Martha Wainwright – “Proserpina”.

Hi guys! ๐Ÿ™‚

This is a very special song for me. I discovered it thanks to Spotify some 2 years ago and it spoke to me very strongly immediately. It’s because I feel a strong connection to Proserpina/Persephone from Roman/Greek mythology. I feel a connection to her because her story, of her being forced to live in Hades for half a year, and half a year with her mother, reminded me in a lot of ways about my own situation when I was at the boarding school and away from my family most of the time. I heard this story during a Polish lesson and I immediately felt a bond with Persephone and her mother. Especially that I’ve always been interested in myths, legends and fairytales. This connection has lasted and a couple years later, when I was still at school, I suddenly got a spurt of creativity at night – as it often happened back then because I felt the most free to let my thoughts and feelings out through writing at night – and I wrote a short story about Proserpina on my Braille-Sense, and called it just that, “Proserpina”, I think Proserpina sounds better than Persephone. I wrote this story because I thought that it’s a shame that the myth seems to focus so much on what Ceres/Demeter felt, I mean it is very good and I feel for her very deeply, but we can actually only imagine what Proserpina must have felt while her mother was trying to find her and losing her mind from grief and despair. And it was one of the few short stories that I didn’t delete just after writing, as I usually do, but I’ve also never read it to anyone. I was maybe 14 or something at the time but looking back at it I think it was really fairly decent, compared with my other writings that I remember from that time, which make you wonder whether you should laugh or cry, so cringey they are. ๐Ÿ˜€

So, while I’d never listened to Martha Wainwright’s music before, Spotify can sometimes have that weird intuition and suggest you something that is reall spot on for you and you wonder how it happened if you don’t really listen to similar stuff a lot. Well, Martha Wainwright is definitely folksy but I have only a very vague idea about Canadian folk scene. I am not a big fan of her, I mean I don’t dislike her or anything, I guess I just feel neutral, but this song has always been very special for me since I know it, I love both the topic of it and the lyrics, as well as how it sounds. So here it is, I hope you like it too, and maybe it will speak to someone else as well, whether in a similar or a completely different way as me. I think the story of Ceres and Proserpina is also very relatable for families affected by child loss. Regarding Martha Wainwright herself, she comes from a very musical family, her mother is another folk singer Kate MCGarrigle from Kate & Anna MCGarrigle duo, and there are a lot of other musicians and artists in her family as well.

Janice – “Answer”.

Hi guys. ๐Ÿ™‚

The song I have for you today is from Swedish singer Janice Kamya Kavander, known simply as Janice. She’s becoming very popular in Sweden, and there is something powerful in her voice. I am generally not like a big fan of very soul-like sounding voices, except for Amy Winehouse and maybe a couple other people, but I do like Janice and her expressiveness. And I must say this particular song really moved me when I heard it.

It is about, or to, Janice’s dad, who died five years ago. For me, when I first heard her, she sounded rather mature, as her voice is so strong and expressive, but turns out she’s only 24, so she was 19 when her dad died. That’s very early and no wonder it affected her even more than it would affect someone later on in life. And this song is so full of expression, I think it’s hard to not feel even just a little bit moved. There are lots of versions on Youtube, but I like it particularly in the acoustic version, which is only on Spotify, so, again, I have to only give you the link to Spotify.

Frida Andersson – Jag Saknar Dej (I Miss You_.

This is a beautiful song in my opinion. I’ve translated the title as “I Miss You”, but in fact it is “I Lack You”, though I wasn’t sure if such phrase actually exists and is natural in English, it doesn’t look like it is. There even is a line in the song that “I don’t miss having you here any longer, but I lack you”, so I guess we should differentiate missing from lacking. So do Swedes, so do we Poles, and maybe the Anglophones do as well but I just don’t know. ๐Ÿ˜€ As for Frida Andersson, she is the moreinteresting for me that she is from Finland, and she is a Swedish native-speaker. For those of you who don’t know, yes, there is a Swedish-speaking minority in Finland, of people who speak Swedish as their first language, and Swedish is also another official language of Finland after Finnish, and also is teached in school as a second language, compulsory, I guess, and don’t worry if you didn’t know it and think you’re ignorant, because I – a Swedophile and Finnophile – didn’t know it until just like 2-3 years ago, I learned about it years after my fascination with the Swedish language started. That’s ignorance! ๐Ÿ˜€ And even my Dad – who is a very good geographer and taught me capitals of all the European countries and which currencies they have and other stuff – he was very surprised when I told him that. Finns are way too secretive. ๐Ÿ˜€ I say it’s interesting because Finnish accent in Swedish sounds very interesting. It’s actually cute and funny to me, doesn’t sound so serious, elegant and regal as Swedish in Stockholm for example. I like it, I like different words they have for things, like for example in standard Swedish the phrase a little bit is “lite”, but Finns often say “pikulite”. Or they have a word “pirrig”, which means jittery (or something like this ๐Ÿ˜€ ) and from what my teacher told me it’s used by Swedish-speaking Finns, though I’ve seen it used bo non Finns too.

Anyway, putting my Finnophilic musings aside, I was going to, and tried, to make translation of these lyrics, as they’re not very difficult to understand, but I find it rather tricky to translate stuff from Swedish to English or vice versa, so I left it, still though, the song is beautiful.

Catrin Finch – Lisa Lรขn (Fair Lisa).

Hi! ๐Ÿ™‚

Another tune from Catrin Finch I want to share with you. It’s just so stunningly beautiful. Not so long ago, I showed you the same song performed by the band Alaw and my current music crush, Gwilym Bowen Rhys. That one was a song, not an instrumental, so if you haven’t seen it before, you can check out, as well as the lyrics

here

Catrin Finch’s version is a harp solo arrangement of this traditional Welsh love song and it’s very creative and beautiful and relaxing and just so sooo beautiful it makes my brain melting and falling to pieces almost as much as Gwilym’s version.

Here it is: