Song of the day (1st March) – Bird Of Figment ft. Cody Francis – “Beauty In The Mundane”.

Hey guys! 🙂

I heard this song recently for the first time and I quite liked it for its chillaxed, friendly feel, so I thought I’d share it with you. Cody Francis is a singer from the US, though I don’t know much if anything about who Bird Of Figment is, I can only assume that they might be Swedish because they seem to have a lot of audience in Sweden.

Elina – “Wild Enough”.

Hey guys! 🙂

I have a really cool artist from Sweden for you today. She started out only as a songwriter, writing lyrics for Scandipop artists like Astrid S whose music I’ve shared with you too, but then she went on to making her own music, and this is her debut single, about her self-doubt and inadequacy in a relationship. I think it’s really beautiful and I like her voice a lot.

Reasons why I’m learning English.

Nearly a month after starting up this blog, I wrote a post about all the

Reasons why I’m learning Welsh

and a year ago, I wrote a similar post concerning my

Swedish.

With each of them I felt like they got quite a bit of interest, so I’m going to continue it this year as well, and write about English. Let’s see how many reasons I can come up with

1.

Isn’t it obvious? English is obligatory in schools in most countries, I guess. Or at least in all countries in Europe. So, you could say I didn’t have much choice. 😀 Before I went to school though, I was already subjected to English thanks to my Godmother, whose English was on a pretty good level for a person growing up in the 80’s (communist period – learning Russian as a second language at school) and not needing English for professional purposes. I guess it’s more common for people about her age or older to learn English now even if you don’t need it for work, but I guess back then in early 2000’s there wasn’t as much pressure yet. I believe she started learning English around college and took private lessons and while she wasn’t and is not fluent, as I said, the degree to which she knew English could feel a bit unexpected, plus she’s very communicative by nature so such people don’t need a whole lot of vocabulary to be understood. Anyways, she taught me a lot of things before I went to school, and one of them was some very basic English vocabulary and a bit of fondness for English, which probably helped me more than I normally realise to remain positive about the language itself even when I started to see that English as a school subject is MEH, and pushed me to learn it anyway. So by the time I reached school, I remember I was actually euphoric when I heard on my first actual day of school that our next lesson is going to be English. I associated it with home and with fun things and I liked it as I said, so I was super happy that I would be able to learn it at school. Sadly, I didn’t have particularly much luck with good English teachers throughout my education. I’m not saying they weren’t competent or anything like that, probably some were more, and some were less, some were very nice, some were very unpleasant, some rather bland, but the great majority of them just didn’t do anything to me more than help me prepare for the necessary tests and exams. Of course I had to learn basics at school and I did, but after that, although I was learning English throughout my whole education, I feel like school didn’t give me much in that respect and I taught myself the most. Neither did school motivate me to learn English, in fact, my first English teacher wasn’t particularly likeable person and I don’t think she cared much if we liked her subject or not. I became disillusioned quite quickly and realised that, while English may be a cool language, the subject is just deadly boring. And my view on that became even stronger when I started to seriously learn on my own and became actively interested in learning English and not just ticking off exercises in the textbook. I don’t think it is solely that I just happened to have bad teachers. I think it’s the case with most people here, and that simply the way language learning and teaching is perceived in our country and the level of English education in our schools is terrible. Basically, unless someone has some extra English classes, or wants to learn on their own or something like that, most people go out of education being barely able to communicate. And since Polish language is way more complex than English, the problem cannot be with people”s brains. People get out of schools with the mentality that they are supposed to speak perfectly, with no grammar mistakes or otherwise someone will kill them, and if they can’t do that, they won’t speak at all, even if they do have enough vocabulary to speak decently. And English lessons are not interesting, or at least they are rarely as interesting and fun as language learning could be. My Sofi writes down tons of words and rules she doesn’t understand, and when someone in her class is thinking independently enough to ask the teacher for some explanation and say that they don’t understand something, the only thing she’ll say will typically be: “*sighs theatrically* Oh my, what do you still can’t understand? It’s easy. You have to practice more at home. How many more times am I going to have to explain it?”. Well, the majority of Sofi’s class go to extracurricular English at a language school. Those who do not, have very bad grades. And I assure you that Sofi’s school is not an exception. But OMG I could rant about education system and terrible attitudes of people towards language learning for ages. 😀 Anyway, I did get the basics of English at school and I’m grateful for that, but that’s all that any school or individual teacher did for my foreign language education. There also was that teacher who was having conversations with me for a year in preparation for my final exams, and admittedly he helped me to feel a bit more confident in speaking, and most certainly contributed to the fact that I got 100% from oral English,but not much else, although I hoped he would be able to teach me some new things. He was most keen on talking about himself though. 😀

2.

Because English is everywhere. That’s why I kind of feel for English natives. On one hand it’s so cool when you can go almost anywhere in the world, read almost anything you want and not have to make the effort of translating, understanding or learning another language. But on the other hand, people miss out on so much when they don’t learn a new language, and when everyone speaks your language, what motivation can you have to do that? So it’s a bit unfair on the English-speaking folks and only for their sake I wish we had some artificial or dead language to use internationally, rather than deprive a certain group of people – a large group of people – from the benefits of learning a language and developing their brains even more. Anyways, the rest of us does have to learn English if we want to have a somewhat broader perspective on the world. Internet is huge and you can read a lot in it, do a lot with it and learn a lot, but Polish-language part of the Internet seems so mini mini compared to English. I wouldn’t be able to do so many things that I do if I didn’t speak decent English. I wouldn’t be able to restore my synths, to give you a recent example, haha. My Mum tells me that about once a week “You’re so lucky that you speak English” or “I’d like to know half of your English”, so I am constantly reminded that I should be grateful for that, and that I was given enough determination to learn it myself, and, more than determination, just plain luck, because I don’t really feel like I made some huge effort with my English, from some point on it just came to me on its own, I guess via a lot of exposure. But perhaps not everyone can be that lucky, or not everyone can make use of it or realises it. Some people like my Mum constantly complain that they can’t speak English but when you actually confront them about it “So why won’t you try to learn it?” they will have tons of arguments, including that they are too old, too stupid, too busy, too lazy, don’t have a talent (there’s no such thing as talent for learning languages unless you want to have a native accent, you just have to find the right method for yourself and that can be tricky) to name a few.

3.

Because I plain like it. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if I didn’t like English though. Would I still be so keen on learning it? My experiences with other languages show that not necessarily, because my effects at it seem to be strongly correlated with my feelings for it. I can’t quite imagine learning and being good at Esperanto for example, even if it was the international language. Of course I would learn it at school if need be, and would continue it if I really needed it, but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be anything more than average. I was learning German at school (and I like German more than Esperanto, because I don’t like Esperanto at all) and, unless I put a lot of conscious effort into learning it, I was just having rather mediocre results, and forgot most of it very quickly after finishing my German education, even though I did have an ambitious plan to continue learning it on my own, but that just went out the window before it started properly.

But I do like English, and I do like the culture surrounding it, the diversity of its accents, which we don’t have in Polish, and – what I’ve mentioned in both Swedish and Welsh posts, I feel a kind of bond with the nations speaking my favourite languages. English is also the most boring of my languages because it’s so mainstream-y and it’s everywhere and it spoils the experience massively, but still, it’s so cool and so rich!

4.

Because it can serve as a bridge to the whole Celtic world for me. Of course English is used in Britain and all its Celtic regions, and as a Celtophile it’s very important to me. It helps me to develop my Celtic passions and discover more about all the Celtic stuff, the folklore, the languages, the people…

5.

Because it enables me to meet interesting people whom I wouldn’t be able to meet otherwise. As well as like-minded people. Actually, the most development of my English skills is largely due to all of my pen pals. With some of them I’d onnly written for a while, more or less short, but with some I have developed great connections and friendships and I am so thankful for that.

6.

Because it helps me with blogging, and generally expressing myself. I used to blog in Polish for years but it wasn’t quite as fun as it is now. I feel like I can be more candid about a lot of things on my English blog and that it was one of my better ideas in my whole life to start an English blog. It works both ways – my English learning makes my blogging better, and my blogging stimulates my English learning in an incredibly effective way. – As for expressing myself, since my English skills have improved so dramatically over the last few years due to a lot of exposure, penpalling and blogging, I also write my diary mostly in English. I’ve written frequently about that I find each language useful for different kind of writing, and that it also corresponds with different kinds of emotions for me. I will write about the specific emotions of English in a while, but first, I want to say more generally that I find it much easier nowadays to express myself emotionally in English. Where feelings are concerned, but also more specifically, any kind of mental health difficulties, especially more complex stuff, somehow it’s much easier to put it in English. I’ve come to the point where sometimes it’s easier for me to find words describing some things in English, rather than in Polish, and what I want to say sounds more clunky in Polish. 😀 The emotions that in my synaesthetic view correspond particularly strongly with English are especially love, pain, sarcasm, playfulness, sadness, emptiness, anxiety, comfort, passion, euphoria and loneliness.

7.

Because it has enabled me to build a more stable support network and become both more aware of my mental health struggles, as well as deal better with them. Again blogosphere and penpalling have helped me immensely with that. Previously, I couldn’t really say I felt free to talk to anyone about what I was experiencing. Partly because I didn’t really understand it myself but also because I simply either didn’t feel like I could trust them, or I knew they wouldn’t understand. Now, thanks to my English, I have found a lot of people who have similar experiences to me or even if they don’t, they are still very supportive and I want to support them as well, and I feel like I’ve made more meaningful connections with people even though they are just online. All this keeps me motivated to develop my English further, and actually makes it develop on its own because obviously the more you use a language, the more it develops.

8.

Because there’s lots of great music in English and I want to know what it’s about.

9.

Because then I can be helpful to my immediate family who are all practical monoglots and sometimes need to translate something from English. Especially my Dad who is a tanker driver, and it’s hard to be a tanker driver and often supply foreign ships with fuel and speak no English. I often don’t have the vocabulary that he needs anyway, but some vocabulary is better than none. At least I can help him how to describe the word he needs to use and then because they are oriented in the field, they understand quickly what he wants to say, unless their English is poor too. 😀

10.

Because there are so many cool accents. I’ve already said that, but it deserves a separate mention. I LOVE that feature of English that it’s so rich in dialects and accents! You can tell where someone’s from just by their accent, and here we can’t really do that, or at least not to such an extend as you! Polish language is much more universal. There are several major dialects that are commonly recognisable, but they aren’t many and not many people choose to speak them on a daily basis, and our dialects are mostly different because of specific words that we use in different regions, rather than accents as in pronunciation differences. That doesn’t mean there are none, but an average person who is not a language geek and has no interest in such things will not hear those subtle differences or at least certainly won’t be able to tell someone’s location by them, unless someone’s accent is really super strong and very commonly associated with a specific area which mainly concerns eastern accents that are influenced by languages like Russian or Belarussian or Ukrainian or perhaps Lithuanian. My grandma has roots in all of the above mentioned countries and despite living in the north for years people can usually hear her long and soft vowels and identify correctly and always ask if she’s from the east or something. But that’s a rare case. I consider myself a language geek and the only things I can recognise are those Eastern accents, some subtle things that are specific to Silesia or Lublin area, and some stuff specific to the highlands and that’s it pretty much. This is due to the fact that after WWII people were massively migrating from countryside to towns and moving around different regions, so the accent has unified a lot. I think it’s such a pity. That’s why for some people the whole concept of an accent is a bit out there and they don’t really know what it is in terms of English. For example my Dad asked me not long ago what that whole accent thing is in English, is it about word stress (because that’s what we call akcent in Polish), or that people have some speech deffects or what, hahaha. And for a long time I didn’t get that either. Like how can you hear that someone is from Sheffield or New York or Glasgow or wherever unless they tell you? 😀 I didn’t hear those differences for a long time either. Only at some point one of my earliest English online friends started to teach me about accents and then one day something clicked in my brain and I started to gradually hear them and now I think for a non native I’m pretty good at distinguishing at least the British ones and of course between which one is British, which Australian and which American, though I have a very hard time distinguishing American accents from each other or I can barely recognise English US from Canadian or New Zealand from Australian. With understanding it really depends on how out there someone’s accent is and how quickly they are speaking. I also like to think that my own accent is very good for a non native, and that’s what people have been telling me, both natives and non natives, though I’m sure I do have to have still at least a bit of Polish accent, not that I can hear it myself (I can’t, but you can’t be a good judge of your own accent I suppose), but because I don’t know many people who have just gotten rid of their accent, and also it is not something I am aiming to in itself, because I guess it would feel weird if people couldn’t tell at all that I’m Polish, as if I was a bit less Polish or something and I don’t want that, and I like to imitate different English accents though, while I can speak some kind of US English (or so I believe) I am much better and more comfortable at British and I have more clue about how to imitate different British accents than American ones, especially the of more or less general southern-ish/Rp and more or less general northern-ish. The only British accents that I know that I cannot imitate convincingly are Geordie and Scottish. But being able to fake different accents has come to me much later on and after a lot of immersion and listening, before than my accent was just kind of Ponglish. Now the only Ponglish I can make is the very extreme one, I believe I can’t speak sort of in-between any longer like I used to – with not overly strong but definitely audible Polish accent – it’s either hardcore Ponglish or normal English (with a possible little bit of Polish as I said), and the extreme Ponglish one I use either for making fun of some kind or with Poles who can’t understand my normal, English English otherwise like Sofi. 😀 Playing with accents is so fun.

11.

Because English is so rich in colourful phrases, idioms, sayings and words. I believe that must come from the very wide variety of influences on this language. Polish is a very rich language in this too, but English seems much more than any of the languages I’ve learnt and sometimes it overwhelms me how many brilliant and fascinating words I don’t know how to use yet. Every language has its words that are untranslatable, but English has just so many! Or maybe it’s just my impression? It’s so flexible and you can do so much with it. Swedish is also flexible and you can make a lot with it, but I guess not to such an extent. I really lack some of the English expressions in Polish these days, especially when talking to someone who speaks only Polish. 😀

12.

Because it lets me read more books, and because reading in English is fun. And because I want to read even more in English. I already read most of stuff on the Internet in English, but with books so far the majority of what I read is still Polish, even thoughh there are more and more English ones thrown into the mix.

13.

Because it lets me learn more about my music crushes/fazas. Even if they aren’t English natives. Usually, especially at the beginning of a faza, it’s easiest for me to find info on my crush in English.

14.

Because, apart from helping me to develop my already existing interests, it helps me to build new ones.

15.

Because I can learn other languages through it. Like I do with Welsh right now. It has its upsides and downsides, but if not my English skills, I wouldn’t be able to access Welsh resources that I can.

16.

Because it shares a lot of similarities with other languages. Swedish for example – when I first started it, I was told it’s just a blend of English and German. – It’s very simply put but it’s true to a large degree, and my English and Swedish definitely help each other. Also while English is a Germanic language and Welsh is Celtic, they influence each other so that helps to some extent as well. And I’m going to learn some more Germanic and Celtic languages in the future, so I am sure English is going to be helpful with those too. Both because I am most likely going to learn them through the medium of English, as well as because they share more or less similarities.

17.

To develop my brain. I’ve written on my brain paranoia and wanting to avoid cognitive issues especially in the Welsh post. It’s hugely important to me.

18.

So I can talk to Misha in English or to myself. If you want to read about my experiments with Misha and foreign languages, I recommend you reading the above mentioned posts. Of all the foreign languages, my English is the best, and so I can communicate with Misha the most easily, if I want to talk to him in a language other than Polish. I also think he responds to it the best except for Polish of course, but that could be due to many reasons, including my autosuggestion.

19.

Every language makes your perspective broader, and kind of adds you a new personality. This is just interesting to observe, but is also great in some self-development, or just self-discovery. It’s interesting to see your thinking pathways in Polish vs in English vs in Swedish, for example. It’s interesting to see in which moments and in what kind of situations my thinking switches from Polish to English or back to Polish or to Swedish, or when it’s a mix of all that plus Welsh. I definitely tend to think about more emotional stuff in English, the same as with writing. Recently I’ve even started automatically praying in English. 😀 The first time when that happened, I only realised that I’m praying in English a few minutes after I’ve started, and that was so hilarious. But obviously God is very multilingual so I let my soul and brain pray in whichever language it’s convenient as long as that doesn’t get in the way of prayer itself because for example I think more of how I should put things rather than focus on praying itself and on God. My dreams have been a linguistic mix for years now.

20.

Because it’s fun to have more than one language to swear in. Even though Welsh or Finnish is better for that than English, English is quite bland and cliche I don’t know why, and most people here know the basic words like fuck or shit so it doesn’t feel the same.

 

21.

Because it can help me with anxiety, as well as with depression, see the posts above for details.

22.

To be able to understand at least some slangs to whatever extent possible, as well as dialects and other such interesting language creations.

23.

To have access to English-language media, like radiostations, and actually understand what they are saying, and not just immerse myself in the language as I’d been doing for years.

24.

To challenge my social anxiety. See the posts above for details.

25.

Because it’s easy. So why not?

26.

Because people wouldn’t treat me seriously if I only were learning some endangered, minority languages. I wrote more on that in the Swedish post. But also, even if I spoke Swedish, I guess that still wouldn’t look as serious if I didn’t speak any English. 😀

27.

Because, just like with Swedish, I hope it will be also useful in a more practical way, occupational for example. Who knows.

Yay! I thought there will be less reasons for English because it’s so obvious but there are even more!

If you are a native speaker of English, what do you like it for, or why do you not like it? If you are an English learner, what are your reasons for learning it? 🙂

 

Daisy Clark – “Complicated”.

Hey guys! 🙂

I’ve shared with you some covers since I’ve started this blog, not necessarily always of the songs I like in the original, and very often acoustic covers. So, here is another one, and also by a British artist.

Daisy Clark is from Newquay in Cornwall (how cool, I know so few Cornish musicians, but I wouldn’t expect her to speak Cornish haha) and she has become very popular because of her YouTube channel where she publishes her own acoustic covers of popular songs. In fact apparently she has hardly ever left Cornwall, and her videos are now streamed by thousands of people around the world, so it looks like a huge success. But I’ve become familiar with her only very recently.

The song by her that I want to show you was originally performed by Avril Lavigne and is her so called signature song, so it’s quite a famous piece. I am quite neutral about Avril’s version, but I think Daisy’s is nice.

Nina Nesbitt – “The Sun Will Come Up, The Seasons Will Change”.

Hey people! 🙂

I have another song by Nina Nesbitt for you today, and another British pop song after Jack Vallier’s, that I like. It’s topic is something very trivial and obvious, but sometimes, especially when life gets a bit hectic, or perhaps boring, we tend to forget about it, that things in our lives are constantly changing, and next year on the same day, we may be in a completely different place and state of mind. I’m just re-reading a fabulously written biography of Bronte family, by a Polish writer, she has translated Bronte sisters’ books as well, and there’s the same motif. Anne and Emily Bronte have that tradition on writing birthday notes on Emily’s birthday every three years, and they write on what has changed in their life since the last note, and muse on how life is changing and where they will be in next three years’ time. For some reason, I found the way they do it quite hilarious. Okay, so here’s the song.

 

Jack Vallier – “Copenhagen”.

Hi people! 🙂

So, those of you who have been following my blog for a while know about my fazas/crushes and that lately I’ve been in a limbo, which is never a pleasant situation to be in, but is particularly unpleasant when it’s a faza limbo and when your existence is pretty much driven by fazas and stuff that they generate whatever that might be. And because that limbo is my first one – that is, previously I always went smoothly from one dominant faza into another – I feel very uncomfortable in it and am doing a lot of desperate faza hunting, particularly in the world of music because, albeit I do have literary fazas as well, it’s the music ones that are the strongest. You also know then that I’m a Jackophile and that my dream is that my next crush would be called Jack, or something else Jac-. It’s not a requirement whatsoever, I don’t really care what they’re called because as soon as I get a faza I will love their name anyways as far as I know, but that would be just extra nice, I’m just clueless about how to go about active faza hunting so I just had to have something to look out for, so primarily I look around for musicians called Jack or something similar. That doesn’t really help much but at least it is something that I can use as a criterion in my searching.

So there have been a few stronger candidates – one that I won’t even mention by name even though it’s highly unlikely any of my readers would have ever heard of him, but he’s too cringey for my “snobbish”, as a lot of people say, music taste 😀 even though he was actually Sami, and I suspect he has a developing alcohol problem because some kind of alcohol is present in almost all of his music, and I’ve already had a crush who was an alcoholic so I don’t want it to become a pattern hahaha, plus that crush of mine – Cornelis Vreeswijk of course – was so much better of a lyricist, and could write beautifully even about wine, while this guy here cannot. Then there was Jack Christopher Alsopp a.k.a. Just Jack (yeah, I have shared his song here). A nice guy, but too normal for me. I can’t even imagine myself having a faza on him so that was just wishful thinking, I don’t even like his music enough. Then there was Jack Rutter – very folksy and pleasant, from Huddersfield in England (which made me realise I’d just love to have a northern English crush!), I do like him a lot, he’s also a guitarist like all my previous major male crushes, and a bouzouki player like my last dominant crush Gwilym Bowen Rhys. – But, sadly, it didn’t work out. After that, Spotify recommended me a song by Jack Hawitt and Nyaki called “Dark Hotel” (I’ve intended to share it with you but somehow never have, but hope I finally will some day), and then I was familiarising myself with Jack Hawitt’s music, which was pleasant, but… you may have guessed it – too normal, too mainstream-y. – Then there was Hamish Napier, a fantastically versatile musician from Strathspey in Scotland – he’s a flautist, pianist, singer and what not – and his musical comfort zone is very wide. Versatility is something I really appreciate in a crush, I can’t imagine myself having a crush on someone one-dimensional because, if you are familiar with the meaning of the word faza for me, it helps me to develop, and it’s easier when there’s more diversity, but somehow my brain and Hamish Napier’s and his music didn’t click strongly enough. Also one of his parents is a harpist – I don’t know which one, though of course it most likely must be his mother, and I don’t know her name, but that’s a nice fact isn’t it? – It didn’t help anything. My faza is not going to be on Hamish Napier. There also was Jack Pantaleo, I believe he’s from California and also seems fairly versatile – he’s a social worker and has some background in psychiatry, but also is a certified harp therapist. – If you didn’t know, harp therapy and harp healing is a thing in many places all around the world, there are academies, online courses, certificates, and then such people work in hospitals, care homes, other institutions, do music therapy and such. I’ve been interested in it for a long time as a harp lover, and I thought it would be really cool to have not only a crush who is a harpist (such a rare thing for a guy to be a harpist these days isn’t it?) but also a harp healer. He has apparently written a book, and that book is accompanied by a CD with his music, and this seems to be his only album. I had a listen to it, and while obviously I love harp, and so I enjoyed listening to it, I didn’t find anything special or above average in his play, though then again, I am neither a harpist nor anyone with music background so I’m just saying how I feel very subjectively about his music. Also, while I like my faza objects to be unpopular and not frequently heard of in general, there has to be at least some info available about them in whatever language of the world, otherwise there’s not enough fuel to get my faza going for long enough. And there’s not much info on Jack Pantaleo. I wouldn’t even know how he sounds or probably not even what he looks like. There have been a few songs on his albums, with vocals, but I really disliked the voice of the vocalist.

And so, finally, getting to the actual topic of this post, there has also been Jack Vallier whom I have discovered a few days ago. Very normal, too, but I do like his music, and this one song in particular, it’s been sitting in my brain since I first heard it. As I was reading on him and immersing myself in his music, at some point Zofijka heard him in my room and she said she likes him – he does sound very much like something Zofijka would like – and then we were talking about him, that I thought he could be my new crush, and then, because Sofi liked him, she got very excited about it and wanted to see what he looks like, because that’s always my mission for her when I have a new crush, that she has to see what they look like and describe them to me and give me her opinion. Usually it works so that the more Zofijka is disgusted, either by their music or looks, the more this person is worth my attention. 😀 From my previous crushes she has only approved of Declan Galbraith but only until he matured and changed his looks and music style a bit. So, while I told her that it seems highly unlikely that Jack Vallier will be my next crush even though I do like his music despite it’s just pop, she ran to her laptop and looked him up. At first I thought it was very promising because Sofi kept making all the gagging noises and choking and such very spectacularly for a very long time implying that she’s throwing him up because he’s so disgusting, but when she finally was capable of speaking coherently she said “Well, no, actually, he’s just… he’s okay, he’s just… normal. I just don’t like guys with earrings”. 😀 Me neither for that matter, haha, though if I got a serious faza on him I probably would care very little about that.

Jack Vallier is from Bournemouth, UK, as far as I know, and his music is really cool, and pleasant, albeit normal. I hope that if, by any chance, Jack ever sees that post he won’t feel that it’s a critic or an offense or sarcasm or anything because it’s not meant as such. I seriously like a lot of “normal” music, as you can clearly see from my blog, and I don’t perceive it as inferior or wrong as long as it’s not trashy or overly cliche. This song of his is my favourite. 🙂

Before Breakfast – “Buddleia”.

Hi people! 🙂

This band is completely new to me, I actually only know this one song by them and I heard it a few days ago for the first time, but I really like it! The band is based in Sheffield and consists of four women, who met each other at uni, Gina Walters – who is the leader and the vocalist – the celloist Lucy Revis, Annie Rushworth and Debra Finch. I think I am going to listen to more of their music, if it sounds as good as this I think I’ll really like them.

Nina Nesbitt – “Is It Really Me You’re Missing?”.

Nina Nesbitt is quite a well-known singer and songwriter from Scotland. I think it’s also cool and worth mentioning that she’s also part Swedish – her mum is from Sweden. – I really like her music, along with other similar British artists like Gabrielle Aplin or Lauren Aquilina or Birdy or the like. And I like this particular song for a good few reasons so I thought I’d share it.

 

Nina Kinert – “Beast”.

Hey guys! 🙂

This is my favourite song by this Swedish artist, also known just as Nina K. It was also the first song of her that I’ve heard years ago when I’ve started to listen more to Swedish pop music. I think I just like the way it sounds. It seemed to also be quite popular in some other European countries, but never over here.

 

Enya – “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”.

Hi people! 🙂

Perhaps you remember that I was sharing a lot of Enya’s music last year around Christmas with you. I was sure I must have shared this song, but looks like I haven’t, so I think it’s the right time to do it now, since this is primarily an Advent hymn! And I think in Enya’s version it sounds so extremely beautiful. Both full of some silent, secret euphoria, as well as nostalgia. I hope you like it too. 🙂

Kate Rusby – “Little Jack Frost”.

Hi guys! 🙂

So it’s Advent, and Christmas is coming, so we can listen to our favourite Christmas music again! This is one of my personal absolute winter classics. And Jack Frost is one of my favourite characters in European folklore. He has arrived here for good as it seems, so I am welcoming his with this lovely little song, hoping you will like it too. Kate Rusby is also one of my most favourite English folk singers, she’s really amazing! I love her voice and her accent, most people who know her seem to love her accent haha, and she does this song so very well. It just makes my brain melt. 🙂

 

Miss Li – “The Day I Die I Want You To Celebrate”.

Hi people! 🙂

Today the song I want to share with you comes from a Swedish singer Miss Li, who is very well-known there and sings mainly pop music but also doesn’t shy away from such genres or influences from genres like blues or folk, and she also sings in Swedish. I like her powerful voice but to be honest apart from that I am not a big fan of her music. Don’t dislike it but don’t like it either. This song is a little bit of an exception. I heard it for the first time on the day on which I finished my final exams, on my way back home, and it suited my mood at that moment well. I love how dynamic and uplifting it is, I like to listen to it when I’m a bit hyper or just in a right mood to listen to this song.

 

Melina Borglowe – “I Used To Play”.

There is something about this song that I really love! In the sound of it. I just love to listen to it. So I thought I’ll share with you. Melina Borglowe is a Swedish singer about whom I don’t really know anything else other than she is Swedish, and don’t even know other of her songs, but this one sounds so cool!

Martin Simpson – “The Cruel Brother”.

Hi people! 🙂

Today I decided to share another very interesting Child ballad with you. I know many versions and interpretations of it but for some reason I like Martin Simpson’s the most. Somehow it always makes me imagine what’s happening in it very vividly, unlike other versions of it. I hope you will find it very evocative as well. 🙂

Ray Fisher – “Willie’s Lady” & Martin Carthy – “Willies Lady”.

For today I have for you a song in two versions. Firstly because I like them both, and secondly, because they’re both in different languages.Ray Fisher was Scottish, so her version is in Scots, as all the songs she sang, and Martin Carthy is English and his version is in English. Also, I have no idea about what the perception of Scots language is like in people whose first language is English, I don’t know how much you can understand of it, in my case I was able to understand more than I thought I would listening to it for the first time, I suppose both thanks to English and Swedish, as there are Scandinavian influences at all, but there were still big patches of the lyrics that I wouldn’t understand, and even had trouble understanding various bits and pieces when reading the lyrics, so eventually had to just look up what it is about, and then understanding of the song has become much easier. So, if you’re gonna have the same dilemma, Martin Carthy’s version is very much the same in terms of lyrics, only with a few differences, like that in his version Willie is a king, and it’s his wife who comes up with a plan of how to get rid of the spell that Willie’s mother has cast on her, while in Fisher’s version it’s Billy Blind who gives Willie that idea.

“Willie’s Lady” is a Child ballad, and I think I have said it on my blog before that I really love the collection of Child ballads!

 

So, here are the two versions of this song. 🙂

Martha Tilston – “Songs That Make Sophie Fizz”.

Hi people! 🙂

Today, I’m going to share with you a song by Martha Tilston – who belongs to my most favourite English folk singers. She is really talented and expressive, and I like her light and airy voice a lot. I also love her finger style guitar play very much! She has a lot of connections to people who make folk music, coming from a very folk-oriented family. Her father is the singer Steve Tilston, and her stepmother is Maggie Boyle, who is also a well-known folk singer and musician, hailing from Ireland. So a lot of family friends are folk musicians, or somehow related to folk music scene as well. But Martha’s music is quite a lot different from what her father or stepmother does. She’s been leaning more towards alternative scene, especially at the beginning of her career, and I like that!

I just have some nice associations with the song I’m going to share with you. It reminds me very much of my own sis Sophie, who perhaps is not a big fan of this song, but a lot of things definitely make her fizz, and music does the most. She loves to dance, and rollerskate as well. To make it more funny, the Sophie i the song is indeed Martha’s “big sis”. So it makes her another artist on my blog who has a sister called Sophie (or some variation of this name) and who wrote a song about/for her. The other one is Ji Nilsson, whose sister is Sofi. Isn’t that so very cool?! I guess Sophies make the best sisters!

 

Question of the day.

What are you most proud of yourself for?

My answer:

Honestly I’m not proud of myself particularly often, it’s a bit of a weird feeling to me, but I’m trying to be more often, even if I’m just forcing myself to feel it because I think I normally should. If I do more or less genuinely, it’s usually because of my linguistic achievements. Like the one I’ve posted earlier today, in one of my song of the day posts, when I was able to understand a larger portion of spoken Norwegian for the first time. I’m proud of myself for learning English mostly on my own, of course I’ve had it at schools for years but I’ve only really learnt it when I started teaching myself, schools are rubbish at languages, and I’m proud of how quickly and how far I’ve gone with it, though I have a feeling like it’s not exactly something that I’ve achieved thanks to myself – my level of fluency, that is, and the pace of my English learning. – I mean of course as a Christian my way of thinking always is that we should be thankful to God for our talents and that without Him we wouldn’t be able to do anything, and of course I wouldn’t achieve quite as much if not all my pen pals and other online friends and such, because it’s the contact with the living language that matters, but I feel like I’ve got more than just an ear for languages. When I look back at my English journey, it feels like a miracle, because of how quickly and unefortlessly it happened that suddenly I was able to think in English with no problem, in some instances that comes to me even easier than in Polish, or without realising it instantly that I’m thinking in English, and suddenly I’ve got quite an English accent that a lot of Polish folks say is British. You’ll hear so many stories of people – whether linguistically gifted or not so much, but still trying to learn a language – putting so much hard work into their learning, or at least having some fancy methods that work for them or that don’t work. Neither was true in my case. It was similar with Swedish as well, though only to some point, I still don’t consider myself fluent in Swedish though my Swedish is good and definitely comunicative. I wonder why Welsh is such a slippery slope then. I’m not used to that hahaha but I mostly like it, I’ve got something to occupy my brain with. Oh gosh! I nearly forgot! I have a news for you people! Does anyone remember my “Reasons Why I’m Learning Welsh” post? One of my reasons was that I wanted to learn to say Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch properly and by heart, just for fun and for quirkiness’ sake (Llanfair Pg is a small town in north Wales). For a long time I was only able to read it fluently, which was still a huge thing for people who knew it, but not for me, because after all I knew Welsh phonetics and then it’s easy to read pretty much anything in Welsh. But, just today, I came across Llanfair PG somewhere and tried to say it just from my head without looking at it and… I just got it right. I did it once again and I got it right, and then I looked it up online to make sure I really got it right, and I did! now I can say it. There is such a Polish website called Nonsensopedia, aka encyclopaedia of humour, and they say something like even if you poop your pants here and now, you won’t say it. I’m not sure what has pooping to do with that but I assure you I didn’t poop while saying that. 😀 Isn’t that a reason to be proud of? I’m not a Welsh native and I said Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch about 5 times today and didn’t poop. Yay me! 😀 And stupid Nonsensopedia, maybe the person who wrote that article just had diarrhea, and thus really lacked sense of humour! I just wonder why it took me that long, but I guess if I really did work hard on it I could nail it much earlier. I like it though how spontaneously it came. So typical of my brain. 😀 Now I guess I need a new Welsh goal in place of that.

How about you? 🙂

Maire Brennan – “Misty-Eyed Adventures”.

Hi guys! 🙂

I really love this Maire Brennan’s song. It’s so gentle, but so atmospheric and dream-like. I always like all those journey motives in Enya’s music, and it is present in Maire’s as well, and very much so in this song! I hope you like it too. 🙂

Maire Brennan – “The Mighty One”.

Here is another song by Maire Brennan, also about God. I think the sound of it is very powerful, and it has more of an ethnofolk feel. The chorus is in Irish, and here is what it means in English.

  All my blessings from my heart to you
Isn’t the view delightful?
My blessing from my heart to you
And glory be to God