Jack Vreeswijk – “Norsk Blues” (Norwegian Blues).

   Hi all you people! 🙂 

   Today, let’s listen to Jack Vreeswijk. Like many children of famous people, I suppose Jack is also most well-known for being the son of Cornelis Vreeswijk and for covering a lot of his music. However, Jack is definitely not only that, because he writes his ownn music as well. And this is one of his self-penned songs. I’ve been really liking it ever since my affair with the Norwegian language has started, even though of course the song is in Swedish, but it’s indirectly about Norway, as you’ll find out. 

   I was able to Translate it, but in this song he’s sailing on a ship and I don’t even really have a particularly extensive vocabulary of marine-related vocabulary in my native language, let alone Swedish or English, so I just didn’t get some things. In particular, there’s the verse where he goes into the cafeteria and gets himself something. I suppose most people would expect it to be some kind of food or drink, at least that was my thinking, except there’s the word “brigg” which apparently means something to do with ships in Swedish, I don’t even clearly know what and haven’t figured out what its equivalent in English is for sure. And then a couple lines below there’s also “rigg” which is apparently also something from the same field. 

   At some point he states literally that “my ticket is simple/easy” which doesn’t make sense to me, I’m assuming maybe it can also mean cheap or something like that? 

   There’s also a line that literally says: “What deep inside the forest…” My first thought seeing this phrase in that context was that perhaps it’s some sort of quirky Swedish expression equivalent to the English “what on Earth” or “what in the world” etc. Though I’ve never come across it anywhere else. It seems like Google doesn’t know of anyone using the phrase either, so I translated it just literally, even though it makes little sense to me, the most reasonable explanation of that I have is that he came up with the whole cruise idea in a forest. 😀 Maybe it’s just some poetic metaphor which my brain just can’t convert. 😀 

   Then he uses a phrase which in Swedish is “så kan det gå”. It would literally mean “So it can go” but, while I’m not perfectly sure of that, it seems to me that it’s more like a way of saying something along the lines of “That’s how it is”, “That’s life”. I could be wrong though. 

   I may be also wrong in other places without even realising it, that’s always possible. 

   If, like me, you’re ignorant and have never heard of Hurtigrutten before hearing this song, I’ll tell you that it’s the Norwegian coastal transporting service. 

    From Tromsø to Stavanger I have a Ticket
And this is all I have at this moment
I remember I heard someone say
Take your hat and stick
And so I came aboard on this ship somehow
Now I am walking here on the deck on seasick legs
And I am asking myself frantically how I came up with this idea
But the fact remains that Hurtigrutten is making headway
With me aboard and ask how I am feeling
And the storm she is roaring and the waves are hitting
And my brain feels as if it was made of macadam
My ticket is simple [cheap?] and now I only ask myself
What deep inside the forest could have caused
Me to leave you for good
I go to the cafeteria and get myself some (… [?])
And brood on what my future will be like
Stavanger in the middle of winter and a useless economy
Then sooner or later you end up on a (… [?])
You could have asked me to stay but that’s how it goes [?]
Now you’re sitting in Tromsø and are probably wondering
If I have left you for good

Question of the day.

I am reading…

My answer:

…Actually re-reading, at the moment. I am re-reading a Norwegian family saga called Livets Døtre (there is no English translation but the title means Daughters of Life) by May Grethe Lerum, in Polish. I came across this series a couple years ago in our Polish blind library and I felt super ambivalent about it! On one hand it’s just so interesting, it takes place in like 18th century Norway and follows the lives of women in quite a particular family living in a Norwegian village, who have extremely weird, tangled and overly and sometimes totally unnecessarily complicated life paths, but there’s 35 volumes in total if I remember correctly so if not all that it would probably take up much less, it sometimes feels rather forced though. I love historical fiction which portrays people’s lives and not necessarily all the political stuff and things like that but simply what life was like then, for different kinds of people. And that’s what these books show very well. Well, I don’t know if they show it thoroughly from a historical point of view and whether a historian would approve, but what I mean by well is that it’s interesting and sounds quite convincing to me. These women have some kind of gift or curse or what you may call it in their family that enables them to heal people or at least help them when they’re sick, and that’s both in terms of that they’re really knowledgeable about herbs and all the medical knowledge that was available to people there and then, but also something more like a superpower or something that they sometimes use. So they help people and treat them from all sorts of things, and it’s really interesting to read about in fiction. The characters are mostly portrayed very colourfully and feel almost alive although sometimes you can feel a lot of something that feels like some bias from the author as if you could figure out whom in the series she likes more and whom she likes less and sometimes it’s a little annoying. And then there’s Ravi Reinsson, or Reinsen or I don’t really even know what his surname is in the original, Ravi son of Rein anyways, on whom, when reading that series for the first time, I got quite a strong faza. I had several literary fazas before but this was definitely the strongest and longest-lasting. It’s partly because of Ravi, and partly because of my current affair with the Norwegian language, which wasn’t a thing back when I read it for the first time, that I decided to re-read this saga. On the other hand, despite enjoying so many aspects of it a lot, I had some problems with this series and a lot of little things and a couple bigger things that I found really annoying and sometimes even quite disturbing with this series and this hasn’t changed now that I’m re-reading it and some of that maybe even is more glaring. And the translation… ugh! I mean, overall it’s not bad, but some bits literally have such awful grammar, or just really awkward. Yet at the same time the aspects of it that were enjoyable for me the first time, are no less enjoyable for me now, and maybe even more so. I have been racing through these books, I can’t recall now when exactly I’ve started reading this series but I think more or less around the time when I got sick with that bronchitis thing, and since I had a lot of time for reading, as well as because it’s interesting while not being very challenging at all, especially that I read it once before, it’s going really fast, and I’m now on volume 15. There’s no Ravi yet but I’m curious if my faza is going to reactivate or something and how my brain’s gonna react. But yeah, overall it’s an interesting experience to reread this.

How about you? 🙂

Question of the day.

What are three things you just learned?

My answer:

That on Tuesdays Sofi’s going to be at school from 8 AM to 5 PM. :O Quite crazy imo and definitely hadn’t been the case for her in previous years, and it’s not like she’s started some completely new education stage or something, she’s in 8th grade. I definitely didn’t spend as much time at school at her age, unless in some exceptional situations.

That apparently if you live in Norway, you can have your child taken away from you if he has lost a tooth. 🙃 Not that it was the first time I’ve heard some pretty wild stuff about their Barnevernet (the child protection service).

That the Welsh word cynhwysol means inclusive in English.

You? 🙂