Blue Cafe – “Reflection”.

Hey people! 🙂

It’s Mother’s Day here in Poland, so I thought I’d share a song that both my Mum and I like. It’s actually my Mum’s favourite song as of late. I completely didn’t associate this kind of music with her, but she likes this song, and when I heard it for the first time, I started to like it too. Generally our tastes aren’t incredibly similar.

Blue Cafe is a Polish band which I used to really hate, and am still not a huge fan of at all. They used to have a really awful vocalist, now they have a different one who at least can sing, but this song of theirs is one of the very few that I like and it always makes me think of Mum.

Song of the day (19th November) – Mikromusic – “Takiego Chłopaka” (A Boyfriend Like This).

Here’s another Polish song I have for you.

I used to have very mixed feelings about it, and I’ve seen quite a few different interpretations of what it really is about, including that it shows all men as being awful or that women are super picky. I liked the sound of it immediately when I heard it. It’s trip-hop but the song has a bit of a folksy feel and I liked that it was sort of ironic and humourous. The song is about a woman who wants a boyfriend, and she has a whole list of what he should not be, looks like she’s such an idealist and wants just someone very exceptional who only has good traits. Yet something in this song really stung me, ’cause on her list of things he cannot be is “not a Pole”. I mean, it’s completely okay not to want to have a Polish boyfriend, even if you’re Polish, but the whole list was made up of various negative things and “not a Pole” thrown in-between, it made it look very bad and very offensive to me, and I’m sure could feel even more so to Polish guys. And I’ve seen many other people finding it controversial too.

But these days I think this song does not contain any anti-Polish messages. I think you can see this song in two ways, depending if you are an optimist or a pessimist, although I have no idea what Natalia Grosiak – the vocalist and author of the lyrics – had in mind writing this song. If you are an optimist, you can think that the girl speaking in the song is very young, romantic, idealistic and picky to begin with. She wants someone who won’t change her life overly and will just be perfectly the way she imagined him. Then, as the song progresses, she changes her mind. She decides that “yes, give me a boy who is ugly, who is a bit crazy, who has his weaknesses”. She finds someone that she loves despite the traits in him that are difficult and she happily accepts the fact that there are no perfect people and that there is no way to fall in love with someone who is perfect. If you are a pessimist, you can see this song as showing how bad life can be and often is. You begin with having dreams and hopes and wanting someone special and perfect. Only that, as you gain more experience in life and in relationships, instead of happily accepting that we all have weaknesses and it’s okay and finding someone whose weaknesses are complementary with yours and you are able to live with him the way he is, as it should be in a proper romantic movie with a happy end, you give up. Because whoever you’ll choose, it will be difficult and nothing will work out the way you want. You don’t care what he’s like anymore, maybe not even whether you love him, you just want someone and you know you have very limited choice.

Despite I am a pessimist, in this particular song I have a feeling the optimistic theory looks better not only because it’s more pleasant. It’s just easier for me to imagine such a scenario. Personally I’d rather be lonely than look for all means for whoever to be my boyfriend, even if he is a drunkard to whom I don’t feel anything.

So, here are the lyrics that I’ve translated and the song.

 

Mr Fate, please give me someone who won’t stir the water in my pond
Someone who won’t fade away like a bad dream
When there are no more fish in my pond

Where will I find someone so
beautifully kind?
Where will I find someone so
beautifully kind?

Give me a boyfriend
Not a crazy one, give
Not a smoker
Not a poor one, give
Not a drunkard
Not a Pole, give
Not an ugly one

Send me a boyfriend
not a crazy one, give
Not a dodge
not a clown, give
Not a drunkard
not a Pole, give
Not a poor one
Send me

Mr Fate, please give me someone who won’t pick all the roses from my garden
Someone who won’t eat all the apples
and run away overseas

Where will I find someone so
beautifully kind?
Where will I find someone so
beautifully kind?

Give me a boyfriend
Not a crazy one, give
Not a smoker
not a poor one, give
Not a drunkard
not a Pole, give
Not an ugly one

Send me a boyfriend
not a crazy one, give
Not a dodge
not a clown, give
Not a drunkard
not a Pole, give
Not a poor one

Send me a boyfriend
Give me a Pole
yes, I want a crazy one!
I want a drunkard
Yes, give me a strongman
An ugly one
Yes, give me a Pole

Send me a boyfriend
a boyfriend like this
a boyfriend like this
a boyfriend like this
like this

Song of the day (16th November) – Coma – “Los Cebula I Krokodyle Łzy” (Fate Onion And Crocodile Tears).

I didn’t plan to share this song at all but I kind of had no idea for a song for this day, and I heard this one playing in the bathroom, so decided to share it because I have a bit of a personal story with her. It’s a song dedicated to people who struggle with depression but also generally just any kind of life difficulties. I heard it for the first time in the kitchen, one late Sunday evening, night actually. I went downstairs because I had self harm urges and wanted to cut or something. I came into the kitchen and took out the knife from the drawer when I heard this song playing: “Leave that damn mug alone, you’ll cut your fingers…”. 😀 I had a knife in my hand, not a mug, and intended to cut not necessarily my fingers with it, but the irony of the situation made me laugh out loud despite I was crying some five minutes earlier. 😀 I started to listen to the song and it sort of made me feel better, at least I could relate to it. I’d like to tell you that Coma prevented me from cutting that time but they didn’t, but the song helped me a little bit to make me feel less alone with my shit. And now I am going to share it with you and my translation of the lyrics as well.

   Leave that damn mug alone – you’ll cut your fingers.
Drink the milk, wash your face. I’ll come before you fall asleep.
Even though the galactic blast will destroy the civilisation
It’s not enough to burst out into tears.
For me, the day wasn’t too gracious either.
For me too, too long and bad is the winter
For me too, but you must admit, that all in all, life is wonderful
And stop wailing! Stop wailing! Stop crying!
And why do you read the comments from frustrated pipsqueaks?
Let the blockheads poison themselves with venom, save yourself the evil.
For me, the day wasn’t too gracious either.
For me too, too long and bad is the winter
For me too fate, onion and crocodile tears.
Stop wailing! Stop wailing! Stop crying!
For me, the day wasn’t too gracious either.
For me too, too long and bad is the winter
For me too fate, onion and crocodile tears.
Stop wailing! Stop wailing! Stop crying!i

Marta Bijan – “Lot Na Marsa” (A Flight To Mars).

Hey people! 🙂

A slightly peculiar song I have for you today. Well Okay, maybe not as much peculiar as simply not very typical kinda thing on here. But it’s in Polish. Marta Bijan is a singer songwriter that I’ve become vaguely familiar with thanks to my Polish friend who liked her. I liked her music but it felt, and still feels, quite emo to me. I mean, I like, often love, sad music, sad lyrics, I like gloomy stuff (within reason, I stop liking it when it gets either too dark or so pathetic that you can see that the author sort of lacked that tiny little bit of distance to themselves and their gloom and it feels almost immature) and I listen to sad music a lot, but it usually has to have something more to it than just be sad/gloomy. And Marta’s music did seem pathetic to me. It still does, despite I can’t say I don’t like her. Perhaps it’s that, despite feeling a bit overdone and virtually always sad, her lyrics are often also somewhat relatable for me, and I’d think for many people, while at the same time it’s clear they’re very personal. I just don’t listen to her that much, if at all, because, well, when I’m feeling well, there’s no point in listening to emo stuff like that. When I’m more depressed than what I’m used to and can handle, or just having a normal blues, my strategy is to listen first to something very sad, and then when I feel ready and like it I go on to something more cheerful. But when I am just super low Marta’s music doesn’t speak to me, so it has to be something in the middle, where I’m just in the mood for the slightly emo sort of music. Probably when I’m feeling emo myself, or having a pity party or something haha. Also another reason why I don’t listen to her too much is that I just don’t listen to Polish music very much. Which is a bit of a shame and I’d like to change it, but I haven’t come across many Polish artists that would really speak to me very strongly in months, my Polish favourites don’t change a lot and it’s mostly some alternative bands, some folk, and occasionally reggae. If I listen to reggae these days it’s only Polish reggae, but I listen to it hardly ever anyway.

But, why I’m sharing this song with you? I’ve just heard Marta’s name in some radiostation lately and thought I’d have a look if she has released something new and listen to some of her music to see if my perception of it is still the same. As I said, it is. But, when listening to this particular song, I decided that, because it’s a bit relatable for me, on some level, and because there has been scandalously little of Polish music on my blog, I will share her song with you.

The lyrics are quite simple so I even went as far as translating this song to English (very roughly, nothing artistic, just so you know what it’s about).

Marta comes from Upper Silesia, and she was the finalist of Polish edition of X Factor in 2014. She also plays piano.

So, here are the English lyrics and the song. Sorry if the translation sounds a bit too raw haha.

 

Yes, I know, I should take my clothes off
Get to the flesh
Is it better to hear me when I’m wearing less
I apologise
To everyone here who is disappointed
They will not find ohs and ahs in my voice
I just wanted to say goodbye,
because it seems like there is no place for everyone here

I book a flight to Mars
With one-way ticket
What a farce
This thought has been growing in me
For a long time
If someone would ask
I’m already packed
I am packed

In the past, it was the lark who used to sing,
nightingale and siren
Today, the owl shows off its deep voice
So I’m saying goodbye
to all the insatiable
Ready for the parting,
I will burn the bridge
I just wanted it to be my way,
but there doesn’t seem to be enough oxygen for everyone

I book a flight to Mars
With one-way ticket
What a farce
This thought has been in me
For a long time
If someone would ask
I’m already packed
I am packed

I booked a flight to Mars
With one-way ticket
What a farce
This thought has been growing in me
For a long time
If someone would ask
I’m already packed
I am packed.

Song of the day (21st September) – Maja Koman – “Invisible”.

I once shared with you an earlier song by Maja Koman, called “Babcia Mówi”, and I’ve become much more familiar with her music since then. She is a Polish artist, who often writes sarcastic, or humourous lyrics, which are often thought-provoking as well. I don’t always agree with them but I like her creative spirit and the way she arranges her music and her lyrics’ style in general, and she has loads of great lyrics indeed. Apart from writing songs in Polish, she also writes them in French and English.

While “Babcia Mówi” was a funny but thought-provoking piece about the lack of true men in the world, this one is vastly different. Not only because it is in English. The feel of it, as this time you can see fully on your own, is very gentle, and the lyrics vulnerable and honest, but very inconspicuous. I really like this little piece, and I think the harp in it makes it the more appealing and intimate. 🙂 Also I can relate to the lyrics a lot.

Laboratorium Pieśni – “Ой ляцелі жураўлі” (Oh, The Cranes Were Flying By).

Hi guys! 🙂

Recently I’ve been trying to find some new and interesting Slavic folk music that I could love, and one of the bands that are among my newest and most liked discoveries iS laboratorium Pieśni. They are from Poland, from Gdańsk more exactly, and this is a band singing traditional folk music, with a bit of a spiritual feel, mostly from Slavic countries and in Slavic languages, but also Balkanian, Caucasian or Scandinavian. The band consists of all females, and they sing either acapella or with some traditional instruments particularly drums. I find their music really powerful and energetic, and like the connection to nature that is present in it and how full of emotions their music is. The song I want to show you is the first song of theirs that I heard and that have drawn my attention to them, and it’s in Belarussian. I think it’s mesmerising!

Karolina Czarnecka ft. UV – “Ronja”.

Hi guys. 🙂

I thought I’d share with you another song by this Polish singer, from her last album. The rest of her music is much less widely known than the song I showed you yesterday, which I think is a pity, but on the other hand I guess it’s better, good things shouldn’t fall into the same bag with all the mainstream, or usually shouldn’t, as it doesn’t do much good to them. ANyway, if you’ve ever read “Ronja The Robber’s Daughter” by Astrid Lindgren you can easily guess by the title itself that this song is inspired by the book. Because I really like Astrid Lindgren, and because I think Ronja, just as all Lindgren’s character, is very inspiring, I really like this song. And it just sounds good.

Karolina Czarnecka – “Hera, Koka, Hasz, LSD” (Heroine, Cocaine, Hash, LSD).

Hey hey people. 🙂

Why do I post such weird stuff on here?… I’m very curious if someone will be wondering, even seeing the title… I actually wouldn’t be overly surprised. 😀

This is a Polish song, as you can probably guess, haven’t shared anything in Polish with you for ages, well as I wrote a few times before I don’t really listen to that very much Polish music nowadays and if I do, the lyrics play very important part and without them it’s often just a piece of weird music so there’s no point in sharing it with you.

Karolina Czarnecka has become somewhat famous in 2014 when she sang this particular song I’m going to share with you, on one of the Polish music festivals. It is an interpretation of a song made by The Tiger Lilies “Heroine And Cocaine”. The festival was rather marginal but quite surprisingly the song became popular on Youtube and then actually nationwide, and at the same time became hugely controversial. I know people who were saying that it is absolute trash and how can such a controversial song, PROMOTING DRUGS (!!! 😱 ) and encouraging to share them, be so fussed about and even still exist on Youtube, that it is odd and just inappropriate and obscene. I thought so too, for quite a long time.

About a year ago, after the boom has washed away, I stumbled on a then newest album of Karolina Czarnecka, very accidentally, and I felt some sort of liking to her rather characteristic, original, versatile style, her strong voice, slightly odd lyrics and music that seemed to just somewhat click with my brain, as a blend of electronica, folk, and lots of stuff in between.

So it made me wonder, what’s up with this “Hera, Koka…” thing, maybe it’s some misunderstanding, maybe the point of it is different? And after I really listened to it carefully, I came to the conclusion that the point of this song is entirely different! THe opposite actually. It is said that the character in the song – Jimmy – has died because of drugs, and his friends did too! – Now it makes much more sense and was a lesson for me to not judge a book by its cover because all the others do so, but rather analyse it more closely.

Recently I also listened to the original song by The Tiger Lilies, and there it is even clearer that poor Jimmy has died, I can’t remember the exact lyrics but there was a mention that he went to heaven. In Karolina’s interpretation there is a mention of “paradise”, which could be understood differently, that he simply got so very high, and seems like most people understand it this way. I know this song can feel very dubious and challenging, and it certainly is provoking, but rather to increased use of our brains, than drugs. After all, there had to be some reason behind it when God equipped us with such powerful devices, so let’s use them and try to think independently, don’t you think so? 😉 I like how ironic and sarcastic it is, rather than saying straight forward: “DRUGS ARE EVIL!!!”. Well I guess I’ve gotten used to such irony or even a little obscenity, having a crush on Vreeswijk. However, I still felt somewhat cautious when the thought came to my mind that maybe I’d share this little piece of music with you. Is it really what I think it is? So of course I did some research and I managed to find an interview with Karolina Czarnecka on Youtube, where she is asked what was her message behind her interpretation of this song, and whether she was aware of the reaction of people to it. She said that yes she was, and that her message was just the opposite and clear to find in the lyrics, that drugs cause death. Don’t know whether there is a point in linking to that interview as it is in Polish and the vast majority of my blog readers aren’t Polish, and I’m too lazy haha, if you’re Polish it’s rather easy to find but if you really can’t and are curious I can include it later on for some further reference, just let me know. 🙂

I am also not including THe Tiger Lilies’ version, because Karolina’s version is not a direct translation of it, and because I just much prefer the Polish version. First because in my opinion it’s much more interesting musically, much more creative and the lyrics are sort of more imaginative and detailed too, with more character, hence probably being more provocative.

I don’t feel competent enough to translate the Polish lyrics  to English, and if you happen to know The Tiger Lilies’ original song you know the basic sense, I’ll say that the song tells the story of Jimmy, a good, shy kid, going to school as he was supposed to, to whom the drug dealer sold three fixes of drugs and gave him one for free. At school, the “wise” headmaster got cross with him and told him not to be selfish and share it all fairly with all the students. And then as I’ve already mentioned, Jimmy, together with his friends ended up in paradise, where “all saints started to drug with him”.

OK, so here it is. 🙂 I’m curious of your impressions. 🙂

Dubska – Bajki (Fables).

Hi. 🙂

Have you ever heard any Polish reggae? If not, now you can. Reggae is really a thing here, particularly if you listen to alternative music scene, you just can’t not be familiar with it, but its influences are also visible in our modern mainstream music from time to time. When I was a kid, I loved to listen to a radiostation which very sadly no longer exists now, called Polish Radio Bis. It was directed at young people and they played a lot of alternative music – rock, rap, chillout, club music, folk, house, and reggae, dub and ska and all the related stuff. This in a way drew me to reggae music, particularly Polish reggae, and I had a short but stormy time in my life when I really really liked reggae, particularly a band called Vavamuffin. And I still like them, although I’m no longer even half as crazy about reggae as I was back then.

Dubska is one of the younger Polish reggae/dub bands, and, in my opinion, one of more accessible for not reggae geeks. Usually, reggae is filled with some kind of slang, plus all the rastafari culture related words, plus Jamaican phrases, and English with very hard, Polish-(pseudo)Jamaican English accent mixed with Polish, so that outsiders can’t get much out of it sometimes. But as far as I know, Dubska have most of their texts in Polish, and even if they’re in English, I guess they’re also pretty understandable for those who haven’t ever been into reggae. Their texts are about life and its various aspects, often a bit phylosophical, like this one.

“Bajki” is their new song. The word bajki means tales or fables, but it also may colloquially mean something like boosh, nonsense. The song is very universal imo, and I think will be always actual. It’s about people telling lies and taking advantage of it, and spreading the evil and war, etc.

Question of the day.

Share a link to a music video you think is great (not necessarily a great song but visual a very good video).

My answer:

Well I’m certainly not an expert at music videos (he he he), but I’ve been told this one is good. This singer – Kayah – was for a long time my Mum’s favourite female vocalist – my Mum likes kinda androgynous female singers, or black singers, like Sade for example, other than that she only listens to male vocalists, maybe because she herself is kinda tomboy. This woman is a very popular Polish celebrity, but sometime ago she started to come out with her views which were glaringly contrasting to my Mum’s, and so she doesn’t like her so much now anymore. But she watched this video and she says it’s beautiful and from what she told me it really seems so. When she showed it to me yesterday I got an impression it has a sorta pagan feel, on which my Mum agreed with me, today I realised it was purposeful to make it feel pagan, but it’s not too pagan as for my standards, like there’s nothing literally refering to any culture/religion or anything. It’s just about the relationship of the human with the nature, unity of a woman and a man, which are natural, beautiful and obvious things. You can also feel some old Slavic influences, I guess they were inspired by Slavic mythology or something. The guy who directed this is one of the directors of The Witcher, the composer of the song is atanas Valkov who is a Polish music producer, multiinstrumentalist and composer of Bulgarian descent. The song is called Czarna Polana (Black Glade). I think it sounds fantastic and the overall effect must be indeed beautiful.

I thought I’d translate the lyrics as they’re fairly easy so you’d get some idea what it’s about, although I’m sorry if it’s not quite the best stylistically:

   I am close

You do not have to be afraid anymore

You will find everything in me.

Because that is how much I can give.

When you are close

The world does not scare me

And when you give me your hand

It will become a whole.

I am nowhere without you

You are nowhere without me

I am nowhere without you, no

I am nowhere without you

You are nowhere without me

I am nowhere without you, no.

Always close

no need to be afraid anymore

You and me are one

As long as the life is lasting.

Coexistence.

I am nowhere without you

You are nowhere without me

I am nowhere without you, no

I am nowhere without you

You are nowhere without me

I am nowhere without you, no

I am nowhere without you

You are nowhere without me

I am nowhere without you, no

I am nowhere without you

You are nowhere without me

I am nowhere without you, no.

I am close

You do not have to be afraid anymore

You will find everything in me

Because that is how much I can give.

When you are close

The world does not scare me

And when you give me your hand

It will become a whole.

Yours? 🙂

Song of the day – Kortez – “Dla Mamy (for mum).

Hi! 🙂

Wanted to continue with my favourite Gabrielle Aplin songs, but put aside for today because… because today is my Mum’s and my brother’s birthday, yes, they have birthday on the same day, so I wanted to celebrate it somehow.

And this song seems perfect for this purpose. Kortez is a Polish singer, whom my Mum has a pretty big crush on, almost as big as my crush on Gwilym is right now. Kortez’s music is quite speciffic and he’s rather speciffic too, and I think people most often love his music  or hate it, rarely something in between. His songs are very melancholic, depressive even, but beautiful. I like him too and this song is the first song by him I’ve ever heard. It describes Kortez’s relationship with his mum which apparently is very close.

But it also describes perfectly the relationship between my Mum and Olek. She showed me this song last year and asked me if I also think it does and then when we listened to it, we both started to cry. The text is fairly easy so I’ll try to translate it:

 

For mum

I will bruise myself
I will get lost somewhere
I will lie to you
you will refrain from anger.
I will desire stars,
You will give everything
and I will take everything.
I will dance a night away,
I will believe in something,
I will hit the bottom,
I will travel far and wide,
I will make a mistake,
I will shout out the anger
because you stand firmly behind me

I will give you field flowers for that,
I will send you a letter,
I will take you for a walk
I will make a present for you
I will tell you a bedtime story.

I will stand up to somebody,
I will achieve my goal
I will feel ashamed
and I will be upset.
I will raise my voice,
I will build a house
and you will be proud.
I’m not afraid
I know what I want
and I will keep going
I will keep going ahead
I will look back
I will look for you
and I will not find you.

I will give you field flowers for that,
I will send you a letter,
I will take you for a walk
I will make a present for you
I will tell you a bedtime story.
Isn’t it a great description of son-mother relationship?

So here’s the song:

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.