Question of the day.

Today, my question for you is:

are there any sayings or words that your family uses, a lot? Do you know how they originated?

My answer:

Both my Mum and me are lovers of words and are rather creative in inventing new words. So yes, there surely are such words or sayings. There are many of them, although I can’t recall very many in this very moment. The Polish phrase “bez sensu” means pointless, no sense or meaningless, something like this. Somehow it happened that actually my entire immediate family, me included, or maybe me the most, started to use this phrase excessively, almost so that it had no sense. We wouldn’t like something – and it immediately was bez sensu, the weather would be crappy – bez sensu, something would fail – bez sensu, something would be funny – bez sensu, we wouldn’t know how to comment something – bez sensu. and so on and so on. And some day my Mum suddenly said: It’s bez sera”. What does this mean? Bez sera means without cheese! 😀 Pretty pointless, isn’t it? But as it sounded close to bez sensu, and we used bez sensu so much, she thought it’d be less boring and more enigmatic if she’d start saying that something is without cheese, when it’s pointless/meaningless. 😀 At first we didn’t even know what she’s on about, Dad doesn’t know to this day. But the rest of us picked it up quickly and now when something doesn’t make sense, it means it’s without cheese. Honestly, I got so accustomed to saying bez sera that I happened to forget other people in this country don’t rather use it, unless my Mum stole it, but I don’t thing so. So one day I was talking with my school friend on the phone and she was telling me about some absurd situation in which she got and people were rude to her and at a certain moment I got so involved I just screamed “Gosh, those guys are completely without cheese!”. And she was llike… very confused. Me too. 😀

Unfortunately, nothing else comes to my mind right now, but we have quite a bunch of our own words. Also, some are a bit of a mix between Polish and Kashubian, as my Dad is Kashubian and we live in Kashubia.

How about your family’s own words and sayings? I love to hear different new words and sayings, so I’m just all ears now. 😀

Question of the day.

Do you have plans to travel? Where do you want to go?

My answer:

We as a family don’t travel that much, our lifestyle or life circumstances or however you want to call it doesn’t really let us travel very often or far, and we are rather homebodies, at least most of us, but still we do like travels, especially my Dad who is a tank driver. Every time summer holidays are coming he tells us he wants to go there and there or tells us this year we’ll go there, but it doesn’t always come true. He even has been romising me for about seven years that this summer we’ll go to Sweden, but it happened just last year. It’s not like he didn’t want to make it true or like I have any claims about that, that’s just how the life goes and I’m glad we finally did it.

So yes, we do have plans to travel. But now it’s more my Mum who started them, not Dad. My Mum is at least as much knackered by this school year as I am, ’cause she has a double trouble, with me and my brother, as we are both finishing this year. Plus Zofijka’s school affairs and dramas aren’t helping. So she (my Mum, not Zofijka) is dreaming that finally when we’re finished, we’ll go somewhere far away, or at least will visit many places. She even suggested to me that we should both go to Wales straight after my exams, just we both, but for various reasons I don’t think this is going to happen this year, although I would love it to happen. Some of our realistic plans include going to some thermal pool. We visited one in Oravica in Slovenia years ago and we were chuffed, it was so brilliant. Then there is festival of minerals somewhere in Silesia where I’d like to go and my Mum proposed it to me. And at the end of August there is a whisky festival somewhere nearby and I’d like to go there too with my Mum, as we both like whisky and for me it is the only kind alcohol I accept, of course not like I don’t accept drinking other kinds of alcohol by other people around me or anything, just this is the only kind of alcohol I drink. 😀 I am not a big big enthusiast and actually now I drink very rarely because even after just a glass of any kind of alcohol drink I’ve ever had I can get nasty side effects and my Mum too so I guess we’re kind of allergic or something. Plus I don’t drink outside of the cosiness of my own home as it makes my anxiety higher. Anyway, the main reason I want to go there is I want to see if they have Welsh Penderyn, I’d love to taste Welsh whisky. My Welsh friend told me he’ll get me a bottle when he comes and visits me, but since sadly we aren’t in touch anymore it’s rather unlikely to happen. :// And I’d love to get some Grand MCNish to have it for some special occassions. Mmmmm… 🙂

As for where I want to go in general, like in some more distant future, there are countries speaking my favourite languages. Or dialects, or accents, whatever. I’d love to go to the UK. I like Britain very much in general as well as the British people and British accents and lots of other things about this country, I have quite a few pen pals from England and would love to meet with at least some of them. Then there is so many Celtic stuff in Great Britain. And there is Wales. So I could practice Welsh language, hear more of Welsh accents, and see how it is in the north, pick up some Wenglish. My Mum loves Great Britain and Wales too, because it’s beautiful, so she could see some of the views and castles and all. And there is my current crush, Gwilym Bowen Rhys. Don’t think I’d meet him, but anyway, he lives there, you know…

Then there is Scotland and all that Scottish stuff, Scottish whisky, Scottish accents (maybe I’d finally learn how to at least imitate it a bit more convincingly, I am an accent freak and like to mimick different accents and pick up the differences pretty quickly, but I feel like my Scottish accent is particularly poor). And oh gosh I’d love to go to the highlands, hear Scottish Gaelic, my Mum could see some more views. And there is Scots language as well. It’s funny, well I consider it funny for some reason, but it’s beautiful. And then there is Northern Ireland and all those Northern Irish accents and Ulster Scots language (I’m curious whether actually there is anyone using it there in Ulster) and Irish Gaelic and everything Celtic. Oh, I almost forgot! The Isle of Man. I’ve heard so little about it. People say it’s boring, but I think if it was under the influence of both Vikings and Celts… how can it be boring!? I definitely need to hear more Manx, get to know more Manx music. I don’t know much of it sadly. I want someone kind and competent to tell me what does the word “mish” mean in this mysterious language…

The next country I’d like to go to is Ireland. I love it too, for all the Celtic things they have there, and for Enya, who was my first crush, etc…

Another country I’d like to see are the Netherlands. This is the home to my last crush Cornelis Vreeswijk, I’d like to hear more of this fantastic language, to see the areas where Cornelis grew up. And there is Friesland and their underestimated, beautiful language.

Then I’d like to visit Finland. Their language is so fabulous. They are so fabulous people. I like their way of being and can relate to it at least as much as to Brits’. Swedish Finnish accent is so cute and funny, yes, that’s how I perceive it, 😀 if Finnish wasn’t so beautiful, I could talk to them only in Swedish, but as Finnish is so great, I’d at least try to use my poor Finnish skills and grab some more Finnish expressions, plus not everyone talks Swedish there, so English would be necessary as well. They have Lappland, I wan’t to see it too. And hear more of the Sami language. I’m sure it would be so exciting. Also I’d love to see how that Finnish harp – kantele – looks like. It sounds so different from “normal” harp, or Celtic harp(s), that I have an impression it must look very different.

And Faroe Islands. I wanna know, is it true what my uncle says, that actually there are so few people there that they are all family or know each other through their family members? My uncle is a saylor, his chief is Faroese and he often sails to Faroe Islands, but I don’t believe it. What a pity he isn’t more eloquent and more curious about the world so he could tell me more about this country. 😦 And Faroese language obviously. Plus, I love their singer, Eivor Palsdóttir. If everyone knows each other there at least through their family members, maybe I could meet her? 😀

And last, but not least. Sweden, again! I want to see more of Sweden, not only Stockholm and its neighbourhood. I wanna see Luleå. More of the places associated with Cornelis Vreeswijk (he migrated from Netherlands and lived in Sweden). I want to see more of their fabulous nature. There’s so much to see there!

So that’s the end of my list, I suppose.

How about your plans, for near or more distant future? 🙂

Song of the day (1st March) – Alaw ft. Gwilym Bowen Rhys – Lisa Lân (Fair Lisa).

Hi! 🙂

Yesterday it was Dydd Gwyl Dewi (Saint David’s Day) in Wales, saint David is the patron saint of Wales, and so I thought the song for yesterday should be in Welsh, although pity I wasn’t able to post it on time.

This is definitely one of my most favourite songs (if not the most favourite) released last year. The band Alaw (alaw means melody in Welsh) is a folk band and they invited some guests for their last album “Dead Man’s Dance” and one of them was my current crush – Gwilym Bowen Rhys, who sings two songs on this album. Lisa Lân is a traditional Welsh love song, one of the first traditional Welsh songs I’ve ever heard and then learnt by heart just to improve my language skills when I didn’t have that much resources. My Swedish teacher told me to learn as many things as possible by heart in my target languages and in his opinion things like songs or poems are the best and I really think it has improved all of my languages more or less.

The first performance of this song I’ve heard was harp arrangement by Catrin Finch, then some others, many really great versions, but… Gwilym’s is just so stunning!!! When I first heard it I almost cried, so moved I was.

Because this tune is in Welsh I’ll share the English translations

as well, they’re from Wikipedia.

Literal translation:

 

I have loved you many times
Yes many an hour in prolonged tenderness
I have kissed you mysterious Lisa
And your company was better than honey.

My pure bough, my warm embrace
You are the purest in the world
You cause pain and anguish
And it is you who steals my life.

When I stroll during the day
My little heart becomes sad
On hearing the sound of the little birds
I feel great longing for fair Lisa.

When I stroll at nightfall
My little heart melts like wax
On hearing the sound of the little birds
I feel great longing for fair Lisa.

Lisa will you escort me
To place my body in black earth?
I hope you will come, my dear friend
To the graveside where I am going.

Great longing for Lisa Lân.
Great longing for Lisa Lân.

 

Poetic translation:

Full many a time I came to woo,
Oft, Lisa I came a courting you;
I kissed your lips when we did meet,
No honey ever was so sweet

My dainty branch, my only dear,
No woman comes your beauty near;
‘Tis you who with my passion play
‘Tis you who steals my life away

When I go walking through the day,
My lovesick heart will turn to clay,
And but to hear the small birds sing,
The longing to my soul will bring

When’er at eve I walk apart,
Like wax will melt my lovesick heart,
And but to hear the small birds sing,
The longing to my soul will bring

Ah, will you come to bid good-bye,
When in the earth my form must lie?
I hope you too will there be found,
When men shall lay me in the ground

The longing to my soul will bring
The longing to my soul will bring

It’

s a pity though it doesn’t exist on YT in album version, so that even those of you who don’t have Spotify could listen to it fully.

Reasons why I’m learning Welsh. *long post*

I decided to make a whole list of reasons why I’m learning Welsh.

I wrote them in my diary at first, but then posted it also on my Polish blog, which I had until December. They aren’t in any speciffic order, I just wrote them down as they were coming to my brain.

So I decided to put this list here as well, and maybe continue it in future with writing lists of reasons why I’m learning all the other languages I’m learning or why I want to learn those I plan to learn in future. The list might be longer than the one I published on my Polish blog, because some time has passed and I found some new reasons. Unfortunately I didn’t write them down anywhere so it depends on whether I’ll be able to recall them all. I might add something to some of them to make them more clear for you.

1. I extremely like it.

and it belongs to the group of my favourite languages, in case of which I have a constant feeling like I just should not even learn them, but have contact with them and moreover to speak them.

2. Because I want to read the Mabinogion in Welsh in future.

As well as other books about the Celtic culture and Welsh folklore, there are so many great Welsh fairytales and I want to read them not only in English, but in Welsh too.

3. I like Welsh music.

Especially Welsh language music, as you surely know well, if you have seen my song of the day series.

4. My current musical crush is Welsh, and he makes Welsh language music.

I started to learn Welsh before I got to know Gwilym Bowen Rhys and his music, but still it is a very important reason for me, even if not direct, and it makes me somehow even more motivated. And it is a direct reason why I chose a North Welsh dialect over South Welsh. Because Gwil is from North Wales. And because people say northern Welsh is more difficult.

5. In a bigger or smaller degree, I have some sense of bond with all the nations which languages are my favourite.

Of course when it comes to Poland and the Polish language, it was rather inversely, because of the fact I’m Polish and via my bond with Poland as my motherland and the Poles, I’ve naturally started to like Polish very much.

Anyway my bond with Celtic nations is quite speciffic and strong, I guess even stronger than with Sweden or Finland or others, which I consider also as a reason in some way, because I’d like to know more Welsh-speaking people and see, if seriously I haave any reasons to feel so much attached to the Celtic countries and if really me and them have as much in common as I feel. As for now, I have one Welsh-speaking pen pal, with whom I’m getting along really well and we seem to have loads of things in common, and I know more or less some people from the online community in which I am learning Welsh. They are learners like me, but most of them are Welsh. With some of them I talked a bit more than with others and I like them.

6. I think that the Welsh themselves – ptui! a large amount of Welsh people – still don’t appreciate their language as they should.

Although in the last few decades situation of this language has significantly improved, it’s still listed amongst endangered languages and it’s mostly in North Wales where it is in everyday use. So… someone has to show them somehow, what a unique language they have. 😀 Although ENglish is also an undenianbly beautiful language, nowadays almost everyone can speak it, so they should be proud that they have their own, in my opinion.

7. To make people ask why and feel amazed. 😀

And to make a good conversation starter of it. Very useful if you have social anxiety like I do and when you are introvert and hate smalltalking about the weather, school etc. Like I do too.

8. To develop my brain and not become intellectually senile  and not to go even more crazy at my old age.

I certainly have kind of obsession about developing my brain, I am terribly afraid of neurodegenerative diseases and all that reduces brain efficiency. And multilingualism definitely lessens the risk of reduced brain efficiency in future. For the same purpose, I eat food which improve my brain and as i have Mum who is a lifestyle expert, it isn’t difficult. For example I don’t add lemon to the tea, only ascorbic acid, or sodium ascorbate, Mum always has a lot of it, and it tastes just the same as if you had it with lemon, while when you add lemon to warm tea, you’ll get aluminum citrate and will storage in your brain, so… umm, no, thanks. 😀 But seriously, I’m really sensitive for brain well-being matters, probably more, than the standards anticipate, if there are any. 😀

9. To be able to write something so that noone undesirable should get what it is on about.

I mean such things like my diary for instance, or other notes like that. Right now, my personal diary is a mix of Polish, English and Swedish, sometimes I put some Welsh if things I’m writing about aren’t overly complicated, but I suppose that once I get Welsh well enough to be able to express my thoughts clearly, I will use mainly Welsh. I’ve already told you I am slightly paranoid about my privacy, so, I think that’s a great idea.

Or if I feel like swearing a bit. I think it sounds better in Welsh than in Polish or in Swedish, or even in English. I am not one of those people, who have a habit of swearing on every occasion, but sometimes… can’t resist. And then most often I do it either in Welsh or in Finnish, as it’s also great.

Last year in June there was a situation when some guests came to us for a night. It was my cousins’ First Communion. Mum wanted them to eat the supper first. While I was in my room, but wanted to go downstairs, challenge myself and socialise even jjust for a while. So we went downstairs with Misha, to see what’s up. But they had all they suitcases spaced out around the corridor and one was so perfectly placed in the middle of my way to the living room, so that I hit it with my tibia with a lot of rumble and before I could form any logical thought, I pretty automatically swore in Welsh, (not sure if I should quote it 😀 )

My Mum got a bit scared and screamed “What happened?!” while my Dad only asked me from the kitchen: “Which language are you swearing in?”, loud enough to be heard by the guests, so I said that in Welsh, and so I provided a topic to discuss again and people asked why Welsh. But usually I don’t make such big performances as it was then, it’s way too embarrassing. I just swore almost involuntarily as I hit my tribia really strongly and it hurt badly. 😀

10. To talk to Misha in another language and check if he reacts.

Misha is a very clever creature and knows many things, sometimes such things that I wouldn’t ever think he may know anything about. The idea about talking to Misha not only in Polish came from my Swedish teacher, who talks to his cats in Swedish and he says they understand. I was rather skeptical and thought it’s just his autosuggestion, but decided to try, as I already noticed that Misha responds when you call him Mishka, Misheczka, Mishątko and with other nicknames like that, for example when he sits somewhere high and you just say Misheczka, even talking to someone about him in a rather normal tone of voice, he’ll turn to you. Of course it works only when he isn’t absorbed by something else, more interesting, people also don’t always do what you expect them to do at the moment. So I tried and it turned out that Misha comes to me when I’ll call him “Misha chodź” (in Polish), or “Misha, chodź tu” (come here) or “Misha, come here” or “Misha, kom här” (come here in Swedish). Other than that, we rarely call Misha “kici kici” (which is Polish for here kitty kitty or something like that) or if we do, it simply doesn’t work. My Mum has read somewhere, that everyone automatically would call the cat kici kici so he’ll come to anyone, hence Mum came up with an idea that we can whistle to call him, but then Zofijka and me started to call him Mish Mish Mish. 😀 So since both Misha come and Misha kom work and Misha seems to get what’s going on when I just talk to him in another language, so that when we for example go to sleep and he goes behind me upstairs, I decided when I felt a bit more comfortable with my Welsh, that I will try with Welsh too. “Misha, tyrd yma, melys” (Misha, come here, sweetie). And Misha – although very slowly and offishly (he isn’t very responsive overall and, as my Dad calls it, tends to “freeze” easily, so it took him some time) – but came to me and got immediately that I want something from him. So I talk to him in Welsh too, even though I can’t say much and am far from fluent. And I rather talk to him in any other language when we’re alone. I really like to talk to him in different languages.

11. Because I want to see how it is like to learn a non germanic language.

Until now, I’ve only learnt English and Swedish, and a bit of German at school, so I didn’t have any idea about how it is to learn a Celtic language. Needless to say, it feels brilliant!

12. To understand Wenglish better.

If you don’t know what  Wenglish is, it’s simply a mix of Welsh and English, the Welsh English dialect. I love it and Welsh English accent too – as all the British accents and dialects.

13. To understand what they chat about in Radio Cymru and S4C (Welsh tv channel).

I listen to them a lot, so it would be reasonable to understand it, wouldn’t it?

   14. To have a laugh at Tolkien’s fans and talk to them in Sindarin. 😀

While creating the Sindarin language, Tolkien apparently was inspired with Welsh and actually if you can read Welsh (know its phonetics), you can as well read in Sindarin. at least that’s what I was told.

15. To scare my gramma.

My gramma is a bit obsessed with theology. She isn’t a bigot, like many elderly ladies, she was just always interested in theology, she even studied it. She insists that Welsh surely is a Pagan language, because the Celts were pagans and those Welsh people who speak Welsh are too, that all the Gaelic languages are pagan languages and that they are nazis, because Celtic cross is a symbol of nazism. She always asks me different things about Celtic spirituality, the early, pagan one and the Christian spirituality, when all those monks started to arrive to these lands and she still can’t believe that Christian people seriously pray in Welsh, Irish and Scottish, that they had their own, speciffic, Christian spirituality. Indeed, with some elements of their old traditions, but we Slavic people also have traditions that are post pagan, but they are a part of our spirituality.

16. Because I want to watch Rownd A Rownd series in which my crush had apparently played.

And I want to know what it is about obviously.

17. Because I want to be able to do something niche.

Niche things are often interesting just because they are niche, and I want to be able to do something interesting.

18. Because I love to hear people switching languages easily.

I love to hear people talking in English, then switching to Welsh, then back to English and I want to at least be able to do so.

19. To scare strangers.

No, not all strangers. This is another idea brought to me by my excellent Swedish teacher. He liked to tell me stories and once he told me that he had a situation when a drunk guy came to him and started to talk bullshit to him and also asked him for some money. And my teacher, who also speaks Latin, started to talk to him in Latin. 😀 Poor guy looked confused and scared and looked at him like he was insane, and walked away. Isn’t that a great way of dealing with intruders? 😀

20. Because I want to challenge my social anxiety.

My social anxiety is very strange. It comes and goes in different situations and sometimes I can’t predict when it will come. Sometimes I might chat freely with my extended or close family and be unable to talk to strangers, sometimes I find myself feeling very comfortable around someone I’ve never seen before and have trouble talking to even such close people like my brother. It’s very flexible and it’s hard for me to notice any patterns of it. One thing it amazes me with is that I am often a bit less anxious when I speak to people in another language. I’ve never had those kind blockades while talking in another language, which many people do have and I suppose my love for my languages is bigger than my social anxiety. So, when I get a chance of talking with someone in English or Swedish, most often my language obsession wins, and although I may be anxious, I jump on it. And it gets better while I’m speaking. My most hardcore experience is staying in Stockholm for a week with my family. My family speaks no English, and no Swedish too. So I was like their translator. I was literally scared. I wanted desperately to go to Stockholm, I planned it for so very long, but finally when I knew it will happen for sure, although I still wanted to go there, at the same time I wanted to escape and not think about it anymore. But I got there and although talking on behalf of three people was extremely challenging and just knackering, it was also very rewarding. So, I want to have another language to help me with my social anxiety. As for now, I’ve never talked to anyone in Welsh, only have written emails or other kinds of messages, and I get anxious when I think about it, but I also want it to happen. So yeah, languages seem to be the only thing which can lessen my anxiety in social situations for a while. And I have a quiet hope that maybe someday I will be able to go to Wales and test my skills. The thing is not with organisation, as I think it wouldn’t be hard in my case, but I need to feel emotionally ready, which may take a lot of time.

21. Because it helps me with depression and all the other kinds of anxiety I experience.

Social anxiety isn’t the only kind of anxiety I struggle with, I very often experience pretty general anxiety and have a bunch of speciffic phobias. When anxiety hits me, it’s rather hard to focus on anything else besides the object of your anxiety, so you won’t absorb any new languages. But you need to distract. Even if all your thoughts are full of anxiety, you can switch to another language in thinking. English doesn’t work, because I already think a lot in English during the day along with Polish and it doesn’t need as much effort as with Swedish or Welsh. And then, when I start to think in that other language, in my case, my thoughts  slow down – because I usually have to have more time to form them – and I can gradually distract from feeling anxiety, without desperately trying to find some activities or other topic to think about or something to focus on. I often write down my thoughts then as well. I just let my thoughts go, but in another language, and then they just change their paths and I realise I’m actually thinking about something different that isn’t anxiety provoking. This strategy doesn’t work always, it depends on how severe the anxiety is and how much I can focus right now, but it works usually, to a varying degree. It happens that I can distract from the anxiety completely and it just passes away.

Same is with depression. Or low mood in general. Right now, I am rarely so depressed that I feel really anhedonic, that nothing can make me happy just at all. I’m very glad about it. All my language achievements really boost my mood and I try to celebrate even the smallest ones (although my linguistic skills are the only one area I’m a perfectionist in and it’s always not enough for me). If I feel very depresed, I can listen to music in my favourite languages, write something in one of them and it often lifts me up a bit. I always feel like my favourite languages correspond with different feelings. So when I feel a certain way, I prefer to write in a language that represents this feeling for me, although of course I now only know 4 of those languages so my possibilities are limited. But as for the Welsh language, I feel like the feelings of anger, longing (in any sense of this word), frustration, enthusiasm and joy, like the kind of joy when you see something beautiful, correspond with this language in my mind. But anger and enthusiasm seem to correspond the most. Besides, I always set myself some goals as for what I want to reach in a certain amount of time. So that gives me some routine that I should stick to, something I can go to in life at least short term, so the life doesn’t seem so extremely pointless when I feel very low. When I feel like severely depressed and do  have some anhedonia or feel like I just can’t drag out of bed or do just anything, I try to motivate myself to do at least a bit of practice with my language, but if I can’t do it, I don’t punish myself for that. Sometimes the only thing I feel like doing is sleep and I think everyone has the right for feeling this way and it’s OK, even if not nice and even if people may not get it why you’re so non functional at all.

22. Because I want to learn to pronounce…

Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch

and in order to pronounce it properly, I need to know at least basics about this language’s phonetics. In fact, I actually achieved it and I can read it as it should be, but my main goal as for that is to learn to pronounce it by heart. Why? JUST for fun. On a Polish site called Nonsensopedia they wrote that you’ll faster get diarrhea than pronounce it. I just wanted to test.

23. Because so many people think it’s difficult.

It is. But Polish is too. And English, in some ways is too. It all depends on your autosuggestion.

 

WOOOOOOW!!!

23 reasons! Quite a lot, huh? Exactly. So now I’m even more sure that it’s a job worth doing.

Are you learning any language? Why do you do it?

Let me know if you want me to do it as a series and write reasons for my other languages too.

 

Song of the day – Maja Koman – Babcia Mówi (Grandma Says).

Hi! 🙂

I wanted to share another Enya’s song with you today, but then realised that oh wow it’s International Mother Language Day, so, well… mother language, yay! It’s definitely a time to show you something in Polish, this blog exists almost for a month and still nothing in Polish here.

The truth is… I don’t listen to Polish music very much. It’s not I don’t listen to it at all, ’cause I do at times,  and it’s not I’m not patriotic or don’t like my mother tongue, in fact I love it and (pretty obviously I think) it’s one of my around 12 favourite languages, I think me and my whole family are very patriotic. But I just listen to so much music in other languages, in Swedish, in all the endangered languages I love, in English obviously, so that most music I listen to in Polish are just random things I hear in radio in the kitchen or somewhere else, and when Ilisten to something in Polish just because I really want to and enjoy it, I mostly like it for the lyrics, it’s most often something alternative, or reggae, some folk at times. So I felt like it would be hard for me to make you like it if you won’t be able to understand the lyrics. So I wondered for quite a while what to pick.

But finally I picked something. It is a humourous, ironical, but also very true song and although lyrics are most important in it, I think you’ll like it.

Maja Koman is a young artist from Greater Poland, she writes songs for herself and plays ukulele, is a bit of an eccentric and her lyrics are usually ironic, honest, funny, a bit sarcastic. She also writes songs in English and French, but most of them are in Polish.

This particular song – “Babcia Mówi” – is basically about how men and women, very generally, changed since our grandparents were young. This song should be definitely taken with a grain of salt and it’s surely not a generalisation, but it says that men become less masculine, more like females, while women aren’t as feminine as they used to be either. 😀 By the way, I feel like it’s a perfect example of that hiraeth thing I wrote about a few posts ago. 😀 And although if I’d take it literally, there are some things I can’t agree with, generally, as a person with quite traditional views, I think it’s pretty true. I really like this song and it still makes me smile when I listen to it even though I know it since  a few years already.

It’s a pity there aren’t any English lyrics to it anywhere, I tried to translate it on my own, but realised I’d probably only make a bit of a hash of it, because there are lots of colloquialisms, metaphors and words that are more or less emotionally charged and I’m not sure of their adequate English equivalents, so it wouldn’t be as funny and natural. But still I hope you’ll enjoy this song.

Song of the day (2nd February) – Cornelis Vreeswijk – Grimasch Om Morgonen.

So the song for Friday will be again quite exceptional. It is one of my favourite songs of a man whom I really admire for his poetic talents and generally for his artistic skills and who was my third musical crush. His name is Cornelis Vreeswijk, he comes from Netherlands, but lived and created in Sweden for most of his life, so spoke Swedish fluently. He was a singer, poet and actor and is beloved and famous in Sweden. He lived in 1937-1987. Was quite controversial, being an extreme left-winger, alcoholic etc. Honestly, being a rightist, I disagree with many of his views, but I love his sense of humour, intelligence and how he can describe the world, people, the life, feelings and stuff in an often very straight-away manner, but also with some melancholy at times. I have a whole file with all my favourite quotes of him. One of my big future dreams is to translate some of his works into Polish. Until now, I’ve translated a few of his poems, but the effects are rather miserable.

It’s hard to introduce Cornelis to people who don’t speak any Swedish, as the beauty of his music lies mainly in lyrics, his music is good too, but as he wasn’t a big composer it isn’t always as good as his lyrics, so people with no Swedish have it hard to understand what I actually see in him and his music. But I’ll try my best to show you. And besides his guitar skills were also very good and in this particular song you can hear it very well.

So as I said “Grimasch Om Morgonen” is my favourite song from Cornelis’ discography, I think it’s really beautiful, but also quite sad, bitter and even a bit cynical. Maybe that’s why I love it too.

So to lessen the language bareer at least a bit, I’ll do my best to translate it into English, however, keep in mind, that I am not a native speaker in neither of these languages, so it may not be a masterpiece and probably won’t be.

Now the dew is falling and the sun is rising

But you can’t hear it

You’re lying without blouse or skirt on

With your lips close to my ear

Be serious, you firmly ask

You’re laughing out songs and singing jokes

You can, but don’t want to write

a song about the fragile happiness

Now the sun is rising and the dew is falling

for the poor people and for the rich.

But Luck has a poisoned thorn

that you need to carefully avoid.

She (the Luck) happily lingers for a few days

but when you want to capture her

her eyes turn cold as ice

and you become as bitter as bile

Now the dew is falling without a sound

and grass and leaves become wet

And every morning, the sun is the bride

though no wedding hymns sound

Ann-Katarin, you should know that

there is a certain happiness which dies from laughter.

But it wants to be held at night

And then it becomes as quiet as water.

Get up from bed now, Ann-Katarin

and listen to something important.

There is a special kind of rare wine

that you should enjoy cautiously.

For if you drink it carelessly

it loses its former shine

And all you have got left is an empty bottle

of bitter tears and ashes.

 

Here’s the song: