whole process of reading anything in Welsh a lot slower. And finding information about any sort of Welsh words, structures, not to mention idioms is more difficult than in Swedish because it is a so much smaller language. There are more Swedish resources, whether ones for learners or more generally about Swedish language, and there’s even simply more Swedish in Google, so you can often just Google some weird thing you’re not understanding to find out if it occurs anywhere else and try to figure out if it’s a common thing, if it’s an idiom or whatever, while when you do that in Welsh you’re more likely not to get a lot of results even if a specific phrase is in wide-ish use. So I’m absolutely sure that this translation contains some mistakes, and I want to tell you which bits I think may be wrong, so that you know that Bibielz may not necessarily be right, and in case some Welsh or Welsh-speaking peep comes around here some day, perhaps they’ll be willing to enlighten me or something. And maybe it’ll be interesting for some language geeks. 

   I actually found one translation of it that already exists that was decent, but it still seems to have some odd bits so I wanted to try and write my own that would be a bit better. But I’ll let you decide which one actually is better, in any case at least now there is more than one translation out there in the web so there’s choice. 😀 I still used that translation above as a bit of a crutch to help me out. My other crutches were the Welsh-English dictionary that I use on my Mac, as it’s the fastest for me to use of all dictionaries that I know of, Google Translate, various online resources, and, when other things failed to support my faltering brain adequately, I used my most recently discovered language toy, ChatGPT, because yes, ChatGPT does understand Welsh, even though it has random times where it is adamant that it doesn’t, or does understand what you write to it in Welsh but persistently responds in English (kinda like Swedes when you try to talk to them in Swedish but they realise you’re not a Swede 😀 ), and of course it’s very fallible, a lot more so than in English. ChatGPT likes to make stuff up so you have to be very very careful when asking it anything, but really, tools like Google Translate can also be oddly deceptive and random with Welsh translations, sometimes I truly have no idea where they get their ideas from. 

   So, the first line that I’m not sure whether it’s right is the second one which in the original contains the word “tennar”. The translation that I linked above translates it to “tenner” which makes sense, because “e” often changes to “a” in North Welsh, and “tennar” could be a sort of Cymricisation (Welshification, if you like 😀 ) of “tenner”. But I’m not even sure what “breaking into the tenner” could mean (perhaps because I’m not a native English-speaker or something), and I couldn’t find any evidence of “tenner” actually being used like that. So not sure it’s correct. 

   In the second verse there’s a line that is oddly translated as “You’re never with me when I want” which I have no idea why it is the way it is because it doesn’t make much sense compared with the original. I translated it as: “You tell me that I don’t get” which imho is more accurate but perhaps still not perfect. 

   Then there’s a line where they are holding hands “hyd law y byd”, which is translated to “above the crowd” in the first translation. I had no idea what “hyd law y byd” could mean, but I didn’t believe it could mean that, and Google wasn’t a whole lot of help either. ChatGPT said that it means “forever”, and I found the phrase “hyd law y byd” somewhere else on the Internet, didn’t understand the whole long sophisticated sentence that it was part of but from what I did understand it seemed to me like it could well be a more eloquent way of saying “forever”, a sort of equivalent to “until the end of time/world without end” in English. I have no more sound evidence for it but I went with my intuition and decided to agree and listen to ChatGPT in this instance. 

   The last verse was the toughest for me. First, there’s the  intriguing word “hegar”. The other translation translates the whole line as: “And it’s been a peaceful evening”, wherein “hegar” is supposed to mean “peaceful”. Meanwhile, Google Translate translated this line as: “It’s not going to be a wild night”. I’m curious to know where it got the “It’s not going to be” part from, I mean it’s obviously not like “It’s been” and “It’s not going to be” mean the same thing, and “Mae ‘di bod” definitely means “It’s been”. And does “hegar” mean “peaceful” or “wild”, after all? My dictionary doesn’t know the word “hegar”, and I wasn’t easily able to find any definitions in Google, so I asked ChatGPT and it said “peaceful” too. I thought, well, “peace” is “hedd/heddwch”, so they both start with  H, maybe that’s enough to make them family. But I searched once again more thoroughly for some examples of this word in use and found “hegar law” meaning “fierce rain”. So I went with “wild”, because “a fierce night” sounded odd in English. But I’m curious what’s the deal with peaceful and why it showed up, maybe this word has two meanings or something, though it would be funny to have one word with two opposite meanings. Like: try and guess what I mean now. 😀 Also given how seemingly obscure “hegar” is, I wonder if perhaps it’s some archaism, and I like the idea of an archaism being thrown into a “normal” song like this. 😀 

   Then there are “old women” and “square boys”, at least literally. The word “merched” in the original actually means “girls” rather than women, but I think each language uses its equivalent word for a girl as a slangy word for a woman. But I’m not entirely sure if “merched hen” (literally old girls), is supposed to mean old women, or perhaps more like older girls, or simply adult women who, after all, kind of are “old girls” in a way, because they’re older than the actual literal girls but still girls. 😀 Sticking with “old women” felt safest though, so that’s what I did. And square boys? No idea what that might be. I have a feeling that the word “sgwâr” has some other, colloquial meaning that I’m not familiar with, or else it’s an English calque of something. Are they “square” as in boring/mainstream or oldfashioned maybe? 

   And lastly, the next line contains the word “sgwario” which literally means “to square”, and in that other translation it’s translated as “square to us”. I tried to find some other meanings of “to square” in English, thinking it’s a calque, but found nothing else that would make sense to me in the context. ChatGPT told me that apparently “sgwario`’ is a slangy way of saying “to roam”, but I found nothing that would make me believe it. So I left “squaring to us”, even though I’m not convinced that this is what the “old women and square boys” are seriously doing. The “sgwâr” thing sounds like it could be wordplay and not all wordplay is easily translatable, so perhaps that’s the case here. 

   But anyway, I still hope this translation is reasonably good, and in any case, the song is cool. 

   You’re standing with me at the bar

You don’t want to break into the tenner

You ask me for a spare copper

To save, to spend

Your mysteriously blue eyes

Cause my heart to run a race

 You’re leaning on the black pillar

Which stands at the front of the pub

You’re burning in my mind

And it’s not the beer talking

I want you more than anyone

And there’s no one I want more than you

 Tonight in the Anglesey

Tonight in the Anglesey 

You’re sitting with me on the wall 

But as the night begins to take hold 

You tell me that I don’t get 

To leave you, I won’t leave 

The giant shadow of a black castle 

We are holding hands forever 

Tonight in the Anglesey 

Tonight in the Anglesey 

Tonight in the Anglesey 

The bell is ringing at the bar 

And it’s been a wild night 

The old women and the square boys 

Squaring up to us, passing by 

It’s about time we moved on 

But I want to stay here with you 

Tonight in the Anglesey 

Tonight in the Anglesey 

Tonight in the Anglesey 

Y Trŵbz – “Cwsg ar y Stryd” (Sleep on the Street).

   Hey people! 🙂 

   For today, I thought I’d share with you another song from Y Trŵbz’s EP called Croesa’r Afon (Cross the Bridge). This one has been written by Morgan Elwy (the bassist in the group) and his cousin Tomo Lloyd Evans (the guitarist). 

Christmas Wishes and Mishes (and a bonus, Christmassy song of the day).

   It’s Christmas Eve, so, as regular peeps on here will know, it’s the time for Christmas wishes here on My Inner Mishmash. Because in Poland, as in many other European countries, we actually start celebrating Christmas today already. In fact, this is in practice the most festive day of Christmas over here, at least when it comes to the external festivities. We eat a big, festive, meatless Christmas Eve supper, and then later on go to the Midnight Mass. Most people also open their presents on Christmas Eve, but since a couple years, we decided to change that in our household and we only do it after we come back from the Midnight Mass, so that’s practically Christmas Day already. 

   But, regardless of when exactly each of you, lovely people, starts your celebrations, I would like to wish you a very happy Christmas. Not necessarily merry, because, in my view, this word is a little superficial and not everyone can force themselves to be merry just because it’s Christmas time, for example if you have depression or something difficult is going on in your life at the moment, and Christmas isn’t exactly about being merry (though if you do feel merry, that’s amazing, I think I do too this year, for once 😀 ). Generally though, I wish you more of a joyous, innerly peaceful, thankful kind of happy Christmas. Or if even that is hard to achieve for you and where you’re at in life, a very hopeful one, at the very least. That’s a must, or else it’s hardly Christmas. I wish you to remember what Christmas is actually celebrated for and why it’s called Christmas and not Wintermas or Snowmas or Loads-of-Yummy-Food-mas. I talk about this every year on here, but I really do think it’s so sad that it’s Jesus’ birthday, and so many people want to celebrate it, yet a lot of them seem to totally ignore the birthday boy. 

   Whether you’ll be celebrating alone or with family or friends or whatever other company, I wish your Christmas not to be lonely, neither in a alone and lonely way, nor in a lonely in a crowd way. And I really hope it won’t be boring or overwhelming or under-/over-stimulating, or stressful, or all those other things that we know Christmases and other such holidays can very often be. 

   I also wish you a cosy Christmas, loads of yummy food, and that you can give and receive some cool presents. Who wouldn’t like that? 

   To all the non-Christian people who are also celebrating something, be it Christmas without the Christ- part, or having time off work, or some other religious holiday, I also want to wish you a happy, cosy, and memorable holidays. 

   And for all those who aren’t celebrating anything, I wish you hope and inner peace as well, and that you have a cool weekend. 

   Misha wants to wish all pets and peeps the best food in their lives, and hopes you can all catch up on sleep and keep warm, either inside your own fur, or some fluffy clothes, and that it’s not gonna be too noisy in your house and that you can spend a bit of time just with yourself. 

   And, yeah, traditionally, I’ve got to share some Christmas song! Last year I thought I’d ran out of all my favourite Christmas songs to share, but over the course of this year I remembered about a few that I’ve never shared on here and heard some new beautiful Christmas pieces. The one I’m sharing with you today belongs to the latter category. 

   This is a  Welsh Christmas carol called “Ar Gyfer Heddiw’r Bore” (On This Day in the Morning), written by David Hughes in 19th century. It seems to be very popular at what is called Plygain in Wales – a traditional Christmas service held either at night or early in the morning where people gather to sing carols, of course in harmony since that’s the only way Welsh people can sing. 😀 – This tradition has been apparently going through a bit of a renaissance lately and it sounds really cool. 

   However, the version of this song that I want to share with you is a little different. It is sung by Gwilym Bowen Rhys (yeah, one of my faza people and yeah, that renewed October peak is still going strong and I’m really glad that my faza life seems to have gone back to normal after like two years of weird chaos) as part of a project called Celtic Beethoven initiated by the Galician musician Carlos Núñez (I believe largely online-based), which involved a lot of musicians from Celtic countries and regions performing Celtic songs arranged by Ludwig van Beethoven. This carol is usually sung to a different tune, but in the recording below, Gwilym sings it to the tune of a Welsh song called The Vale of Clwyd, arranged by Beethoven. And I think this is absolutely stunning, and gives this carol more of a soul! Personally, the original melody makes me think of the Pentre Llanfihangel  song, which is the first thing that I ever heard sung to this tune (by Plethyn), and Gwilym’s version sounds so much more like what I think an old-ish, Christian piece like this should actually sound. 

   If you’d like to know what this carol is about and find out more about Plygain as such, or hear a version of this carol in its original melody, I recommend you visit this blog

Mared – “Fade Away”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   For today’s main song of the day, I want to share a song by Mared, a talented young Welsh singer, a lot of whose music I’ve shared on here before, both solo as well as with the group Y Trŵbz. It’s from an EP called Something Worth Losing that she released earlier this year. The whole EP is in English and contains songs with very reflective lyrics.  I’m sharing  a live acoustic version of the song which I think is really good. 

Plu – “Storm Dros Pen Y Fâl” (Storm Over Sugar Loaf).

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today, I’d like to share with you another song from Plu’s most recent album called Tri, the fourth one on this blog. It is really beautiful and captivating, and seems to captivate me a little more every time I listen to it. It’s about a mountain, which is called Pen y Fâl in Welsh, or Sugar Loaf in English. It is one of the highest peaks in the Black Mountains in Abergavenny. I thought I’d share with you their live performance of this song. 

Cornelis Vreeswijk – “Bibbis Visa” (Bibbi’s Song) & Jack Vreeswijk – “Bibbis Visa”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I want to share with you a little song from one of Cornelis Vreeswijk’s earlier albums – Tio Vackra Visor och Personliga Persson (Ten Beautiful Songs and Personal Persson) – which isn’t necessarily my favourite song of his (that HAS to be Grimasch om Morgonen) or probably isn’t even in the top 3 of my favourite songs of his, yet I have a little bit of a sentiment for this song, because it’s kind of cute, but also because when I first came across it I thought it was “Bisbis Visa”, and I went by Bisbis before it further evolved into Bibiel/Bibielle. 😀 But it’s obviously not “Bisbis Visa”, ‘cause even Bisbis’ Dad was merely a foetus when this album came out lol. Instead, it is Bibi Andersson’s visa, in whose case it stands for Berit Elisabet).

   This whole album of Cornelis is strongly inspired by the first time he spent in Brazil and Brazilian music and culture, because around that time (1968) he was playing in the film Black Palm Trees set in that country. Bibi Andersson was there too as she played one of the main roles – a Finnish girl called Elin Papilla – so they probably got to hang out a fair bit. – As it happens, I’ve read that she did lose her bracelet, so the story’s actually real. 😀 I am sharing Cornelis’ own version, but also that of his son Jack, as I like both a lot. The translation below is Bibiel’s. One line I had a mini problem with was the one with the “blue gaze”, because I don’t recall ever actually seeing anyone using the word “gaze” like this in English, to basically mean eyes, so I’m not sure if it works or sounds odd, but the original Swedish word does literally mean “gaze”, and we also use this word like that in Polish, and putting “eyes” in there felt kind of simplistic. 

    I have a bracelet which is yours
It is of plastic and it is white
Now I just wanted to ask you
Shall I keep it or not?
I have a bracelet which I have hidden
It is your bracelet which you have forgotten
And where I live I guess you know
Come here and look in case you want
Come here and look one beautiful day
Because you are beautiful and I am weak
Well I am weak, for your gaze is blue
Come here and take your bracelet then
I have a bracelet which is yours
It is of plastic and it is white
Now I just wanted to ask you
Shall I keep it or not?

Cornelis Vreeswijk: 

 

   Jack Vreeswijk: 

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

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”. 

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

Cornelis Vreeswijk – “Byssan Lull”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Yesterday was the 35th anniversary of Cornelis Vreeswijk’s death, so I thought I’d share another song by him with y’all. It is a Scandinavian lullaby, whose origin I believe traces back to Norway, but which has become popularised in Sweden in 1920’s by Evert Taube, whose mother sang it to him. Evert Taube was a Swedish musician and author who is still very well-known today and I guess has a bit of a similar reputation to Vreeswijk, of a troubadour who has contributed a whole lot to the Swedish ballad/visa tradition in the 20th century. He also had a very strong influence on Cornelis’ music and Cornelis recorded several albums with his own interpretations of Taube’s songs. This one comes from his 1969 album titled Cornelis Sjunger Taube (Cornelis Sings Taube). A lot of  Taube’s music is influenced by the time he spent as a sailor in South America, (as it happens, Cornelis was also a sailor before starting his career, though in his case I believe he was persuaded into it by his father) ) as many of his songs have strongly South American themes or relate to the sea etc. So it makes sense that this lullaby which is full of sea references would appeal to him. The translation below comes to you directly from Bibielz. In case someone’s really curious what byssal lull means, I guess it holds just as much meaning as luli luli and other similar words that are common for lullabies in all kinds of languages. 

    Byssan lull, boil the kettle full
There are three wanderers on the road
Byssan lull, boil the kettle full
There are three wanderers on the road
One, oh so lame
The other, oh so blind
The third says nothing at all
Byssan lull, boil the kettle full
There are three stars wandering on the sky
Byssan lull, boil the kettle full
There are three stars wandering on the sky
One is oh so white
The other is so red
The third, it is the yellow moon
Byssan lull, boil the kettle full
There are three winds blowing on the seas
Byssan lull, boil the kettle full
There are three winds blowing on the seas
On the great ocean
On the little Skagerack
And far, far away in the Gulf of Bothnia
Byssan lull, boil the kettle full
There are three ships sailing on the wave
Byssan lull, boil the kettle full
There are three ships sailing on the wave
The first is a bark
The second is a brigg
The third has such broken sails
Byssan lull, boil the kettle full
The sea chest has three figures
Byssan lull, boil the kettle full
The sea chest has three figures
The first is our faith
The second is our hope
The third is the red love

Plu – “Ben I Waered” (Upside Down).

   Hey dear people! 🙂 

   Yesterday I happened to have a migraine, and spent a lot of time in bed listening to Plu, whose music I always find very soothing, in a way that is also extremely soul-enriching, even though I’ve listened to them a lot before, because every time I listen to them I either explore something new in their music, or it makes me think of something different, or makes a different imagery pop into my brain. So it’s kind of like re-reading the same book. And their music is also great to fall asleep to. So I thought that today I’d share another song, the third one on here, from Plu’s most recent album called Tri, which came out last April and about which I’ve already raved before in this post where I also wrote in more detail about this album. Most of the songs on it are Plu’s original, and so is the case with this beautiful, dreamy and soaring piece. Despite my recent mini- yet very encouraging nonetheless successes with Welsh translations, I wasn’t able to translate this one for you unfortunately, because its lyrics don’t seem to be available anywhere online, and when I attempted doing it by ear, obviously I encountered a lot of words that I didn’t know and couldn’t quite figure out how they should be spelt to look them up in a dictionary or something. But very generally and shortly, from what I gather, the lyrical subject is in love with someone and talks about her feelings and sensations relating to this person, their presence etc. in a way that feels very subtle, I believe this person has actually left her or something and she longs for him, and she says something along the lines of that looking in the eyes and into the soul of this person makes her heart turn upside down. 

Gwilym Bowen Rhys – “Taith y Cardi” (The Cardi’s Journey).

   Hi people! 🙂 

   Today I want to share with you something else by one of my faza peeps Gwilym Bowen Rhys. A  hilarious song from the first instalment in his Detholiad o Hen Faledi (A Selection of Welsh Ballads) series of albums. As someone who’s into weird linguistic stuff, I think it’s just as funny because of the Wenglish and the very peculiar grammar (often calqued on Welsh), as the actual story line. I know that Wenglish is still thriving at least in some parts of Wales, which is obviously quite natural for a strongly bilingual area I guess, but I’m curious if some people in Ceredigion actually still speak like this, or perhaps they never have because it was exaggerated for satirical or perhaps mocking purposes? 

   Cardi is the colloquial term for a person from Ceredigion, or Cardiganshire historically. Gwilym says that this was originally an American song, so Cardis got their own version based on that later on. It is set to the Irish traditional tune called Cill Liadain. The only tune of that name I’ve ever heard is one  by Bill Whelan and it does not have the same tune, but it has a very similar rhythmic pattern so probably there must be a few different tunes to which Cill Liadain is sung, or perhaps we’re talking about two totally different things that just happen to have the same title. I’m not sure what’s the situation regarding the author of these lyrics, because on his home page Gwilym writes that this song was written by Rhys Davies, also known as Llew Llywel, whereas on his Bandcamp he writes that it is most likely an anonymous song but possibly written by John David Lewis, who lived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and about whom I’ve also read that he was also a book collector and founder of a Welsh printing press called Gwasg Gomer. 

   I decided that, to make things clear for people who are not familiar with Welsh and Wenglish at all, I’ll just include the whole lyrics in this post with all the Welsh/Wenglish words translated into regular English. 

   

I live in Llandysul in Cardiganshire,
A letter inform me my uncle was dead,
To ask me in a minute to go up to London
As hundreds of pounds was left me ‘twas said.
So I was determined to go on my journey
And book my ticket, first class I was fine.
But if I was go third class I was never encounter
The little pure widow I was see in the train.

The widow and me side by side sit together
In the carriage was no one but us and no more.
Silence was broken by my purty companion
Who ask me the time by the watch I was wore
‘Of course’ I was tell her and then conversation
Was speaking between us, indeed ‘till my brain
Was go on the head-spin, I almost went crazy
With the little pure widow I was see in the train.

She was so polite I venture to ask her
How old was the child she was have on her breast.
‘Ah sir’ she did say, and she did cry shockin
And the child she carry to her bosom she prest. ‘When you speak of my child I am quite broken hearted,
His father, my husband, oh my heart breaks in pain’
And what she then do, she lean her head on my waistcoat
Did the little pure widow I was see in the train.

By this time the train it was come in the station
A couple of miles from big big one in town
When the widow was say as she look through the window
‘Good gracious alive, why, there goes Mr Brown,
He’s my late husband’s brother, dear sir would you kindly
Take hold of my baby, I’ll be back again.’
‘Of course’ I was say, and out to the platform
Went the pure little widow I was see in the train.

Three minutes was go by, the guard whistle blowin’,
The train was a’ movin’ but no widow appear!
With a puff and a puff it was off! I was fear!
My watch…where was it? And where was my chain?,
My purse and my ticket, loose tickets was all gone!
Well damn that old widow I was see in the train. 

When I found out my loss indeed I was cryin’
The train did then stop and ‘tickets please!’ I heard.
So I tell the collector whilst shaking the baby
The loss I was lost, but he doubted my word
So he call a policeman and a lot come about me,
They take from me the baby…how shall I explain?
For indeed ‘twas no baby! ‘twas a wooden doll! A dummy!
That devil of a widow I was see in the train!

They let me go when they see I had no money
And I was walk home for many a day,
When I come in to Merthyr I saw Dai Llanybydder
And in his old cart I come home all the way.
Now boys of Llandysul now mind you, take warnin’!
Mind you those fair widows who do cry like rain,
For they sure to rob you of your purse and your pocket
Like the little pure widow I was see in the train.

Y Bandana – “Cyn i’r Ale ‘ma Gau” (Before This Place Closes).

   Hiya people! 🙂 

  For today, I thought I’d share with y’all a song by Y Bandana – the very popular but no longer existing Welsh-language pop rock group consisting of Gwilym Bowen Rhys (one of my faza peeps), his cousins Siôn and Tomos Owens and his friend Robin Llwyd Jones – from their last album called Fel Tôn Gron (which I believe would translate into English as something like Like a Complete Tune? Not perfectly sure). I suppose this song could be considered a sort of mild and heartening drinking/pub song. I like the very distinctly Welsh/Celtic vibe of it despite it isn’t folk. 

   Encouraged by my recent personal mini yet noticeable successes with Welsh learning and the recent, fairly successful I guess (though they were just nursery rhymes so you can’t really fail spectacularly there when you know a bit of the language and it’s nothing outstanding obviously to translate a nursery rhyme 😀 ), translation of Tŷ Bach Twt and Milgi Milgi by Mari Mathias, I decided to take the plunge and try to translate this song, despite I’d never translated Welsh-language songs on here before as this is the language in which I still feel most insecure out of all my languages. It was definitely more difficult and time-consuming than the nursery rhymes and I had to look up some words, but generally I also already understood a fair bit of it before attempting to do this, so in the end I managed. Though I’m sure there are some mistakes in it or bits that could have been translated better. Perhaps now that I’ve done it I’ll be able to translate Welsh songs that I share on here more regularly myself, just like it’s been the case with Swedish – at first I thought I could never be able to properly translate something between two languages of which none is my native tongue, but now I find doing most Swedish song translations to English pretty easy even if some little bits are confusing and even if I don’t do it fully well. 

   Come inside the house, sit down, come in from the wind and rain
This is a haven, to the word, to the song and the full cup
There is music [or poetry] in the ir and melody in the walls
And fire in our blood like our forefathers’
We’ll sing a song, before this place closes
Come into the house, where the truth flows like the wine
A feeling that is so old, and the smile, and the rare stones and the soil
It flows with ease through your veins
Let’s all come to the crossroad of souls
We’ll sing a song, before this place closes
If you are lost in the world, without a friend or faith
Peace of mind and all its magic is available at the top of the street
It flows with ease through your veins
Let’s all come to the crossroad of souls
We’ll sing a song, before this place closes
Come inside the house to us, come closer to the warmth of the bar
And we’ll raise our glasses up, to the sky. And say cheers together
There’s music in the air and melody in the walls
And fire in our blood like our forefathers’
We’ll sing a song, before this place closes
We’ll sing a song, before this place closes

Y Bandana – “Cyn i’r Lle ‘ma Gau” 

Georgia Ruth – “Bones”.

   Hi people! 🙂 

   For today, I decided to share with you something else from the Welsh singer and harpist Georgia Ruth. This particular song comes from her EP called In Luna. Like most of her music, be it in Welsh or English, the whole EP is very interesting lyrically.