Sanna Nielsen – “Inte Ok” (Not OK).

Hi guys! 🙂

Today, let’s listen to some Swedish pop. Inte OK is Sanna Nielsen’s 2017 single, written together with David Lindgren Zacharias and Olle Nyman. Sanna is a very popular singer in Sweden, known particularly for her multiple entrances into Melodifestivalen (the Swedish Eurovision preselections and the most watched programme on the Swedish TV). I don’t really follow Mello very diligently nor am I a huge fan of Sanna overall but from what I know she’s always ended up with a good result in there, yet it took her a total of seven attempts to actually win and thus represent Sweden at Eurovision 2014, with the song Undo. She’s also known from some other Swedish TV shows.

Sanna must have started singing at a really early age, because already when she was 7, she took part in all sorts of talent competitions. She had her first huge hit “Till en Fågel” (To a Bird), when she was 11, which still makes her the youngest artist whose song has made it to #1 on Svensktoppen (the Swedish weekly record chart aired at Sveriges Radio).

So, as you can see, she’s been quite successful from the very beginning. This, however, came at a high price as it seems, because this was exactly the reason why she was bullied at school by the other students, who would tell her quite diminishing things to make sure she didn’t feel any better than the rest of them just because she’s a good and successful singer. I can totally imagine this being possible anywhere just out of plain jealousy or something but I guess particularly in a country like Sweden, where

Jantelagen

is a thing.

And this song is about that time in her life, and the way she felt.

I’ve found a pretty good translation

here.

Your words burn and hurt

You look at me running home, in tears

I remember I wished you wouldn’t see me at all

I keep my eyes shut and vanish, until I dare

No, it’s not okay for me

I need to exist, to be exactly the way I want

No, it’s not okay for me

I feel my heart, when it dies, it cries, but no one hears

All you wanted was to see me frail

But you didn’t know who I was

I am stronger

No, it’s not okay for me

Reading burning, plaguing words

Hidden behind the screens, in tears

Please, start looking at us the way we are

We shall start living because we dare

No, it’s not okay for me

I need to exist, to be exactly the way I want

No, it’s not okay for me

I feel my heart, when it dies, it cries, but no one hears

All you wanted was to see me frail

But you didn’t know who I was

I am stronger

No, it’s not okay for me

You wanted to see me frail, but I’ve grown stronger

You wanted to see me frail, but I’ve grown stronger

No, it’s not okay for me

I need to exist, to be exactly the way I want

No, it’s not okay for me

I feel my heart, when it dies, it cries, but no one hears

All you wanted was to see me frail

But you didn’t know who I was

I am stronger

No, it’s not okay for me

You wanted to see me frail, but I’ve grown stronger

Question of the day.

Do you do anything artistic/creative?

My answer:

I consider myself quite a creative person, but not necessarily artistic at the same time. I do write a lot, but these days it’s mostly non-fiction – either journalling or blogging. – I still write some short stories, mostly in Polish, and occasionally in English, and when they’re in English I usually post them on here as well if I think they are reasonably good, but I wrote a lot more of that kind of stuff when I was a teenager. Still, if we consider that only things that have some kind of audience cann be called art, most of my short stories from that time were no art because I would usually delete them shortly after writing or rip them into pieces and throw into the bin because I didn’t want to realise after a week or a year that what I wrote and originally really enjoyed writing it and thought it was good, is in fact super cringey. 😀 People would often be very surprised when I mentioned to them that I was writing something, and they’d be all like: “Show me! Show me!” and then learn that I deleted it right away. 😀

I also still have that whole Jack Hamilton novel which I’ve been writing since like fourth grade in primary school, but now it’s less about writing and more about just having a continuous connection with Jack who has been my great friend for years and I just owe him a lot, and besides it’s always felt more like he wrote it himself – I’d have some idea how to develop something but in the end it would go totally differently because, well, I guess he just had completely different ideas on how he wants to live his life than I did, and because it’s his life, and he’s quite a stubborn character, I didn’t have a say about that. 😀 – But it was more interesting this way.

I have two other novel ideas lying and collecting dust (well not really, they’re on my Braille-Sense so dust isn’t a problem) which are mostly just drafts even if quite detailed and well-developed ones. One of them I don’t think I’ll ever come back to writing seriously, because we originally started writing it with Jacek from Helsinki, then Jacek passed away and after a long time I picked it up again and wrote some more, but eventually realised that it doesn’t make sense without Jacek, who made up all the conlangs (constructed languages) that people in various worlds of this book spoke in, he came up with the idea first. It was no longer as much fun either. The other novel idea I am planning on developing and publishing under a pen name if ever I find myself in a more difficult financial situation, although I honestly have no idea how “publishable” it would be and if I could seriously make any money from something like this.

Also, I still try to translate some poems of Cornelis Vreeswijk into Polish whenever my creative juices are overflowing, which I’ve started doing when I was 17 and originally had a very idealistic dream of publishing them. Now I’m not so sure I would ever do that, even though part of me would still love to do it. There are many reasons for why not. The most important one is probably simply that I haven’t translated many poems in their entirety so far, and it’s even less when you don’t count the ones that I think still could be improved and I think I will be improving them over time. It’s always so that when I start to translate something, have some idea how it could be done, I get stuck at some point and I have a fair few translations that I think are really pretty good but there are either gaps or they aren’t finished because I don’t know how to translate something in a way that flows right or find some other problem along the way that I don’t know how to solve. Also I still feel incredibly self-conscious about the whole thing, if I’m honest. Another problem is something I had doubts about ever since I’ve started doing this – how well these poems could actually be received here. – Whether it wouldn’t be a bit as if, like I often say, I were trying to plant bananas in Poland, or something like that. A lot of his poems and lyrics are very Swedish and I can see some real Scandinavophiles being happy about such a translation, but not really beyond this niche. And lastly, over time, as I’ve been getting to know Cornelis better, and also forming my own views and beliefs, I’ve figured that, as much as I like him and a lot of his music and a lot of his writing, as much as I feel a lot of some kind of soul kinship or what you may call it with him, and find a lot of what he wrote relatable, we also do not agree at all about A WHOLE LOT of things. A lot of what he wrote is more or less political, and his views on most sociopolitical things are vastly different than mine, I am more than sure that I wouldn’t want to be associated with this and make an impression that I support his way of thinking, and I think that impression would be very strong to people. It would be as if I kind of betrayed myself or something. Of course, I could just translate the ones that do not touch on topics about which I strongly disagree with him, which is what I do, but as his views were quite naturally a strong part of him and his style, I feel like that wouldn’t be fully fair and wouldn’t give people a full picture. Which makes you wonder whether I’m seriously the right person to do this, as I originallyy thought and was told by some. Still, I can just translate his poems and lyrics for myself, and develop both my Swedish and general writing skills, especially that it’s quite a demanding kind of writing, to be able to reproduce someone’s writing style and what they have to say in another language, especially if you’re neither a poet nor a songwriter yourself. But I pretend I can do it. 😀

Something that I do that you could perhaps call some form of art ’cause it’s creative and it has an audience, is storytelling. Since Sofi was little, I’ve been making up stories for her about a creature called Jim. Jim is a so called Jimosaurus, which I don’t even know myself what exactly it means, other than he’s most definitely not a human, despite he looks exactly like one, and that being a Jimosaurus makes him immortal, and always looking very young (he always looks the same age as Sofi so you could say that his appearance is aging with her). Another difference that it makes is that, while he can eat normal, human food and really enjoys it, it is not life-sustaining for him. What is, is helping people, or any other living beings. He lives in a forest in Australia and is its king. His best friends and helpers are Zofijka the Bee – who is very practical, down-to-earth, chatty and sociable, a bit rough sometimes but very caring, and she’s something like a healer or a doctor, so Jim often takes her on his helping escapades – and a bear (I know there are no bears in Australia but Sofi doesn’t care either way, and I feel like it’s not a proper bedtime story if there are no bears, as I loved bears when I was a little child) who is very clumsy, makes an impression as if he’s always asleep or confused about where he is and what he’s doing, and wherever he is, something must go wrong, because he’s so forgetful and scatterbrained, but he has a heart of gold, and is a good listener if he isn’t too sleepy. Because he’s Jim’s best friend, Jim usually chooses him to replace him as the king whenever he goes to help someone, which is quite often. The Bear doesn’t like it but he likes Jim so he always agrees.

Jim has a little cottage in the forest, and whenever he’s feeling hungry, he takes his leather wings and his magical torch and sits on top of his roof, dangling his legs, and looks around the whole world to see who needs help most. When he finds someone, he puts on his leather wings, calls Zofijka if she’s needed and the Bear to let him know that he’s the king now, and anyone else who may be useful, and flies speedily to wherever his help is needed, and helps, always effectively.

Sometimes he helps people, sometimes animals or plants, sometimes it’s people Sofi knows or some random people, and sometimes they end up being friends and Jim takes them to the forest with himself, especially if the help they need is a change of surroundings because they live with mean people or something. Sometimes he helps with really trivial things that anyone could help with, while other times they’re proper miraculous interventions. Most of the time though he helps children all over the world in all sorts of situations, from a very difficult homework to dealing with life after a child’s mum was diagnosed with cancer.

Sofi really likes Jim and always when she has a problem she says she’d like if he could see her and come and wants him to be real. Who wouldn’t. I always tell her these stories before sleep – well not as in every time she goes to sleep but whenever I tell them to her, it’s at bedtime. – I really like them as well. My friend once said I could actually write them for more people and I thought it could be cool, but Sofi really hated the idea because it’s her personal Jim and I totally get that.

So yeah, that’s as artistic as it gets with me. 😀 I used to do music a lot at school but, as I’ve said many times, it was quite stressful and not all that fullfilling so in the end I decided I feel better as a listener than performer, although I do appreciate having that experience as I believe it makes me a slightly better listener/judge than I could be otherwise. A lot of people remember me from my early childhood when I was singing a lot, also in competitions and such, and I was considered to sing well (I don’t know, as far as I am concerned, when I listen to some old recordings of myself that my parents have I don’t think I sang any better than most children at my age then but okay), feel disappointed that I no longer do it (part of why I don’t is because that was the only thing some people seemed to like me for 😀 ), and when they say so I say that I simply switched to a different kind of music, which is languages. Because I do think that language is a form of music and that some musical skills are helpful with picking up honetics, although people have divided opinions on that and it’s not difficult to find very good singers who are crap at other languages than their native. 😀 So if you consider language learning an art, well, then I’m most definitely very artistic! The only audience for my singing these days though is Misha, who seems to like being sung to.

How about you? 🙂

Kirsten Bråten Berg “Heiemo Og Nykkjen” (Heiemo And Nykkjen) & Helene Bøksle – “Heiemo Og Nykkjen”.

Hey guys! 🙂

I’ve been planning to share this Norwegian folksong with you for ages, but somehow never did it in the end, so finally that’s what I’m doing today. This is one of the first Norwegian folk songs I’ve ever heard and instantly fell in love with it, the version I heard first was the one by Kirsten Braten Berg, and I just loved the harmonies in it, the way it sounded and just the general feel of it, even though I could understand barely anything out of it and it didn’t make too much sense. Usually if you can speak Swedish, you can understand Norwegian well enough that you can at least figure out the context, but my Swedish was only crawling at the time and even now I can’t really understand much out of it on my own, I guess because the lyrics are quite archaic.

Last year I also heard Helene Boksle’s versioon for the first time, Helene Boksle is a well-known Norwegian singer to me whom I like a whole lot and have shared a

Norwegian hymn

in her interpretation ages ago, so you may or may not recall her.

I really love both versions of this song, so, like I often do, I had a hard time deciding on one, and in the end chose to share both of them with you, as they are quite different from each other. Kirsten Braten Berg’s feels more raw, solely with the accompaniment of Ale Moler, and Helene’s is more rich and contemporary. Both are very expressive in their own, different ways.

The song is about a young girl called Heiemo – I couldn’t find any information on the origin of the name so it’s possible that it’s somehow changed and functions in a different form these days or fell out of use. Nykkjen is a creature in Norwegian, but also generally European folklore, also known as Neck, Nokk and lots of other similar things. It is some sort of a water sprite which “by default” has the form of a water-horse, but is also a shapeshifter, and it likes to lure people to the water with singing and music, quite like sirens, and then kill them. So this Nykkjen creature fell in love with Heiemo upon hearing her singing, and decided to kidnap her and then kill her. But things turned around and Heiemo courageously stabbed Nykkjen to death.

Below is the translation of this song that I found

here,

apparently written by a lady called Sheila Louise Wright.

 

– wake up you noble youngsters-

The Water spirit heard it, striding on the sea,

– Because you now have overslept –

Heiemo sang her poem, it was singing in the hillside

The Water spirit heard it, the pagan dog.

The Water spirit spoke to his helmsman:

“You steer my ship upon christian land!”

“I will go upon christian land,

the beautiful maid I will have.”

He then enters her house

with high hat and rosy cheek

The Water spirit danced and Heiemo sang her poem

it pleased all folks in the houses

“Now every one has to go to his own home,

Heiemo I bring with me on the ship.”

“Heiemo, Heiemo, quiet your wrath,

You should sleep on water spirit’s arm.”

She stabbed the water spirit in his chest,

the nail ran into the root of his heart.

“Here you lay water spirit, naked to raven and dog.

Still I have my singing need.”

 

 

Question of the day.

Do you ever talk to yourself, or sing?

My answer:

Oh yeah, I talk to myself a lot and in different languages. It’s genetic, as my Mum’s the same, so we say we have such rich inner lives they’re spilling out, but my Mum has it worse, because she often thinks so loud that she doesn’t even know she’s thinking aloud and doesn’t realise that she’s just said what she was thinking, which leads to weird situations, but she doesn’t even care. But then when someone happens to be around while she’s spilling out her mind unbeknownst to herself, she is either very surprised and thinks that the other person must be a telepath, or accuses them of eavesdropping. It also seems like she has the same problem when she goes running, she has earbuds on when running and always thinks about loads of things and often finds that people look at her in a strange way, so she thinks she must think aloud while running too. It’s quite strange that someone would be so unaware of it but it’s funny at least from the observer’s perspective. I try to have more control over what’s spilling out of me and in what circumstances, and I don’t even have to try too hard as I’m way too blocked to do that so spontaneously, unless I just don’t know that someone is around, or happen to be extremely deep in thoughts, and then sometimes weird situations happen to me too, in such cases, but that’s really rare. I also talk to Misha and so if anyone ever happens to overhear something they also often assume I’m talking to myself. But, to avoid weird situations, since I can’t always know for 100% if someone is lurking around, and to practice my languages, I prefer to speak in other languages than Polish when talking to myself. And so my default language for talking to myself these days is ENglish, but I also talk quite a lot in Swedish and swear in Finnish. I also routinely have discussions with people on the other end when for example listening to something, like a YouTube video, a radio programme, whatever, even when reading things sometimes on the Internet but with speech synthesis, not in Braille, the more engrossing it is for me the more likely I am to do that, and voice my opinions, regardless of that the people on the other side are not going to hear them. With this I don’t even restrict myself so very much to when other people in my surroundings can’t hear it. 😀 Sofi picked it up from me and she also has discussions like that with her favourite YouTubers, for example, of which she has many.

I also sing to myself sometimes but it’s mostly in specific situations. I often sing for Misha when we are in my room. I seriously don’t know, perhaps it’s just me being megalomanic or something (although I don’t think I sing that extremely brilliantly, I just have musical hearing and can sing in tune and that’s it), but to me it looks like he likes when I do that and he relaxes himself and is listening very intently, so even if it’s just an impression, I typically do that when he’s going to sleep or when we’re having a cuddle time, he needs that sometimes, usually after a long time of being on his own, he’ll come and want to be petted and cuddled, and then I sing him to sleep, or when I have a feeling he’s sad or something’s wrong. I seriously think Misha’s not indifferent to music, and not only because he gets scared by very loud music. I also sing when I’m in desperate need for some background noise because of the sensory anxiety and there’s no other way of getting it. It only works so-so, but so-so is always more than nothing. And sometimes I just sing when I feel like it and when I’m alone but that’s pretty rare, I used to do it more.

You? 🙂

Question of the day.

Hi people! 🙂

When was the first time you remember feeling accomplished about something?

My answer:

Well, I guess I don’t remember which one could be the first time… I used to take part in many song competitions and such as a small child, so maybe something in relation to this. I especially liked our local song contest, where I competed with children from a special needs school in a neighbouring town, who were all multiply disabled often including intellectual disability, in contrast to me as I have only one disability per se, and I always won those contests, which wasn’t difficult for me at all, and I guess it wasn’t even that very fair as the jury were kinda biased towards me, haha, so not much challenge at all. So I always came back home from there with a big basket of sweets and we’d have a month or so of devouring horrendous amounts of them every day with Olek. Although now I wonder why they actually got me in there and then always made me a winner whether rightly or not rather than give more chances to the children at that school, and not make them compete with someone who had completely different kind of difficulties than them, I guess some people, even those in the field of disabilities, still think that a disability is just a disability and it doesn’t matter if you’re using a wheelchair, are blind, mentally ill or having a rare disease, it’s all the same for them, which is stupid. At least not all people are like this nowadays.

What’s the first accomplishment that you can remember? 🙂