Cornelis Vreeswijk – “Ann-Katrin, Farväl” (Farewell, Ann-Katrin) & Marie Fredriksson – “Ann-Katrin, Farväl”.

Hi guys! 🙂

So why not have a listen to another song by Cornelis Vreeswijk, plus a cover by Marie Fredriksson?

Again, we have a female character here, which comes up even more often in Vreeswijk’s songs and poems. The character of Ann-Kat(a)rin Rosenblad is based on his muse and friend who was Ann-Christin Wennerström. And, the portrayal of her that we get from all the songs with her in them is quite interesting and ambiguous. I like Ann-Katrin a lot and hearing this song always makes me sad. First, because it comes from Cornelis’ very last album, (Till Fatumeh – Rapport Från De Osaligas Ängder”) which was recorded about a month or so before his premature death (he died from liver cancer at 50). Secondly, because the song indicates that Ann-Katrin was a drug addict, amphetamine more exactly as in the case of Vreeswijk, though he was taking loads of other stuff as well. The lyrics have a kind of raw but at the same time rather elusive feel and I really regret that I’m not good enough in neither Swedish nor English to write an adequate English translation for you without risking a major linguistic catastrophe and a great prophanity, the more that there are none available online. The only thing that bugs me is the music style of it. Like, seriously, the lyrics on that last album are really captivating, you don’t have to agree with what he wrote and I most often don’t but his lyrics always have that captivating quality, but the musical arrangement of this album is mostly screwed. He maybe wasnät the greatest composer, but was such a great blues singer, and even managed to convince me to appreciate jazz a tiny little bit, and he was great at incorporating folk themes and motives in his music. And that last album is very much like classic 80’s pop, and this track is a great representation of it. I don’t like that at all and it clashes with the lyrics and generally with Cornelis’ actual musical style unbelievably! That turn to pop was motivated by that, after some years of relative fame, he had become forgotten and the way I understand it from what Iäve read he wanted to get the attention of people by doing something more… ahem, timely, or whatever, especially he wanted to attract younger people. It didn’t work, that is, he did get a lot of fame and largely from young people in Sweden after his death but not because those last two pop-ish albums did that, it was thanks to the Roskilde Festival where he played shortly before his death and, well, it looks like for artists it’s a common situation that they only get appreciated after they die. Perhaps that was better for him.

I like the expression of Marie Fredriksson’s interpretation of this song. I think in case of music, like, generally the arrangement, it’s her who wins here! But she’d never write as good lyrics as Vreeswijk did, haha. Marie Fredriksson’s cover again comes from the tribute album “Den Flyggande Holländaren”.

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Cornelis Vreeswijk – “Felicia Adjö” (Goodbye, Felicia) & Marie Fredriksson – “Felicia Adjö”.

Hi guys! 🙂

I’m feeling a bit in a crush limbo right now. I have a gut feeling that my crush on Gwilym is fading slightly and it’s worrying me that there’s no one on the horizon that could become my dominant crush. Is this the end of crushes for me? Was my aunt seriously right that this is something all people grow out of, or am I getting more depressed or something? I can’t imagine not having a crush, it’s like driving a car that has no fuel, I’m getting a bit panicky. It’s either that I need to save my crush on Gwilym or I need someone new very very soon.

In the meantime, I’ve been looking back on all my delightful crushes lately. Reading all my elaborate diary entries about them and laughing my brain out – not that it was so funny but for some reason reading all that made me laugh, despite they’re still all my crushes, just faded more or less. – And I thought I’d share something from one of my crushes on my blog as well. So why not Cornelis? Also, because I find it really interesting to listen to people’s covers and interpretations of his songs, whether good or bad, just out of curiosity, it will be both the original version of a song by Cornelis Vreeswijk, and a cover by Marie Fredriksson. Yes, Marie Fredriksson from Roxette. She’s had a rich solo career as well, I guess mostly in Swedish. I am not a big fan of her at all, but she did this song in an interesting way, in her own style, and I used to like Roxette as a very, very little child. This was one of the first symptoms of my developing Swedish obsession, I just didn’t know many things Swedish apart from Roxette and Astrid Lindgren and I liked one song by them very very much, but generally Roxette and Marie Fredriksson are not my style, not anymore.

The song I want to share with you is called “Felicia Adjö”, and I guess is one of more popular songs of Vreeswijk. Felicia is a recurring character in his songs and poems, there is one whole album “Felicias Svenska Suite” in which Felicia is present in pretty much every song I guess. I wonder if she was based on someone in real life, like some of his other characters were but we’ll probably never know. The title translates as “Goodbye, Felicia”, but it has nothing to do with the “bye, Felicia” expression haha. The song is some 30 years older than the movie. Though I know that Vreeswijk’s Felicia was an inspiration for some Swedish writers, I guess there is a crime novel called “Felicia Försvann” (Felicia Disappeared) which is the beginning of this song.

And the song is about the fact that Felicia disappeared “As the bird from its nest. As the ice when the spring comes. As love when it’s hurt. As luck with no return”. She is dead like all of us will be some day, and with her, his last hope died, whoever the lyrical subject is.

The song had been re-recorded multiple times plus he played it live very often, but the first recording comes from the album called “Tio Vackra Visor Och Personliga Persson”, and I will share this one with you as is is the original. If I remember correctly, the album was recorded around the time when Cornelis played in the film “Svarta Palmkronor” (Black Palm Trees) in Brazil, and spent quite some time in South America, so this album is very much influenced by Brazilian music which you can hear in this song as well.

Marie Fredriksson recorded this song – as well as three others written by Vreeswijk – for the tribute album “Den Flygande Holländaren” (The Flying Dutchman).

So, there you have it, here is Felicia.

Celtic Woman – “Orinoco Flow”.

Hi people! 🙂

Celtic Woman are one of my most favourite Irish/Celtic groups, yet I’ve only shared one song with you so far. I’ve recently seen that they released something new, including a newer version of “Orinoco Flow” that they also sang before, but I decided I like the older version more and will show it to you. It comes back from the times when they had their good old line-up, with Lisa Kelly, Meav and such, I liked them best at that time in the history of the band, though I still do like them a lot.

The song was originally song and composed by ENya and appeared on one of her earliest albums back in the eighties – “Watermark”. – If you know me and my blog at least a bit, you probably already know Enya has been one of my major music crushes over the years. Curiously however, “Orinoco Flow” is the only song of hers that I really, really don’t like, as much as I love all her other songs and compositions. It was played a lot and is still one of the most recognisable songs by Enya, I believe, and I knew it way before I started loving Enya and discovering her music. In fact, at the beginning I thought I disliked all of her music, it had to grow on me and it did very suddenly. But “Orinoco Flow”, despite my brave attempts to like it, remains the only song of Enya’s that I do not like, and almost hate. Why is that? I don’t even exactly know. 😀 Perhaps I have some bad associations with it that I don’t realise, which is very possible, in any case, for some reason it makes my sensory anxiety come up. Weird, given how relaxing Enya’s music is and how normally it’s very soothing to me. Anyway, I do like it by Celtic Woman, so maybe it depends on an arrangement or whatever. So, here it is. I hope you enjoy. 🙂

Gwilym Bowen Rhys – “Jac-Yr-Oil”.

Hi guys! 🙂

I am still very much in love with Gwilym’s last album, Arenig, so thought I’d share something else from it with you, this time an instrumental, three-part piece. And, since I am a Jac(k)ophile, in line with the song of the day that I shared with you yesterday – by Jac Richards – this one has also to do with Jac, with its title being “Jac-Yr-Oil”. I have no idea where the title comes from or what Jac is doing in it, I tried doing some research but it hasn’t made me any wiser. In any case, the track is beautiful. Just as the previous one I showed you a month ago – “Lloer Dirion Lliw’r Dydd” – was haunting, emotional, intense and rather melancholic, “Jac-Yr-Oil” is positive, energetic, refreshing, uplifting and full of enthusiasm, which just shows in a nutshell a wide range of emotions one can feel listening to this album. I love this about it so so much!

As I said, it is a three-part music piece, consisting of three folk tunes, one is composed by Gwilym, the second comes from Anglesey’s 18th century fiddler, John Thomas, and the last is a re-arranged composition of Stephen Rees’ “2 Cardi 3”. Here it is. 🙂

 

Question of the day.

Who was your first crush, celebrity, or non-celebrity?

My answer:

My very first childhood crush was probably my Dad’s friend, I really have no idea why. I only have a vague recollection of him now and can’t see anything interesting about him. 😀 And then there are my famous, intense music crushes, and the first one was Enya. I guess I was about 11-12 when it started. It wasn’t a romantic crush. Enya was someone in between my idol, a kind of soothing presence with her music in my rather chaotic life, a replacement mother figure, like I thought about her that she’s my secret second mummy or something like that, and she was my fascination, like all my music crushes are, and the very first flame which started my whole Celtophilia and all that. She’s no longer my dominant crush since years, but is still there in the background very strongly, like all my music crushes!

How about your first crush? 🙂

Gwilym Bowen Rhys – “Lloer Dirion Lliw’r Dydd” (Gentle moon, colour of the day).

Oh my! I just couldn’t wait to share with you guys something from this album! I was talking about it some time last month, well I guess around the beginning of May, it was released on May 1st. But as you can see it took a while because it’s only available on the streaming services since yesterday so although I have the album since as soon as I got to know it was released, only now I can share something with you. In a way that’s actually good though because I could familiarise myself with the whole album, with my music crushes it always takes me loads of time to wholely satisfy my musical cravings when they release something new and I always want to know it thoroughly and from all the possible angles.

I am really so, so impressed with this album! I wrote about it on my blog already earlier so I won’t be repeating myself but it just made me fall into pieces the first time I listened to it, so fascinated, engrossed, bewitched and just full of emotions I was, and even though I listened to all the songs and the album as a whole for many times already it still has the  power over me, and I’m listening to it right now as well. It’s always hard to pick something you think is the best or that you love the most from things of which you love all, but I wonder whether it’s not the best album of Gwilym so far in my ranking, or whether it would be if I had a ranking. 😀 I am just so happy that my current music crush is so artistically fertile and unlike all my previous music crushes I am actually able to thoroughly celebrate all the joys that come with an appearance of a new album. 😀

This new album is called “Arenig”, which is in reference to Arenig Fawr – a mountain in Snowdonia in North Wales, and also the title track of this album is a poem written and read by Gwilym’s great uncle – Euros Bowen – about this mountain, which is a really beautiful poem. It’s hard to believe for me in a way that this beautiful album is an effect of improvisation, but that’s apparently how it is. I know it’s often so that things come out much better when improvised in music, but it makes me think that they all – Gwilym and all the people who contributed to the album – must be remarkably skillful improvisers, which I think is fairly rare. Talking about the contributors, there is Patrick Rimes on violin, he plays in the Welsh folk band called Calan which I also like, brilliant harpist from Scotland but with Welsh roots and who also speaks Welsh Gwen MaIri (I love her harp skills 😂 ), and they both also played on Gwilym’s first album “O Groth Y Ddaear”, and there is also Marit Fält, who plays viola, and, if I understood correctly, (I suppose I did given her Scandi-sounding name), she’s from Norway, so there’s even a little bit of a Nordic accent here! 🙂

I had a real problem with what I am going to choose as the first piece from this album to share with you, I even thought maybe I’ll just link to the entire album and maybe write some extensive review or something but felt too shy to do such a grandiose thing as seriously publicly review one of my crushes’ album, I always write down my reviews of albums I love for myself and I relish in doing so but never published that anywhere. 😀 But after some deep thinking I came to the conclusion that the most beautiful piece on this album for me, regarding the melody, the performance and the lyrics is “Lloer Dirion Lliw’r Dydd”, which is a traditional song, though the second verse is known to be written by John Ceiriog Hughes. It’s incredibly evocative, magnetic and enchanting, and just don’t know how else to describe it adequately. 😀

The thing I really like about traditional music, one of many things, especially from Gwilym, and there are also a couple other Celtic people I can think of right now, is the words. I mean, when I was listening to this album before I read the lyrics and translations, I understood some bits and pieces, it wasn’t very much, but I could still thoroughly enjoy music because that’s how it is with folk music very often – even if it is in the most out there language you can still understand the language of music itself and connect with it almost as deeply as through the actual language. But when I read the lyrics, I realised that there are not only plenty of new, enticing, luscious, colourful, magical Welsh words for me to discover, (I didn’t even know that moon is lloer, I only knew the word lleuad for moon in Welsh but it seems like they have two! I now can’t stop wondering what’s the difference, will have to do some research after I write this post, I lthink loer sounds even better), but also a fair handful of English words in the translations that I didn’t know previously. I just love such discoveries! And all those linguistic findings also satisfied my synaesthesia very much, so it’s not only the music. The same was with the previous album “Detholiad O Hen Faledi I”, well actually there were even more new English words to me. That shows how sophisticated folk music can be at times, even if it might not always seem so. 🙂

OK, end of my elaborate. Here’s the translation of the song, which I’ve taken from

Gwilym’s website,

and below is the song, although it’s on Spotify, so very sadly only those of you who have Spotify will be able to listen to it whole, I didn’t see it on Youtube or anywhere that would be a bit more inclusive.

 

Gentle moon the colour of day,

in pain and in sorrow, I’m in a sad daydream.

From splendid astonishment,

my heart is so weak I shan’t live much longer.

When I saw your face you wounded me like a sword,

I received an injury without realising it,

tonight I’m ready for my grave.

Oh good gentle goddess, hear this injured man,

save my life, lovely moon the colour of summer.

Some people’s interests lie in material things,

but on the purity of a fair moon

I gave my whole intentions, one and all.

If I could only have you, I would confidently proclaim

that I had more than enough wealth, pure girl.

Gentle moon the colour of day,

I see your light, you with a pleasing face.

From life to the grave, you are my queen,

fair warm farced one.

You are my fire, the inspiration to my song,

the heavens never did behold

through the light of the sun’s cycle,

such a wonderful sight.

I raise up my head, and look to the skies,

shine upon me, white moon the colour of snow.

Some hold the moon responsible

for pulling the threads and strings of the seas,

the ebb and flow of the tides in and out.

But you, my love, are responsible

for pulling the strings of my heart,

gentle moon the colour of day.

Song of the day (16th May) – Ida Redig – “I Min Lilla Värld Av Blommor” (In My Little World Of Flowers).

Hi guys! 🙂

I have such a lovely cute song for you. It was originally written for one of my favourite films “Rännstensungar” (Guttersnipes), only not for the version that I love so much, but the earlier one, from 1944. It was sung by one of the main characters, Ninni. You might know from my earlier posts why I love this film so much and why I love it in the later version from 1974, in particular, but chances are that you might not know, so I’ll tell you again. 😀 I love it so much because in the 1974 version, one of the main characters – the painter Johan Fahlen –  is played by one of my music crushes Cornelis Vreeswijk, who apart from being a very fertile and well-known musician, a lesser known but no less expressive poet, had also fantastic acting skills and was an actor in a couple films. I absolutely loved him in this role, it was amazing! Besides, the plot of the film is very interesting and moving too. When I discovered this film and that it is on Youtube, I watched it on my own for the first time, but then got frustrated because I had huge gaps because of course I couldn’t see, plus my Swedish wasn’t that very good. So then the next time I watched it I did it with Zofijka, who also loved it, and she still begs me quite regularly and wants to watch “the film about Ninni”. So when I watched it with Zofijka, we both were telling each other what we can figure out so we could understand much more, me with her vision and she with my Swedish. That’s why collaborating can be really useful at times. And since that day, we got really crazy on “Rännstensungar” and watched them pretty much every day for a while. It’s definitely not typical for me to get so crazy about a film. Now I hadn’t watched it in ages so I did it today, without Zofijka and hope she won’t kill me for that when I tell her.

As I said, the film is about a girl called Ninni. Ninni can’t walk, and at the beginning of the film we learn that her mum has died. A friend of the family called Johan Fahlen, who is a poor and not well known painter takes care of her. Ninni’s biggest passion are flowers, and as she says herself, flowers are the most beautiful thing she knows. Both Ninni and Fahlen, whom she regards as her daddy, are hoping that someday she will be able to walk, and he is particularly determined, though it doesn’t seem like it could be possible. Ninni’s biggest dream is that she’d like to live in the countryside and live there, and see all the flowers in the world. Again, this doesn’t seem possible, because she lives in the city and they don’t have enough funds to make it true. But the ending is very very happy. 🙂

I think the film is gorgeous, so you can watch it

here

if you wish, although I don’t know if it’s going to be as enjoyable for you as it was for me because there are no subtitles as far as I am aware so you’d have to speak Swedish. You can have Zofijka’s perspective then. 😀 And there is of course this song sung by the girl who plays Ninni in this version, it was Karin Falk.

And so some time ago, I was pleasantly surprised seeing the song “I Min Lilla Värld Av Blommor” on Spotify, in quite an interesting version, by Ida Redig. I really like her arrangement of it, although it’s in a way quite different from how it sounded in both films from 1944 and 1974. I think her version is really beautiful. And I like the lyrics of this song, it’s basically about Ninni’s passion for flowers and her imaginary world that is full of flowers, where there is a place for everyone and children are playing, and she is dancing among the flowers. And there is no sorrow or pain, no one screams at you and people are always happy. Quite an escapist and idealist she is, ain’t she? 🙂 So here’s the Ida Redig’s version, unfortunately only on Spotify.