Lisa Howard – “Bra Ihop” (Well Together).

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I have another Swedish pop piece for you this month, which has recently got really stuck in my brain, and it’s actually quite cool, I like how it sounds as a whole. It comes from Lisa Howard, who, from what I’ve read, is from Stockholm. She left Sweden for a while and lived in the US, hoping to find an inspiration there, but according to an article about her that I read, she didn’t really find it there (must be frustrating to travel so far away and not get much out of it) so she came back home and has already released several singles which seem to enjoy good reception in her home country and they’re definitely easily likeable. I was able to translate the lyrics of this one for you guys and my translation is below: 

    Someone told Johanna
Who told her friend
Who told her boyfriend who apparently plays in the same football team as you
Could hardly believe it
That it was true
Felt so weird that you have a new one with almost the same name
I know that I will meet others
But you have barely moved out
You, I hear it on the radio
You fit so well together
I do not think so
How, how could you let go of us?
How could it happen so fast?
We fit so well together
So I called Johanna
And asked about you
How on Earth did you have time to meet another girl?
I forgot a sweater
While you forgot me
So how can you honestly say that it all feels okay?
Feels like you should be ashamed of yourself
But you seem just fine
You, I hear it on the radio
You fit so well together
I do not think so
How, how could you let go of us?
How could it happen so fast?
We fit so well together
You said that I was everything for you
And of course you can change your mind
But feels like you forgot me too quickly
It would have been easier if I just let go off it
And met someone else just as fast
Oh you, I hear it on the radio
You fit so well together
I do not think so
How, how could you let go of us?
How could it happen so fast?
We fit so well together

Cornelis Vreeswijk – “Visa Till dig” (A Song for You).

   Hey all you people! 🙂 

   Yeah I know I shared a song by Cornelis only two days ago, but that one was sung by Sarah Riedel and this one is sung by himself, whereas it was written by someone else, so it’s a different category. 

   This song, just like the one called Babyland which I shared earlier this month, was written by Jan Ero Olsen from the Norwegian duo Tobben og Ero. I didn’t write a translation of this one, because there are some bits that I’m just not sure how to translate literally. But I can tell you that in this song, the lyrical subject is wondering what the “you” from the title is doing now in her life, and whether she’s perhaps in another relationship and what it might be like, and reflecting a little on his own relationship with her. 

Sarah Riedel – “En Visa till Linnea När Hon inte Ville Vakna hos Mig” (A Song for Linnea When She Didn’t Want to Wake up at Mine).

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Would you believe that I had a dream about COrnelis Vreeswijk last night?! :O This used to be a fairly regular occurrence back when he was my dominant faza peep, and this very normal for me to have dreams about my faza peeps while my faza on them is the dominant one, but my faza on Cornelis faded in 2017 and I still occasionally have dreams featuring him, or even have random minor faza peaks on him, usually for no apparent reason – just because. – This is quite nice, and doesn’t really happen with my other faza peeps, well, I do still get peaks on Gwilym Bowen Rhys, but that’s simply because he’s the most active of my faza people and keeps releasing something on a regular basis. 

   It was a long, super cool and hilarious dream, if slightly surreal and awkward at times, and I liked it very much, the more that I had it soon after a sleep paralysis session so it had some healing effect on my brain battered by “Ian”and I was able to wake up in a pretty good state, with only a vague memory of the sleep paralysis part, and I was not very impressed when Misha finally woke me up. 

   Anyway, I’m talking about this because I decided that, for this reason, it would be a good idea to share some song by Cornelis in our song of the day series. And so that’s what I’m doing. 

   This song comes from the album called Cornelis vs Riedel, and contains fifteen songs which (aside from one) were never released by him or even set to music. The music was composed by jazz musician Georg Riedel, and the songs are sung by his daughter Sarah and Nicolai Dunger. I’ve actually already shared at least three pieces from this album on here, because I really love pretty much everything about it, which may seem weird given that I’m not very much of a jazz person, but this album is still very accessible as a whole even if you’re not, with so much (but not too much, which can sometimes be a very delicate balance) expressivity and the minimalistic arrangements. 

   This song is for Linnea, who is a recurring person in Cornelis’ various songs and poems, like This one that I shared earlier this year. It is possible that this Linnea has to do with his second wife – the actress Birgitta Gunvor Linnea “Bim” Warne. – I find this song very interesting because listening to pretty much all the Linnea songs that Cornelis has released himself, I guess one can easily get an idea that their relationship was all happy and really fulfilling for both, but this song shows it from a bit of a different angle. 

   Bibiels decided to try and translate it into English for y’all, although Bibiels can’t say that it’s as good as Bibiels would like it to be, but Bibiels trust that it’s not too bad either. 

  The thing I really wish for,
For which my heart is burning,
And what I never ask for,
You do not realise.
The thing I really want,
All while the forest is greening.
Sometimes gone during the day,
I come when you have fallen asleep,
Wake what has gone numb,
And which I love tenderly.
Do you think you have dreamt?
No! But you are being deceived!
You wake up and you see me,
See me wanting for nothing,
But when you refuse to wake up,
Or you hear nothing –
Know that I would rather die,
Than I would ever ask you.
The words of love are short,
Are you talking or panting?
Whenever your clock chimes,
I listen to your voice.
The roe deer in your chest,
Laughs and is gone.
You whom my heart longs for,
You whom my heart yearns for
You unto whom is my desire,
Do you promise me and swear,
To listen to my request?
All while the sea is greening. 

Klara & Jag – “Sordiner” (mutes).

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I’d like to introduce to you a Swedish pop duo, about which I’ve heard already quite some time back but only recently have actually started listening to their music and I think it’s quite cool. Their name translates to Klara & I in English, and they are Klara Tuva Wörmann and Johanna Frostling from Stockholm. I think this song is quite interesting lyrics-wise and I can see it being very relatable for many people in all sorts of different ways. I’m not sure my translation of the title is the best possible, sordiner is the plural form of sordin in Swedish and it means the thing that is used on musical instruments like strings to make them sound quieter. I’ve also seen that there is such word in English as sordine/sourdine but I’m not sure it’s exactly the same and if it would make sense in these particular lyrics at all as here it is used figuratively. 

  Drinking medium roast coffee in the kitchen
Next to yesterday’s dinner
It always gets this messy
But it is not something I can control
The blinds are down
It is dark here all day
My coffee has been standing
It is cold but I am used to it
So many days
So many times before
Everything sucks I am starting to get tired now
In my records they have written down who I am
Can happy pills get me out of this?
You had never seen that it was me
Walked next to you yesterday in Gullmarsplan
Constrained myself and did what they said
Mutes on all that I am
I have lost my darkness
I am there but not anymore
The blinds are up
I have cleaned and tidied
My highs and lows
They are no longer there
I am in between
But this is not me
So many days
So many times before
And everything sucks I am starting to get tired now
In my records they have written down who I am
Can happy pills get me out of this?
You have never seen that it was me
Walked next to you yesterday in Gullmarsplan
Constrained myself and did what they said
Mutes on all that I am
I have fucked up so many times now
Have been somebody one doesn’t want to be
The letters in combinations
You would not believe it was me
Would not believe it was me
You have never seen that it was me
Walked next to you yesterday in Gullmarsplan
Constrained myself and did what they said
Mutes on all that I am

Helena Josefsson – “Bara en Dröm (Just a dream).

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I want to share with you a song from Swedish singer and songwriter, which she has released this year. I believe Helena Josefsson is someone whom many people might have heard somewhere, but not be aware that it’s her. I personally mostly associate her with the Iranian-Swedish singer and music producer Arash, who was pretty popular here in Poland in like mid-2000’s, and apparently Poland was one of the countries where he was more successful. It was before I became “very different” and started to listen to Polish Radio BIS (short for Bardzo Inna Stacja =Very Different Station) and so back then I still listened to a lot of popular music that was topping the charts at the time. I quite liked Arash, but mostly because he often sung together with a Helena, and you regulars on here know I’ve always been in love with the name Helena, plus she sounded really good. It seemed though that no one knew who that Helena was, and I’d heard many people assume that she must be in relationship with Arash, even though he also collaborated with several other female artists (funny how people are so ready to assume that if a man and a woman work together, they must be a couple 😀 ). It was actually only last year that I discovered that there’s a singer in Sweden called Helena Josefsson and that she’s the same as that Helena who sang with Arash. 

   Then other people might know her because of her collabing with Per Gessle, and Roxette too I guess. Or as a backing vocalist for lots of artists. Other than that, she is also part of a band called Sandy Mouche together with her husband Martin/Martinique Josefsson, and has released several solo albums. She seems to glide effortlessly between many different genres, and while I may not always like the style of her music, I still really like her light vocals just like I did when I was a kid. 

   One fun fact about her that I find very intriguing as someone who has had a faza on Cornelis Vreeswijk, as well as as a name nerd, is that her younger son’s name is Cornelis. Now that seems like quite a clear statement to me because Cornelis is not a typical Swedish name, and most people (if not everyone there) will pretty automatically associate it with Cornelis Vreeswijk, who is usually referred to only by his first name in Sweden, because I guess his surname is kind of difficult for Swedes and he’s the only famous Cornelis there. I’ve heard of several other Swedish mums naming their sons Cornelis which was always in honour of him, so it seems very likely this must be the case with Helena as well. Given that, it’s kind of a bummer that, to my knowledge, she hasn’t covered any of Cornelis’ songs yet. It could be interesting to hear her do something lyrical like Grimasch om Morgonen for example. 

   Anyway, I really like this song, because it portrays so well what it’s like to be a vivid dreamer. To have amazing, beautiful dreams, dreams in which your brain even creates non-existing people, and then you wake up and it’s all just gone, and how it feels so sweet, sad and infuriatingly frustrating all at once. Here’s my translation. 

  Here, where the rainbow is bending down
The waves are rising
Im breathing deeper
Come
Sit here on the beach and be for a while
In my secret space
The time has stopped
I wanted to feel your hair
I wanted to kiss your thighs
I wanted to be pressed against your chest
I wanted to hear your voice
But it was just a dream
Just A dream
I wanted to be more than your friend
I wanted to come home to you
I wanted to be like Amélie from Montmartre
Mon Chéri
But it was just a dream
Just a dream
Now the tears have dried out
The crystals on my skin
Is this just me who sees
You know
I Will always be here
Who knows what a man carries
Deep within the heart
I wanted to feel your hair
I wanted to kiss your thighs
I wanted to be pressed against your chest
I wanted to hear your voice
But it was just a dream
Just A dream
A dream
I feel the warmth in my body
As if a sun lived in my chest
Is it ever going to go away?
Because it’s pointless anyway
I wanted to be more than your friend
I wanted to come home to you
I wanted to be like Amélie from Montmartre
Mon Chéri
But
You are just a dream
Just a dream

Hanna Järver – “Bara Få Va Enkelt” (Just Be Simple).

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I’d like to share with you a song by a Swedish singer whose music could be classified as something like alternative electro-pop. She seems to be well-liked in her home country, as she’s a very skilled lyricist, singer and producer, and I like her as well. I haven’t written a translation for this, or found one that would look decent to me, I find some things about these lyrics quite confusing like one line at the beginning of the second verse which makes very little to no sense to me, perhaps it’s something slangy or perhaps I’m just not hearing the right thing or something. ANyway, I can still tell you that it’s about a complicated relationship with someone, hence she’s wondering if things can’t just be  simple for a while. 

Song of the day (1st June) – Cornelis Vreeswijk – “Babyland”.

   Thought I’d share with you a song from Cornelis Vreeswijk, ‘cause I haven’t shared anything by him in a while or so it feels. I think this one is very interesting lyrically. It comes from his album Mannen som Älskade Träd (The Man Who Loved Trees) which was recorded in Tromsø in Norway two years before Cornelis’ death. In this song’s credits it says that it was written by Vreeswijk as well as Jan Ero Olsen, who is a Norwegian musician known from the duo Tobben og Ero. Indeed, if you know Cornelis’ music a bit, you can notice that it doesn’t sound very “Cornelisk” as Swedes would say, where its melody is concerned, but I’d always thought that, well, obviously the lyrics must be Cornelis’, ‘cause there’s ANn-Kat(a)rin Rosenblad in here, a very frequently recurring character in Vreeswijk’s songs and poems. But, a couple days ago, I was reading Youtube comments for this song, and lots of people are saying that it was Ero who wrote the lyrics as well. I’m just not sure if he wrote them particularly for Cornelis, or was it his own song initially that then was  adapted by Cornelis like he did with many songs of many musicians, or something like that. I’m more inclined to think the former though, because I haven’t been able to find anything that would look like the potential original. 

   Below are the lyrics translated by Bibiel: 

   The ring is closed and in the middle of the ring
I am riding away towards Babyland
The horse is made of the purest gold
The Manege is sprinkled with silver sand
The anxiety is behind my back in the evening
Somebody has set the ring on fire
The silver glitters so wildly from the river
Bringing Me Back to Svealand
Hey, I’ve gotten a bit off track
Help me so that I can find the peace again
Outside a cold violin is playing
Close the window, Ann-Katarin
Ann-Katarin, feel the winds calm down 
The fire from the ring feels good and warm
I think you are the silver that I most long for 
Let me hide in your bosom
Hey, I’ve gotten a bit off track
Help me so that I can find the peace again
Outside a cold violin is playing
Close the window, Ann-Katarin

Cornelis Vreeswijk – “Luffaren Och Katten” (The Traveller and the Cat_.

   Hiya people! 🙂 

    have a quirky little song from Finland for you today. It was originally sung by a very famous Finnish 50’s singer Tapio Rautavaara (who also happened to be a  successful Olympic athlete, mainly a javelin thrower) and for whom it was his first huge hit as far as I know. This song was written for him by Reino Helismaa. In 1980, Cornelis Vreeswijk – one of my faza peeps as I’m sure all of the regular readers know – released an album called En Spjutkastares Visor (Songs of a Javelin Thrower), with Swedish translations of Rautavaara’s songs. I’ve already shared in the past one song from that album of his, called Den Blåa Drömmen in Swedish, or Sininen Uni in Finnish, or The Blue Dream in English, which is a very cute lullaby all about Sandman. This one isn’t quite so cute, despite the fact that it involves a cat. I’ve read somewhere that Helismaa was inspired to write this song by some sort of a book where there was a story telling about how a poor man’s happiness is an illusion. While I never like generalisations like that, I think what this song shows well is that human autosuggestion knows no boundaries, especially in a crisis situation like this when one is freezing. Also Tapio Rautavaara himself said that the black cat here symbolises death. Whenever I listen to this I just feel relieved that the traveller didn’t actually try to light up a proper fire in there, ‘cause what would happen to the poor cat! 😱 

   In the post where I shared that Blue Dream song, I also shared a Finnish version, sung not by Rautavaara but a more modern one sung by Suvi Teresniska and Arttu Viskari. I love the Finnish language and Finnish music, and I realise that there’s a large disproportion of how much Swedish music there is on my blog compared to Finnish, but Rautavaara himself is way beyond my comfort zone, I don’t really do fifties’ music, so I actually sat down and listened to like a dozen of different versions of this song in Finnish (it’s called Reissumies ja Kissa in the original) to hopefully find one that would catch my attention. But I found none that would actually speak to me and about which I’d feel that I like it enough to want to make people aware of its existence. So just Vreeswijk’s version it is. 

   I’ve managed to make an English translation of this translation, which is definitely not free of errors. The word that I decided to translate as traveller in English is “luffare” in Swedish and “reissumies” in Finnish. As far as I’m aware, luffare is more like a tramp kind of traveller rather than just any traveller, but I guess reissumies is more general, so it made more sense to translate it as just traveller rather than tramp. If you have some idea about Swedish and/or Finnish and think that tramp, or perhaps something yet different, woould be a better word to describe this guy in English, lemme know. There’s an expression in this song (har man sett på maken” which had always puzzled me and I could never understand it. Finally though, today I learned that it literally means something like “Have you seen the like”, so it’s just like an expression of disbelief or surprise. I didn’t know how to best put it in English so it wouldn’t sound clumsy or unaesthetical yet still be somewhat accurate. Wiktionary says that it could be translated as “golly”, but “golly” alone didn’t seem to convey the level of emotions I believe he must’ve had so I decided on “golly, have you seen anything like this” which I guess does convey it but I’m not sure if it sounds natural in English. Oh, and then there was the obscure word kosa, which took me ages to figure out what it means, and it turns out it’s some rarely used or perhaps even archaic word for road. I translated it simply as way, but perhaps there’s a word that could be just as accurate yet fit better in English with the obscure/archaic or perhaps somewhat sophisticated feel that the word kosa seems to have in Swedish. I’ve also found a translation of the Finnish version, which as far as I, as a (yet) non-Finnish speaker can tell is also not free from  errors, but I guess it still can give us an idea how different these two versions are so if you’re curious the link is here, and below is Bibiel’s translation of the Swedish version. 

   

A traveller goes whistling on the road to somewhere
And it is dark and it is night
Our Lord, no one else, knows his destination
And with himself he has a black cat
And of course the traveller is cheerful but he feels cold
He longs to a fireplace in a Quiet corner of the home
A traveller goes whistling on the road to somewhere
And it is dark and it is night

But look there in the forest, with the door half ajar
A cabin where no one lives
A refuge for the night as if sent from heaven
And the traveller’s gratitude is huge
So he whistles at the cat, but the cat he disappeared
And the traveller is freezing so he’s just as happy
For cats have nine lives, after all, and will probably be fine
All in the cold, black forest
But golly, have you seen anything like this, there’s glow in the stove
He sits down very close to it
If I’ll blow on the fire, it will be extinguished
This will have to be enough
He warms his hands, he thinks everything is well [?]
And Pleasant thoughts fill his soul
He falls asleep and he wakes up and he is freezing like a dog
In the bleak morning hours
In the ashes has the cat spent his night
There was never any glow in this stove
What was glowing in the dark was the eye of a cat
But the fire was cold and dead
But the traveller is just as happy, brooding would make him listless
He Whistles a song and goes with his cat
Our Lord and no one else knows where his way goes
A traveller is out walking

Sofia Talvik – “Du Som Har Mitt Hela Hjärta” (You Who Have All of My Heart).

   Hiya people! 🙂 

   Today, I’d like to share withh you yet another song from Sofia Talvik’s 2014 album titled Folk. It is my second favourite from this album, right after Ut I Vår Hage which I shared yesterday. I like this song in general, but I haven’t yet come across a version that I’d like more than Sofia’s. I can also already tell you that tomorrow I’ll also be sharing a song by Sofia Talvik, except not quite so folky and in English. Like yesterday, the translation for this folk tune comes from 

Sofia’s bandcamp. 

   

You who have all of my heart
You who are all of my joy
Come and ease my pain
Without you I’m not satisfied

I will then in darkness wander
with my sheep I lose my way
When I see all the others
each get their own love

Why do you keep me waiting
Why do you stir my heart
When I miss you so
Why should I live on without you

Death may take me now
This life is much to hard
I will follow all your laws
in the first years of my youth

Even though I might seem happy
When others are around
I can’t release the pain and worries
I carry in my heart

My lips are smiling, but my heart it bleeds
And I say I am alright
But in silence I hurt
and say goodbye to happiness

You who have all of my heart
You who are all of my joy
Come and ease my pain
Without you I’m not satisfied

Sofia Talvik – “Ut i Vår Hage” (Out in Our Meadow) & Hanna Turi “Ut i Vår Hage”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   For today I have a very popular Swedish folk tune for you all. A tune which I’ve actually already shared before on here, performed by My Bubba. Today I’d like to share the other two of my three favourite versions of this song, one by Sofia Talvik and the other by Hanna Turi. I seriously don’t know which of the three I like more, each is absolutely amazing in its own way. This is a traditional song which apparently a lot of Swedish people know, regardless of whether they’re into folk or not really, because it is or used to be taught at school, and it’s also often sung during Walpurgis Night celebrations, there are also loads of various choral arrangements of this song. Aside from that I just really like the three mentioned versions of this song and that it’s just lovely overall with all the flowery imageries, I’ve already said when sharing My Bubba’s version that I also like it because the plants mentioned in this song could work so well as beautiful, obscure baby names. Specifically akvileja (translated in the translation below as granny’s bonnet), salivia/saliveja (sage) and krusmynta (spearmint). I’ve actually even thought hypothetically that I could name a potential kid Salivia, but at some point it occurred to me that, in an Anglophone setting, it would be probably inevitable that people would associate it with the English word saliva. That’s a pity. 

   The first of the two versions that I want to share with you is as I said by Sofia Talvik, a singer who is generally more Americana than folk, but folk is clearly close to her heart as well, and this tune comes from her album which is actually titled as simply as that, Folk. She is from Gothenburg and apparently also enjoys some popularity in the US. 

   I’ve already shared one song by Hanna Turi called Ricochet inn the beginnings of my blog. Her actual name is Hanna Berglund and she seems to be more widely known as a graphic designer or something along those lines, and Hanna Turi is the name under which she is known as a musician. 

   The translation comes from Sofia Talvik’s Bandcamp. 

   

Out in our meadow blueberries grow
Come lemon balm
If you want to see me I’ll wait for you there
Come roses and granny’s bonnet
Come lilies and come sage
Come sweet spearmint
Come lemon balm

Pretty little flowers bids us to dance
Come lemon balm
If you want me to I’ll bind you a wreath
Come roses and granny’s bonnet
Come lilies and come sage
Come sweet spearmint
Come lemon balm

I’ll put the wreath in your hair
Come lemon balm
The sun may set but our hope it will rise
Come roses and granny’s bonnet
Come lilies and come sage
Come sweet spearmint
Come lemon balm.  

   Sofia Talvik: 

   Hanna Turi: 

Sofia Karlsson – “Lisa Lill” (Little Lisa).

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Sofia Karlsson is someone whose name has already appeared on my blog, twice, actually, but both of these times it was in the context of Cornelis Vreeswijk’s music, as I shared two songs of his that she has covered. Well, today the time has come to share with you guys a song that, as far as I know, is Sofia’s original song, because it’s most definitely not just those two covers of Cornelis’ songs that I like of Sofia’s music. I think Sofia Karlsson is a great singer, and what’s interesting is that despite being a “proper” folk singer (as in, not just folk-ish and sliding on the borders of the genre) her music seems to speak not only to those who generally like folk, but to a much wider audience, because she has been a best-selling artist not only in Sweden, but apparently in Denmark and Norway as well. More interestingly, it was her album Svarta Ballader (Black Ballads) with her arrangements of poems by Dan Andersson, which has made her such a prominent artist and garnered most attention, which is surprising because as far as I know it’s not like Dan Andersson is some extremely popular and widely known Swedish poet. Also I’ve heard her music several times in our Polish Radio Programme 2, whhich, as a classical/jazz/folk/all-round sophisticated stuff radio station does admittedly play a lot of obscure music, but I feel like if some non-Polish-language and non-Anglophone folk music is played in a Polish radio station, the artist has to be someone really successful in their home country, or their music has to be incredibly accessible so that the language barrier doesn’t matter to those to whom it usually tends to do.  

   Sofia Karlsson is from Stockholm and comes from a very musical family. One little detail that I, being a name nerd, find very cool and interesting about her is that she has an absolutely cute middle name, and I believe a very rare one, which is Blåsippa. Blåsippa is the Swedish name for the plant that is called hepatica nobilis in Latin (no idea if it has a more English-sounding name) and I’ve never come across this name in any other situation. I really like obscure flower names as given names. And I guess it must suit her because it’s an early spring flower, and she was born in early spring as well. 

   I actually first heard this song thanks to my friend, back when I was still hanging around in the blind online network where I used to blog in the past and stuff. It was when I was finally able to restart my Swedish learnning and became familiar with SOfia’s music, though not all of it yet, and introduced it to said friend, who really liked it, despite speaking no Swedish. And she must have done some further digging herself, ‘cause she found this song before I became acquainted with Sofia’s entire discography, and she in turn introduced it to me and I fell in love with it instantly. I wrote a translation of it for y’all, which is probably not without errors/things that could have been put better but generally wasn’t a very difficult thing to do. 

  Little Lisa, you turn your gaze towards the street
Towards the asphalt, last year’s leaves
And the air is heavy when you breathe
And tastes old and dead
It drips from the lime trees’ branches
You are cold and you don’t see anything
But you know where you are going
Go now, little Lisa, go all the way in
You’re walking there so quietly in the shadow
And it blends in with your hair
And the twilight’s dullest colours
Wrestle with the beating rain
But then you hear up from the grey
A bird whistling a wind
And you know that now you must go
Go now, little Lisa, go all the way in
Sometimes the time has pockets
In which you put your freezing hands
A little moment of warmth
A little moment to live in
Little Lisa, you are upstairs in the chamber
And everything feels so dirty and small
You sit down at the piano
Want to play for faith and for hope
But the tears are falling on the keys
Because you shall leave today
It hurts, but you must not hesitate
Go now, little Lisa, it will get worse if you stay
Little Lisa, you play your tango
You live your Norrland blues
So the heart jumps and flies
And never comes to rest
Little Lisa, you must now be brave
Play strong and play now
For your mum in heaven, for children that shall come
Go now, little Lisa, go all the way out
And the lonely out on the street
They live for themselves and as before
Can you feel it in your chest
Then you’re still human
The line is already drawn
Little Lisa, the forests miss you
Everything can be yours now
The world is waiting to show itself
Little Lisa, you turn your gaze to the sky
And you hope for sunlight again
And I promise that it soon will get better
Go now, little Lisa, go all the way home
Go now, little Lisa, go all the way home 

Slowgold – “Drömmar” (Dreams).

   Hiya people! 🙂 

    Today I’d like to share with you a song from a very successful and quite versatile Swedish artist, who I think is quite underrated if known at all everywhere else. Slowgold is the stage name of Amanda Werne, who is based in Göteborg, although it’s also the name under which her band is known collectively. This is my favourite song by her and below is my translation of the lyrics. 

    I have Dreams, Dreams to remember
Dreams that must be allowed to exist
In my dreams there are blue skies
There am I in your arms and the hatred turns away
After sleep my back is weak
Want to make up for all the old days
I have Dreams, Dreams to remember
That tomorrow is my day
I have Dreams, dreams to remember
That tomorrow is my day, my day
In my dreams there are cheerful headlines
In my dreams no one is disappointed
In my dreams we have another go
And my back is not weak anymore
I have dreams, dreams to remember
That tomorrow is my day
I have dreams, dreams to remember
That tomorrow is my day, my day. 

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

Song of the day (15th February) – Cornelis Vreeswijk – “Hajar’u De Dá Jack? (Do you get this then, Jack?)

   Hey guys! 🙂 

   Although I didn’t celebrate it on here like I did in some previous years, the fact is that, on January 25, Jack Vreeswijk had his 58th birthday (time is most definitely flying, as, at least according to my dyscalculic brain, it means that I’ve had a faza on Cornelis Vreeswijk for eight years now, because when it all started out Jack was 50). And so I decided that I would share a song by Jack, or something that Cornelis wrote for Jack, this month, even though some time has already passed since his birthday. 

   Cornelis had written several songs for Jack, one of them – “Vaggvisa” – I’ve already shared in the past. The song about Jack that I want to share with you now is a lot more cheerful than “Vaggvisa” and also has an interesting message in it. 

   For a long time, I didn’t even quite know what the title of this song means because it looks weird, and that’s because it’s quite slangy. In Swedish, as I guess in most languages, people reduce quite a lot of sounds while speaking. And so when we ask a question, let’s say “How are you?” For example, which is “Hur mår du?” In Swedish, in speech the “d” in “du” will change into a retroflex consonant when it occurs after “r”, and then many people reduce it even further so that it sounds more like “Hur mårru?” Or even “Hur mår’u?” I’ve been aware of this for a long time, but I didn’t know it’s a thing in writing (well, I guess it’s normally not, but in this case it is 😀 ). Additionally, I didn’t know what the verb “att haja” as in “hajar’u” means (now I know it’s a colloquial word for to understand). And then the word “de”, in standard, written Swedish, it means “they” and would be pronounced as “dom” but in more casual writing, “de” can also be a shortened, phonetic way of spelling the word “det” which means “it” or “this”. But all this slanginess was quite confusing for me for a long time and I just didn’t know how to translate it. Now I theoretically know, but still I suppose it could have been translated better into English than I did, but I had no better ideas, plus, with neither English or Swedish being my native language, the only thing I aim to do is making a literal translation so that you can get an idea of what a song is about, rather than a poetic one. Generally while I think I understand these lyrics well in their entirety, putting that into English was quite difficult. 

   I really like this song. As you’ll find out from the translation below, it is about little Jack’s first, unconventional artistic endeavours. One can wonder whether Jack is so extremely imaginative, or perhaps colour-blind, but he doesn’t care what others think of his creations and keeps on painting, which his dad strongly encourages and tells him to do what he wants and not care about criticism. I really like that! I think so many parents would be something like: “Oh no, Jack! Trees aren’t black, you should redo this!” Or even discourage him from painting altogether, possibly undermining his self-esteem and confidence in general, not just in regards to painting and creative expression. Maybe in his brainworld trees are black, and why not? I guess nowadays this kind of experimental art is quite trendy, or that’s what I’ve once been told, though I’m no visual arts expert so what do I know. 😀 I wonder if Jack still paints, and if he still uses “wrong” colours. 🙂 Here’s the translation: 

  And the black trees and the sun that is blue
The sea is blue as well
And the people are ugly and beautiful and yellow
On the picture that you are making
Nothing that disturbs
Do you get this then, Jack? Can you understand?
One has to paint like this
And dad is working and mum has gone out
The TV is soon over
And mum she is strict she, she puts you to bed she
But the picture that you have
It must be finished first, after all
Do you get this then, Jack? Do you fathom this?
For I would like to see this
You, the art criticism is boring and dull
It is the last to understand you
And then some say that the colour, it is wrong
So don’t care about it
You know what you know
Do you get this then, Jack? Do you get them?
They are nothing to care about
Do you get this then, Jack? What you want to have
Might be good
Just so you are happy, it doesn’t matter what
the picture looks like
Don’t care about criticism
Do you get this then, Jack? Do what you want
That’s how it is

Solen – “Olof, Kära Olof” (Olof, Dear Olof).

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I have a rather weird Swedish song for you. Well, at least to me, its lyrics are very weird and that’s how it got my attention in the first place, because I tend to like weird lyrics. I wonder what it actually is about, and who Olof is. It feels a little creepy in a way. I don’t know much about Solen, although I’ve heard their other music as well and it’s pretty cool. Solen means the sun in Swedish, in case you don’t know and are curious. 

   I’ve managed to translate this song, however there was one, single word – “vittra” – that my brain just didn’t know how to deal with, because not only do I myself not know what it means, but even DeepL (the translator I use now instead of Google as it’s more comfortable on the Mac even though sadly it has less languages) doesn’t seem sure, so much so that at some point it even said that it means caterpillar. I highly doubt it does, or even that any similar word means caterpillar in Swedish because to my knowledge it’s “fjärilslarv”, and one thing I am absolutely sure about the word “vittra” (at least in the context of this song) it’s that it’s a verb, a verb in present tense more exactly because in the lyrics it actually occurs as “vittrar”. And then my Swedish-English dictionary claims it means “scent”, which is also rather weird because I’ve never heard this, while I know that it’s the words doft and lukt that mean smell/scent, or dofta/lukta as verbs. Besides, in the lyrics it’s used in reference to marble, and I’ve never heard of scented marble or smelly marble or anything like that. 😀 So as I didn’t know what to do with it, I just left it out. 

  This is the end of line 12
It doesn’t matter how you feel
This is the beginning of something beautiful
But you have still never fit in
But Olof, dear Olof
You can do whatever you want
Olof, my friend
When the train begins to slow down
When the sky’s got a dangerous colour
Then you will be a visionary, then you will be hopelessly in love, I promise!
When the sky’s got a dangerous colour
Then you will be callous, then you will know everything, I promise!
When the sky’s got a dangerous colour
Tonight, ‘cause they don’t know you
This is the end of line 7
Nobody cares about you anymore now
This is the end of the hysteria
And everyone loves when you sit still
But Olof, dear Olof
You can do whatever you want
When the train begins to slow down
When the sky’s got a dangerous colour
Then you will be a visionary, then you will be hopelessly in love, I promise!
When the sky’s got a dangerous colour
Then you will be callous, then you will know everything, I promise!
When the sky’s got a dangerous colour
In marble that (…?) in the faith that soon
The light will come in, but in the cracks there is nothing!
When the sky’s got a dangerous colour
Then you will be a visionary, then you will be hopelessly in love, I promise!
When the sky’s got a dangerous colour
You will be everywhere, You will be in thousandfold, I promise!
When the sky’s got a dangerous colour
Tonight
‘Cause they don’t know you
When the sky’s got a dangerous colour
You will be everywhere, you will be in thousandfold , I promise!
When the sky’s got a dangerous colour

Cornelis Vreeswijk – “Till Linnea Via Leonard Cohen” (For Linnea Via Leonard Cohen).

Hey people! 🙂

Today I thought that I’d share with you one of the songs that Cornelis Vreeswijk wrote to a woman called Linnea. All these Linnea songs are more or less erotically charged, and I always liked to think that this Linnea is at least based on his second wife – the actress Bim Warne – whose actual name was Birgitta Gunvor Linnea, and because I’ve always got the impression that, despite all the usual relationship storminess that was pretty much the norm in his life, his relationship with Bim was best out of his three wives. Besides, the album “Linneas Fina Visor” (Linnea’s Fine Songs) on which most if not all (can’t remember exactly) of the Linnea songs were released, came out when they were still a couple. And I still don’t know whether that is actually the case, but years later I read something that implied quite strongly that it’s possible. Especially that he based a lot of his characters on real life people. There’s also another version of this song called Till Gunnel. Honestly though, I’ve always been intrigued by what’s Leonard Cohen got to do with this, and I can only assume that, since Vreeswijk borrowed a lot of songs or melodies or motives etc. from other artists who wrote and/or sang in other languages, that includes “Nancy” by Cohen, so perhaps in some way it’s also the case with this one, perhaps it’s based on some song that was originally Leonard Cohen’s or something like that. But because I don’t really have much of an idea about Leonard Cohen’s music, I’ve no idea if this is true.

I thought I wouldn’t be able to write a translation for this, but I did it, and it wasn’t even all that difficult, though I did have several issues witt it. There’s one line that I absolutely cannot make out what it’s supposed to mean so I had no better option than to leave it out. In some places I feel like my English wording is a little off but I had no better ideas. Then there is the line that I translated as “Of my mother’s only son” but have a problem with the “of” because there’s actually the Swedish word “på” used in the original, which is typically translated as on, but it doesn’t really make sense to me. I of course know that prepositions work very differently from one language to another, but even in Swedish I feel like the word “av”, which would literally translate as “of” to English, would make much more sense here. So either my Swedish is a lot less advanced than I think (not that I think it’s actually, properly Advanced, but you don’t have to be extremely advanced to understand prepositions in a language I believe 😀 ), or I don’t understand the sense of this line, or perhaps “på” can be used instead of “av” in some more poetic contexts like here.

Another line I had ann issue with was about the pen that floats, where I left out a word because I had no idea what to do with it. The original word is “värdig” and it literally means worthy. Can a pen be worthy? Perhaps it’s supposed to mean something like that that it’s dear to him in a way, or deserving of appreciation, because it’s the pen with which he writes songs for Linnea and no other pen would suit this? That’s what came to my mind, but I doubt that it’s actually true. Perhaps in this case “värdig” is meant to be an adverb, but then it should be “värdigt”. You can have adverbs that look like their adjective counterparts in Norwegian, but I don’t think I’ve seen it in Swedish (well, unless an adjective ends with a “t” but that’s irrelevant here). So what is most likely imo is that the word “värdig” must have a wider scope than what I’m aware of.

Here’s the translation:

 

Linnea, what do you want to hear?

I forget it every time

I have something in my ear

That maybe can become a song

It quivers in the guitar

It asks for a beautiful grasp

Now I open the case

And kiss your lower lip

Sit still and quiet, Linnea

Here comes a beautiful verse

(…)

Chases me here and there

A crumhorn and two timbals

Disappear far away

The guitar shivers in the arms

Of [?] my mother’s only son

An Eskimo opens a window

Then the whole room becomes cool

Out flow seductive vapours

That rhyme was ingenious

You know I can keep the heat

I guess you know that I know it

I am as hot as Saturn, at least

And strong as a magnet

Now this song is soon over

You notice it already yourself

My pen floats forward (…)

Like the timber in some river

Sit still and quiet and wait

Remain in your picture frame

Because when I am done writing, Linnea

The pen is as good as lame [?]

Now all the stars become matt

And stiffen like tinfoil

On the deserts dry and flat

Watering holes spring up

Darkness gives way to the night

And it is not day yet

Linnea, here is your song

Linnea, and here am I

Song of the day (6th January) – Silver “Jag Drömmer” (I Dream).

Hey people! 🙂

I thought I’d share this nice, kind of idealistic-sounding, Swedish song with you. Silver are Ellen Vingren and Jenny Wahlström, who are also parts of other music projects, at least Ellen is for sure, I’m not 100% sure about Jenny. They’re also both Christian and perform Christian music as well. The lyrics to this are really easy so I was able to translate them for you:

 

I dream about loving myself

I dream about being genuine and for real

I dream about daring to feel

About being artistically sharp and free

And that the feeling survives the storm

That silver turns out to be gold

It looks like it could be so

But it feels difficult to reach just yet

Maybe I dream too little

I dream that the sail will be hoisted

That the last word in this has not yet been said

And that the ship survives the storm

That silver turns out to be gold

It looks like it could be so

But it feels difficult to reach just yet

Maybe I dream too little

You know what, you know what, you, I hear them everywhere

The tones that they stole we’ll get back thousandfold

You know what, you know what, you, I hear them everywhere

We shall get everything back

Those who lost themselves but have been found

Silver turns out to be gold

The ship survives the storm

Silver turns out to be gold

Jack Vreeswijk – “Tjuvjägaren” (The Poacher).

Recently, I shared with you a theme piece from Amir Chamdin’s 2010 film “Cornelis” about Cornelis Vreeswijk, which was composed by Cornelis’ son, Jack. Today I want to show you that this film was not the only close encounter Jack had with the world of film during his music career. There is a Swedish historical film from 2016, directed by John Tornblad, it’s called Tjuvjägaren which means the poacher in English, and the poacher is the main character of this film, however IMDB claims that this production is known in English under the name Lars and the Baron – Lars is the name of the poacher. – The theme song to this film was written by its director, as well as cinematographer Andreas Olsson, and is sung by none other than Jack Vreeswijk! I have to admit that I’ve never watched the film, despite I’ve wanted to because it sounds rather interesting, but somehow it never happened, mostly because with all my practical issues around film watching it feels like a huge undertaking and I’m not sure my motivation is equally huge. 😀 But ever since I’ve heard this song for the first time, I really really like it, and I think Jack vocals fit it so well.

Sara Parkman – “Fält” (Fields).

For today, I’m sharing with you a song from a very interesting Swedish contemporary folk singer, who is inspired by a lot of Scandinavian traditional folk acts that I love too, like Garmarna or Lena Villemark. As for Sara Parkman’s music itself, some of it I really like, some of it I’m totally neutral about, and some of it I dislike. But she’s a very interesting artist nonetheless who draws inspiration from and is influenced by a lot of different music, from things like the above mentioned Garmarna to st. Hildegard von Bingen. She is from the north of Sweden and collaborates with a lot of artists, not only folky ones. I find this particular song of hers very powerful. I found a good translation of it

here.

The days bellow, promise, and lie,

Cry and blink, blink and stop.

A thought at the end, made from ember.

I practise at night, the sky swells,

the sea is in me, the roads grow.

It is like you say: we still exist.

Come if you want to.

Come if you want to.

Come if you want to, to me.

Come if you want to.

Come if you want to.

Come to me, now.

Lichens that burn, firs that protect,

the sky in the moss, Sweden darkens.

The forests grow where I stand,

feelings that grind, outwardly.

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