Fridrik Dur – “Fröken Reykjavik” (Miss Reykjavik).

Hey guys! 🙂

So I’ve been still listening a fair bit to Icelandic music (I guess I was pulled in a bit, but no, there’s no new language on my bucket list, even if I wanted that to happen I’m afraid this bucket wouldn’t manage to contain it). We had Daughters of Reykjavik a while back, and today we have Miss Reykjavik. I think this is really quite a cool song. I’ve found the

translation

which is below:

 

Who walks there along Austurstræti

And smells like spring flowers

With a bold face and a look of superiority

In amazingly red shoes

Oh, it’s a girl like no other

It is her, Miss Reykjavík

Oh, it’s a girl like no other

It is her, Miss Reykjavík

It is her, Miss Reykjavík

It is her, Miss Reykjavík

Who sits there with shining golden locks

In the grass by Arnarhóll

Such bright youth in new nylon stockings

And a new low-cut chiffon dress

Oh, it’s a girl like no other

It is her, Miss Reykjavík

Oh, it’s a girl like no other

It is her, Miss Reykjavík

It is her, Miss Reykjavík

It is her, Miss Reykjavík

Who glides there along the south bank of Tjörnin Pond

To meet with a young man

Who waits alone in a brown leather jacket

By the birch trees next to Hljómskálann

Oh, it’s a girl like no other

It is her, Miss Reykjavík

Oh, it’s a girl like no other

It is her, Miss Reykjavík

It is her, Miss Reykjavík

It is her, Miss Reykjavík

Oh, it’s a girl like no other

It is her, Miss Reykjavík

Who walks there along Austurstræti

In amazingly red shoes

Cornelis Vreeswijk – “Min Polare Per” (My Buddy Per).

Hey people! 🙂

Today I have for you another song from Cornelis Vreeswijk, ’cause why not? The original version even comes from the same album as the song I shared with you yesterday (that is, his debut album from 1964), but I decided to share with you a live version.

I’ve introduced you before to some recurring figures in Cornelis Vreeswijk’s music and poems like Ann-Katrin Rosenblad or Fredrik Åkare, but so far I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned Polaren Per, who is like Cornelis Vreeswijk’s buddy or pal. Like the other two characters, he’s also supposedly based on a real-life person, namely Pär Hägg. And he features in quite a few Cornelis’ songs. This is the first one that was ever released.

This time round, I haven’t managed to translate it because I don’t even fully understand some pieces in it, especially the first verse. It’s about Polaren Per’s mysterious disappearance. He used to live with his girlfriend but something happened between them (this is the part I don’t understand fully, I believe she cheated on him but I’m not quite sure) that he couldn’t get over it, so he moved out and no one knows where he is. So, obviously, his friend is very concerned, and asks people if they’ve seen him, and looks for him himself all around Stockholm. He’s also worried about his – Per’s, of course – mother, who will miss her only son, and the fact that Per owes him fifty bucks. He has multiple theories as for what could be going on with Per and where he might be, like he may be at sea, drinking his problems away or may have moved into a cheap hotel, or maybe he’s just sitting in a pub, in which case there’s nothing to worry about at all. Luckily though, he must have been found, since there are so many other songs about Polaren Per that were released later on.

Cornelis Vreeswijk – “Visa I Vinden” (Song In The Wind).

Hiya people! 🙂

Today, I have a beautiful Cornelis Vreeswijk song for you (or Swedes would say a Cornelisk song, Cornelisk is an adjective and I like it because it shows how he really is a huge and recognisable part of Swedish culture. I think this is one of my favourites. We could say nowadays that it is so beautifully emo. 😀

It is a very sad and beautiful love song, and if we’re talking Cornelis and love songs, of course we’re also talking Ann-Katrin Rosenblad, to whom he most often dedicates his love songs, and other of his songs often mention her too. If you’re not yet in the know, Ann-Kat(a)rin Rosenblad was his fictional muse, based on the real life one – Ann-Christin Wennerström. – This comes from his debut album – “Ballader Och Oförskämdheter” (Ballads And Rudenesses/Impertinencies) from 1964.

I even managed to translate the lyrics (go Bibielle!!! I guess it’s my fourth Swedish-English translation if I’m counting right) and they surely do tell you what the song is about, but I wonder if it’s just me who feels that the English lyrics are way clunkier than Swedish. Perhaps it’s because it can’t be otherwise, or maybe I could do it better, I don’t know. If you speak Swedish and read this, lemme know.

Also, honestly, ever since I’ve first listened to this song (which was like… 2016 I guess?) and then understood its lyrics fully, I’ve never really figured out what’s the deal with the “sieve” in the lyrics (see translation below). I thought maybe this word has more meanings in Swedish or it’s some idiom or something, but when I was translating this today I couldn’t find anything like that. So I still don’t know. Maybe it means that she was so selective in love or didn’t retain her emotions for long, meaning that she easily fell out of love, or something? I found out that sieve can symbolise virginity, because of a vestal in ancient Rome who proved her virginity by carrying water in a sieve and not spilling any of it. Cornelis read a whole lot and we could say that he was quite nerdy, and there are mythological references in some of his poems and songs. But here it doesn’t seem very likely to be the case. Yeah, I was the best in my class at poem analyses but have always felt like I’m not very good at it actually. 😀

 

I’m singing a song in the wind,

And hope the wind will bring

This song to my beautiful one’s cheek,

And sprinkle it in her ear,

And move her heart.

I have been to many countries,

And not been to many more.

I guess I could stop going,

If you ask me to do so.

And lovingly look at me.

But wish me luck on the journey,

When I now pull away from you.

And the reason, Ann-Katrin, is this:

I cannot stay,

Where I do not have your love.

I’m singing a song in the wind,

I’m singing a song in a storm.

My heart is like a granite,

My heart has lost its shape,

And my pain is enormous.

But listen to my march under the moon,

It swings in steady minor.

It does not fit on the gramophone,

It’s about you, you troll,

That your heart is a sieve.

Resirkulert – “Áddjá” (Grandfather”.

Hey guys! 🙂

Time for a song in Sami! I guess I didn’t share one on the Sami national day (February 6) so it’s really long overdue, but until now, I didn’t really have any specific ideas what Sami song I could share with you. I’ve known this one for quite some time but came across it recently in my music collection and thought it would be a good fit.

Resirkulert (which translates to Recycled in English) isn’t really a Sami band, in that, as far as I know, they have no other songs recorded in that language and most of the members are not Sami. They seem to be quite popular on the Norwegian music scene, although, while I listen to a lot of Norwegian music I don’t have a very good idea what’s actually popular with Norwegians and what’s not really because I don’t really know the language, only via Swedish, don’t listen to Norwegian radio stations and don’t know many Norwegian people. Still, Resirkulert seems like a fairly well-established band in their home country. They come from the very north of Norway, and only one of their members – the vocalist, Emil Karlsen – actually is Sami. This joik (a piece of traditional Sami music, usually with little to no lyrics, dedicated to, or should we rather say extremely closely associated or expressing the essence of, a person, an animal etc.) is Emil Karlsen’s grandfather’s joik. I find it so interesting that, from what I gather, it’s like Sami people each have their own joik which somehow describes them and who they are and is like an essential part of their identity, it’s so interesting to have a specific tune so strongly incorporated in yourself, that other people can’t sing to you (apparently it’s not the thing to sing it yourself, I guess it would be a bit egotistical). It’s quite abstractive but also very appealing to me, probably partly because of its abstractivity. 😀 What I also like about joiks is that they, despite being such an old singing tradition, can go extremely well with modern instrumentation and generally our contemporary music genres, which you could have already noticed from a few Sami songs I’ve shared before. I mean, obviously there’s loads of neofolk, electrofolk, folk pop and what not from around the world and it often sounds just as good as traditional folk, but something really clicks between joik and contemporary music vibes.

A fun fact I once learned is that Áddjá, while it generally means grandfather, can also relate to any older/elderly adult with whom you have a friendly relationship and who perhaps shares his wisdom with you or something like that. Moreover, Áddjá is apparently also used in the Sami land in reference to a BEAR! So I guess that shows what kind of relationship they have with bears, traditionally. As someone who loved bears as a kid very much, I like the idea.

Regina Spektor – “Genius Next Door”.

Hey guys! 🙂

Recently I’ve shared with you Obsolete by Regina Spektor, and I thought I’d share one more song by her, one that I really like musically and that I think has quite interesting lyrics, which, just like with Obsolete and I believe most of Regina’s songs, can be interpreted in many ways.

The way I understand it is, that it’s more symbolic than literal. I think the lake is some kind of serious life problem that people are experiencing and deal with it in different ways. Some – the neighbours – sweep it under the carpet and prefer to pretend that it doesn’t exist or at least it’s very much a taboo thing. Others – the kids – take it very lightly, make fun of it and don’t really care even if the problem gets worse, because of some fun aspect to it that they can see, so maybe this problem is drugs or something like that. – And then we have the genius, who I think represents anyone who is intelligent but also quite sensitive, who seeks some meaning in life but all he does is “wipingclean the ketchup bottle labels” instead. He actually wants to confront the problem head on and I guess also be somehow acknowledged for doing so, but overestimates his capabilities and ends up drowning under the weight of it because he can’t cope – commits suicide in the “lake”, I think. Perhaps he’s somehow too immature for that or something hence the “foolish child”? But has some feeling of fulfillment before he actually dies – the “orgasm”. Or maybe he actually doesn’t confront it but simply uses it as some sort of counter-weight to his dull and uninspiring life, which would make even more sense if we’re indeed talking about drugs or some other addictions.

I could be totally off with that, but since I don’t think we know officially what the song was meant to be about, I don’t really care, and I’ve seen both similar and different interpretations of it.

What do YOU think it is about?

Daughters of Reykjavik ft. Asdis Maria – “D.R.U.S.L.A.” (S.L.U.T).

Hi people! 🙂

On my recent quest to find some interesting Icelandic music, preferably in Icelandic, I came across Daughters of Reykjavik quite early on. They are a nine-piece female hip-hop group who are all, as you can easily figure out, from Reykjavik. The group has had a lot of changes over the years though so over time a lot more young women have been involved in it than just nine, but there is always nine of them at a given time. They’re known as Reykjavikurdatur in their home country, but they also aspire to achieve international fame (which seems to be going well for them) and thus are known as Daughters of Reykjavik abroad.

They have very strong views on things and I’ve found I don’t always agree with them or not fully. I haven’t been able to find a complete translation of this particular song, so I don’t know what exactly they’re saying, but the general message of it is something I definitely do agree with – they want an end to rape culture, and thus victim blaming and slut shaming. – Therefore, even if I don’t understand exactly what they’re singing and don’t know if we agree in EVERy single thing here,, I thought it could still be interesting to share this piece because of the general purpose it serves, as well as because it’s simply very well done musically, and – well, be honest with me – how often do you hear Icelandic female hip-hop groups? 😀

In this piece, they’re joined by Asdis, also known as Asdis Maria or Asdis Maria Viðarsdóttir, known for representing Iceland at Eurovision Song Contest 2014 with the song “Amor”.

Renaida – “Ett Andetag I Taget” (One Breath At A Time).

Hiya people! 🙂

Today I have a very beautiful and sad Swedish song for you which captivated me from the very first time I heard it. The singer – Renaida Braun – was actually bornn in Tanzania, before her parents emigrated to Sweden. She took part in the Swedish TV competition Idol, and also in Melodifestivalen (Melodifestivalen, commonly known as Mello, which is the biggest and most popular Swedish TV show and whose winner goes on to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest the same year). I really like how emotive and strong her voice is and I absolutely love this song.

The lyrics are really simple, so I managed to translate them with no problem, yay!

 

I feel the pulse in my blood

My heart beats again

I stop for a while

Can I smile again?

It was nothing I understood

I only wanted to go home

The thought of losing me

Before the dawn

When the sky falls to the ground

And all the trees are burning in the park

The birds fall to the ground

And all the words disappear

When the sky falls to the ground

And all the trees are burning in the park

The birds fall to the ground

And all the words disappear

I lose my breath in a dream

A kiss from nowhere

Everything falls apart inside

Can’t see again

When a memory arises

As if the fairytale never existed

The truth shall be revealed

Before the dawn

When the sky falls to the ground

And all the trees are burning in the park

The birds fall to the ground

And all the words disappear

One breath at a time

I take one breath at a time

One breath at a time

I take one breath

When the sky falls to the ground

And all the trees are burning in the park

The birds fall to the ground

And all the words disappear

Regina Spektor – “Obsolete”.

Hey people! 🙂

Even though I don’t listen to Regina Spektor’s music very regularly, I like a lot of her songs, or simply find them interesting. I like her approach to music. It’s also thanks to her that I learned years ago about the existence of such a music genre as antifolk, and, later on, that I really liked it. I was quite amused by the name anti-folk, as well as the fact that, being a huge folk enthusiast, I also like a lot of anti-folk, although I don’t think that you have to either like one or the other.

I don’t think I need to introduce this artist, since she’s very successful and famous. I first came into contact with her music via Polish Radio Programme 3, and later on Last.fm recommended it to me, back in the day when I used it. For those whom her name doesn’t say anything, I’ll just say that she is a singer-songwriter who was born in the Soviet Union and emigrated to the US at the age of 9. She is classically trained in piano, which instrument she uses extensively in her music, and has a very strong connection to NYC.

The song I want to share with you comes from her latest album – “Remember Us To Life”. – I like the metaphor in this song of comparing oneself and the way one feels to an obsolete manuscript, and I think it could be a very relatable song for people in all sorts of difficult life situations.

I myself have found it very relatable, and have always thought that she’s referring to some kind of a general identity crisis or being kind of mismatched with your surroundings because of the manuscript just not being readable to them. I once decided to see though if I could find if there was something specific she had in mind when writing it. I didn’t find anything like that, but I found a comment about it on one website that really struck me and changed my view on this song dramatically. This person wrote that to them, this song is about something like Alzheimer’s or some other neurodegenerative disease. And it seriously makes sense! I’m creeped out by all things neurodegenerative because I value my brain very highly, yet at the same time I’m kind of interested in what it feels like for people who suffer with such things, what their lives are like. So while I don’t know if this was actually what Regina Spektor had in mind writing this, looking at this song from this angle makes it even more interesting.

Perhaps you have some other theory as for what it could be about? 🙂 I’m curious to hear about it.

Bendith – “Dan Glo” (Locked).

Hey guys! 🙂

For today, I chose a beautiful song, another one from the self-titled album by Bendith – the Welsh folk music project which is a collaboration between the band Plu (Gwilym Bowen Rhys and his two older sisters – Elan and Marged) – and Carwyn Ellis from the indie pop band Colorama. In this particular piece, we can hear Carwyn and Marged’s vocals.

I like the slightly dark feel of this song. I love reading reviews of albums that I particularly love – and this one definitely belongs in this category – to see how my reception of them is similar/different to the reviewer’s and perhaps sometimes gain some more insight along the way. And I remember reading in one review, I believe it was written by Helen Gregory from Folk Radio UK but I’m not perfectly sure, that this piece feels very cinematic. I think this is the absolutely perfect word to describe it!

Maire Brennan – “Nuair a Bhí Óg” (When We Were Young).

Hey guys! 🙂

After some Enya’s music, time for a song from her older sister – Maire, or Moya, who is most known for being a vocalist and harpist with Clannad but is also a solo artist which you may know already from my blog where I’ve shared some of her music before. – Here is the translation of this song:

 

We ran up in respect of the mountains

I have lost many days

Leaping over water stones

Playing with us outdoors |

Thinking of Tír na nÓg ‘s stories

When we were young

The sun shining through the tops of the trees

When we were young

Listening to the radio with fresh music | When we were young

the wind blowing through my family ‘s place

When we were young

Below stay a white beach in Summer

We laughed with fun and games

Fishing with a rod we did

Dance and music at the end of the day

Enya – “Sumiregusa” (Wild Violet).

Hi people! 🙂

Because I’ve been listening to Enya a lot again (typically Enya time for me is around winter, when I feel like listening to more of her music) I feel like sharing a lot of her music with you and today is yet another song from her.

Enya is known for singing in many languages, not just her native Irish Gaelic and English, and Loxian created by Roma Ryan. The song I want to share with you is in Japanese. According to Roma Ryan, it was inspired by hokku by the Japanese poet Basho, who in turn was inspired by a wild violet. This song was used by Panasonic in Japan for advertising Vera Television.

I had a time as a teen when this song was my go-to piece of music whenever I felt overwhelmed, especially in a sensory way, and I still find it helpful.

What I think is very funny about this song is that there’s no mention of violet, at least in the English translation of it. Instead, we have a wild iris. I don’t know if this is a translation issue, or maybe they’re both the same in Japanese, or something else like that. The line which is supposed to mean “A wild iris” is “Ayameghusa” in Japanese, so maybe it’s a completely different thing… It’s quite confusing, at least if you don’t know Japanese. But it’s weird how the whole thing is about a wild violet, which is even credited as the initial source of inspiration for Basho, yet there’s apparently no mention of it in the actual song. 😀

 

The poignancy of things

A purple flower

The blossoms of spring

And the light snow of winter

How they fall

The beauty of nature

A green leaf and

Autumn colors

The voice of the wind

The song of birds

A sad sea

A joyful sea

Mountains

Pebbles

A wild iris

Declan Galbraith – “Danny Boy”.

Hey people! 🙂

Today I’d like to share with you a piece from another of my faza people – Declan Galbraith, these days also known as Child of Mind. – This song, however, was sung by him long before the Child of Mind project, as it’s from his very first, self-titled album from 2002, which he recorded at the age of 10. Some songs on it are original material, but mostly they’re covers of either pop classics or, as in this case, quite well-known Celtic folk songs. Declan definitely has a special relationship with Celtic music, even if it’s less apparent in his later music. This is because he is of both Irish and Scottish descent, and his grandfather – affectionately called Poppy Ben by Declan – with whom he had a very close relationship because he was looked after by his grandparents a lot as a child; played several instruments in a Celtic music bands, and would often take Declan along on rehearsals and concerts.

“Danny Boy” was written at the beginning of 20th century by an English lawyer and lyricist, Frederic Weatherly. He was introduced to the song “Londonderry Air” by his sister, and set this new song of his to its melody. It is not known how exactly this song should be interpreted and what the author had in mind writing it, but what comes to mind for many people is that it’s from the perspective of a parent, whose son is leaving home for war or an uprising, which makes sense to me.

Enya – “I Could Never Say Goodbye”.

Hi guys! 🙂

Yes, another Enya’s song, and another about goodbyes! I couldn’t possibly say which one I like more. This one, as it’s easy to figure out, is about loss of a loved one. According to what Enya has said about this song it’s mostly about a loss due to death. I think she captured the essence of what it feels like very well in this song.

Enya – “Someone Said Goodbye”.

Hi guys! 🙂

Today I’m sharing with you another Enya song, this time from her album Amarantine. According to her lyricist – Roma Ryan – this song is about that moment of the day, at the end of it, when we start to reflect on our lives and all the saddest times come up in our memory, bringing sad feelings. This is an awful feeling, but I think this is the best song to listen to when it happens to make you realise more clearly that everyone goes through things like this, in some way, and you’re not alone.

Rebecka Enholm – “Bara Få Va Mig Själv” (Just Get To Be Myself).

Hey people! 🙂

Some time ago on my blog, I shared with you some music from a famous Iranian-Swedish pop singer – Laleh. – One of her songs that I like and shared with you was “Bara Få Va Mig Själv” and I thought that now I’d also share with you this cover by a very young singer Rebecka Enholm, a more acoustic one. I do prefer Laleh’s version as I think it has more character, but this one is really nice too.

Here is my post with the song by Laleh and the English translation for it.

 

Rebecka Enholm – “Bara Få Va Mig Själv”.

Órla Fallon – “Nead na lachan” (The Duck’s Nest) & Éilís Kennedy – “Nead na lachan”.

Hey people! 🙂

Today I have one song, but in two versions for you. Sometimes it’s just impossible to decide for only one, and why limit oneself so much when they’re both great. I came across both Órla Fallon’s and

Éilís Kennedy’s music quite early on during my Celtic music exploration journey, and so I’ve been familiar with this song for years. In fact, I now consider it a bit strange but, for some time, years ago, it almost felt like I had a slight faza on

Éilís Kennedy. She does have LOADS of great songs, and fulfills many criteria that my faza people should meet at least theoretically, but it’s weird, as talented as she is, I don’t really know what exactly pulled me so much specifically into her music. I do like it a lot still but now I wouldn’t say that it resonates with me in such a special way as it is with my major faza subjects.

This song of hers was one of my most favourites because I considered it quite funny back then. So did Sofi, especially the chorus. And it actually is a children’s song. I have really nice memories with it as well.

I heard Órla’s version a lot later on, but because her version is great too, as is she as a singer in general, and because she’s more recognisable among the Celtic music fans because of having been a member of the Irish all-female group Celtic Woman, I thought it would be good to include her version here as well. And also Órla is a harpist, and harpists are always welcome in this series on my blog.:D

As for

Éilís, she comes from county Dingle and, aside from being a solo singer and clarinettist, she also used to collaborate a lot with Pauline Scanlon, as part of a band called Lumiere.

Here’s the translation of the lyrics:

 

The duck’s nest in the moat

The duck’s nest in the moat

The duck’s nest in the moat

And I will send you out on the bay

I’ll get you a curragh and crew

I’ll get you a curragh and crew

I’ll get you a curragh and crew

And I’ll send you out on the bay

I will buy you a rod and line

I will buy you a rod and line

I will buy you a rod and line

And I will send you out on the bay

Órla Fallon:

Éilís Kennedy:

Lisa Lynne ft. Aryeh Frankfurter – “Eliz Iza”.

Hey guys! 🙂

Another harp (& nyckelharpa) piece for you today. I know that this is originally a song, with Breton lyrics, and it’s traditional, that it’s otherwise known as Ti Eliz Iza, and I know that ti means house in Breton, so I’d think it’s about the house of someone named Eliz Iza, but I’m not 100% sure that Eliz Iza is actually someone’s name here, it just sounds like it could be. I don’t know Breton so I can’t deciffer the lyrics, and the only translation I’ve found sounds a bit nonsensical. But it’s an instrumental here anyway, so we don’t need to think about the lyrics, I’ve never heard them sung anyway. I just like the melody of this piece, it’s beautiful.