My Bubba ft. Elsa Håkansson – “Uti Vår Hage” (In Our Garden).

This is one of Swedish folk songs I really like! I first heard it in the interpretation of Sofia Talvik, which is also lovely, then another one I like is Hanna Turi’s, but it’s something about My Bubba’s version that I love the most! The song is very joyful, but their performance of it quite melancholic which I think complements very well.

My Bubba is a Swedish-Icelandic duo consisting of My Larsdotter and Bubba Tomasdóttir, and the song comes from an album they’ve made together with Elsa Håkansson, containing Swedish folk songs, or visor as they are called in Sweden.

As for this song, I’ve heard that it’s frequently sung in schools, especially nearing summer holidays, and is generally very well-known by Swedes. I like the idyllic feel about it, and also, all the plants names that are mentioned in it, especially in the chorus – “Komm liljor och akvileja, komm rosor och saliveja, komm ljuva krusmynta…” – (“Come lilies and columbine, come roses and sage, come sweet peppermint…”) don’t akvileja, saliveja and krusmynta sound so lovely and evocative?! As a name nerd, I immediately thought that they would make such gorgeous names, although probably they wouldn’t in the real life, because I can imagine that Swedes would find them too fancy, while in most other countries they wouldn’t be too usable. 😀 But they are beautiful anyway. 🙂

Song of the day (25th January) – Monica Törnell – “Faster Fantasis Visa” (Aunt Fantasy’s Song”.

Hey guys! 🙂

I’d like to introduce you to a singer that I know quite well pretty much since I’ve become familiar with Cornelis Vreeswijk. Some of her music I like, some not so much, but for sure, her career and Cornelis’ were closely related, because Cornelis Vreeswijk was the one who discovered her in the 1970’s.

Monica Törnell is from Hälsingland, and enjoyed singing since an early age. As a young girl, she was singing at the opening of a restaurant of her father, and Cornelis was passing by and heard her. He liked her voice and somehow from there it has started, he helped Monica to develop her career and she also toured with him for a bit and featured on one of his albums. She was very popular in Sweden in the following years, until at some point, about 20 years after the beginning of her singing career, she started having serious health issues like myasthenia gravis so had to step away from singing. However she did release her newest album some… 2 years ago, I believe. Her voice is very characteristic, right now as she is older she doesn’t sound as good in my opinion, but there are people who like her nowadays voice even more. When she was younger, she had really wide vocal range, and her vocal abilities as well as the sound of her voice and also her style a little bit, remind me very strongly of Janis Joplin, though maybe it’s just me. Her music is a sort of blending of folk, pop and rock and sounds quite characteristically of 70’s-80’s. Monica has also been very good at drawing and painting since childhood, and she does paint still.

I was wondering for a long time which song of her I wanted to share with you because I have quite a few favourites, but I didn’t want the language to be too big a bareer – as most of her songs are in Swedish. – The one I chose finally is also in Swedish, but I think it shouldn’t be difficult for me to describe to you what it is about so you can have a clear idea.

The song is called “Faster Fantasis Visa” and I’ve always thought that it sounds like from some sort of an old children’s programme, and it seems like I had a surprisingly good hunch because, well, yes, it is! I couldn’t find much info on it other than the programme was one of the first children’s programmes in the Swedish television and started out in the 50’s, and was called “Humle och Dumle”, and I believe Faster Fantasi (Aunt Fantasy) must just be one of the characters, but, apart from what’s in the song, I didn’t find any info about her.

I like her because she’s kinda like me. 😀 From the song we know that her full name is Eva Britta Karin Katarina. She sounds like an extremely refined and experienced person. She’s been to India, China, Sahara, Italy (twice actually), London, Vienna, Argentina, Yugoslavia, England, Netherlands, Pakistan, New Zealand, Göteborg, Moscow, Copenhagen, Berlin… all around the world virtually as you can see… but – she adds – “I’ve never been outside my door, because I travel in fantasy”. Ain’t that so very cool?! 🙂

Song of the day (7th November) – Melissa Horn – “I Mörkret Långt Ifrån Varann” (In The Dark Far Apart).

Hi people! 🙂

Here is a song from one of the first Swedish pop singers that I’ve ever heard and liked enough to listen to her music regularly. Melissa Horn usually sings about relationships and love, which is not my favourite lyrics topic because it’s so awfully overrated and ever-present, but she is very expressive, and I just do like something about her music. She is the daughter of another Swedish singer – Maritza Horn – and from those two I definitely prefer Melissa. This song of hers is no exception when it comes to the lyrics, which you can see below.

   I think you have seen something
You haven’t had it easy
And now I understand
That something like that has to come out on way or another
You want a simple life
But I can’t give you that
I can close my eyes for a while
But in the end it hurts
And though we feel the same thing
Though we think the same way
Though we speak the same language
And live in the same country
We are sitting in the dark
Far apart
I think you want it
That is the reason why i have still stayed
But you think everything can wait
And feelings don’t work that way
I would miss your daughter
She is the best of you
And I know that she too
Can see her and me
Though we feel the same thing…
Though we think the same way
Though we speak the same language
And live in the same country
We are sitting in the dark
Far apart
Now I’ll take time without you
Without consideration
Without right and wrong
Without us
Without you
Until we will both decide
Though we feel the same thing…
Though we think the same way
Though we speak the same language
And live in the same country
We are sitting in the dark
Far, far
Far, far apart

Cornelis Vreeswijk – “Ann-Katrin, Farväl” (Farewell, Ann-Katrin) & Marie Fredriksson – “Ann-Katrin, Farväl”.

Hi guys! 🙂

So why not have a listen to another song by Cornelis Vreeswijk, plus a cover by Marie Fredriksson?

Again, we have a female character here, which comes up even more often in Vreeswijk’s songs and poems. The character of Ann-Kat(a)rin Rosenblad is based on his muse and friend who was Ann-Christin Wennerström. And, the portrayal of her that we get from all the songs with her in them is quite interesting and ambiguous. I like Ann-Katrin a lot and hearing this song always makes me sad. First, because it comes from Cornelis’ very last album, (Till Fatumeh – Rapport Från De Osaligas Ängder”) which was recorded about a month or so before his premature death (he died from liver cancer at 50). Secondly, because the song indicates that Ann-Katrin was a drug addict, amphetamine more exactly as in the case of Vreeswijk, though he was taking loads of other stuff as well. The lyrics have a kind of raw but at the same time rather elusive feel and I really regret that I’m not good enough in neither Swedish nor English to write an adequate English translation for you without risking a major linguistic catastrophe and a great prophanity, the more that there are none available online. The only thing that bugs me is the music style of it. Like, seriously, the lyrics on that last album are really captivating, you don’t have to agree with what he wrote and I most often don’t but his lyrics always have that captivating quality, but the musical arrangement of this album is mostly screwed. He maybe wasnät the greatest composer, but was such a great blues singer, and even managed to convince me to appreciate jazz a tiny little bit, and he was great at incorporating folk themes and motives in his music. And that last album is very much like classic 80’s pop, and this track is a great representation of it. I don’t like that at all and it clashes with the lyrics and generally with Cornelis’ actual musical style unbelievably! That turn to pop was motivated by that, after some years of relative fame, he had become forgotten and the way I understand it from what Iäve read he wanted to get the attention of people by doing something more… ahem, timely, or whatever, especially he wanted to attract younger people. It didn’t work, that is, he did get a lot of fame and largely from young people in Sweden after his death but not because those last two pop-ish albums did that, it was thanks to the Roskilde Festival where he played shortly before his death and, well, it looks like for artists it’s a common situation that they only get appreciated after they die. Perhaps that was better for him.

I like the expression of Marie Fredriksson’s interpretation of this song. I think in case of music, like, generally the arrangement, it’s her who wins here! But she’d never write as good lyrics as Vreeswijk did, haha. Marie Fredriksson’s cover again comes from the tribute album “Den Flyggande Holländaren”.

Cornelis Vreeswijk – “Felicia Adjö” (Goodbye, Felicia) & Marie Fredriksson – “Felicia Adjö”.

Hi guys! 🙂

I’m feeling a bit in a crush limbo right now. I have a gut feeling that my crush on Gwilym is fading slightly and it’s worrying me that there’s no one on the horizon that could become my dominant crush. Is this the end of crushes for me? Was my aunt seriously right that this is something all people grow out of, or am I getting more depressed or something? I can’t imagine not having a crush, it’s like driving a car that has no fuel, I’m getting a bit panicky. It’s either that I need to save my crush on Gwilym or I need someone new very very soon.

In the meantime, I’ve been looking back on all my delightful crushes lately. Reading all my elaborate diary entries about them and laughing my brain out – not that it was so funny but for some reason reading all that made me laugh, despite they’re still all my crushes, just faded more or less. – And I thought I’d share something from one of my crushes on my blog as well. So why not Cornelis? Also, because I find it really interesting to listen to people’s covers and interpretations of his songs, whether good or bad, just out of curiosity, it will be both the original version of a song by Cornelis Vreeswijk, and a cover by Marie Fredriksson. Yes, Marie Fredriksson from Roxette. She’s had a rich solo career as well, I guess mostly in Swedish. I am not a big fan of her at all, but she did this song in an interesting way, in her own style, and I used to like Roxette as a very, very little child. This was one of the first symptoms of my developing Swedish obsession, I just didn’t know many things Swedish apart from Roxette and Astrid Lindgren and I liked one song by them very very much, but generally Roxette and Marie Fredriksson are not my style, not anymore.

The song I want to share with you is called “Felicia Adjö”, and I guess is one of more popular songs of Vreeswijk. Felicia is a recurring character in his songs and poems, there is one whole album “Felicias Svenska Suite” in which Felicia is present in pretty much every song I guess. I wonder if she was based on someone in real life, like some of his other characters were but we’ll probably never know. The title translates as “Goodbye, Felicia”, but it has nothing to do with the “bye, Felicia” expression haha. The song is some 30 years older than the movie. Though I know that Vreeswijk’s Felicia was an inspiration for some Swedish writers, I guess there is a crime novel called “Felicia Försvann” (Felicia Disappeared) which is the beginning of this song.

And the song is about the fact that Felicia disappeared “As the bird from its nest. As the ice when the spring comes. As love when it’s hurt. As luck with no return”. She is dead like all of us will be some day, and with her, his last hope died, whoever the lyrical subject is.

The song had been re-recorded multiple times plus he played it live very often, but the first recording comes from the album called “Tio Vackra Visor Och Personliga Persson”, and I will share this one with you as is is the original. If I remember correctly, the album was recorded around the time when Cornelis played in the film “Svarta Palmkronor” (Black Palm Trees) in Brazil, and spent quite some time in South America, so this album is very much influenced by Brazilian music which you can hear in this song as well.

Marie Fredriksson recorded this song – as well as three others written by Vreeswijk – for the tribute album “Den Flygande Holländaren” (The Flying Dutchman).

So, there you have it, here is Felicia.

Linnea Henriksson ft. Stor – “Mamma Är Lik Sin Mamma” (Mum Is Like Her Mum).

Hi guys. 🙂

Here’s my favourite song from a currently very popular Swedish pop singer Linnea Henriksson. I can easily not care about her popularity in Sweden simply because she’s not popular anywhere else, and I think she’s a really good singer. And this is a really good hommage for all mothers!

Ida Redig / Alexander Rybak – “Visa Vid Vindens Ängar” (A Song At The Wind’s Meadows).

Here’s another kind of poetic cover sung by Ida Redig. The song was originally written and sung by Mats Paulson in the 60’s, and is quite a classic example of a visa, visa is a Swedish sort of ballad, it’s a bit like a separate Scandinavian music genre. This is a summer visa, and it has a very lullaby-ish feel to it, which I like. But apart from the version by Ida Redig, which is again quite different from the original, I’m also going to show you another one that I like even more than hers, and it is Alexander Rybak’s version. Alexander Rybak is the guy who won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2009, he has Belarussian parents but lives in Norway, he sings and plays fiddle, and he sang the song “Fairytale” at the Eurovision. I really like him, and even more so does Zofijka. Alexander’s version is more similar to the original, as well as longer than Ida Redig’s. It comes from his album, which is also called “Visa Vid Vindens Ängar”, and the album is entirely in Swedish, which is fun since his mother tongue is Norwegian. I’ve heard people saying that they don’t like that he has such a strong Norwegian accent on here, but I think it’s very nice! I also have the lyrics for you.

 

There goes a wind across the wind’s meadows

A curtain of tulle flaps

And I shall write a summer song

With sun and smell of flowers in the melody

I wanted to sing about Katarina

To wooden flutes and cymbal

But the tones of the wind become summer songs

I only listen in the birch leaves hall

There goes a wind across the wind’s meadows

A curtain of tulle flaps

And I shall write a summer song

With sun and smell of flowers in the melody

There goes a girl in the aspen grove

I have a yellowed photography

With the years she became a dream, a saga

A lonely wanderer’s sympathy

I wanted to write a little song

Where instants become eternity

But words become mute and tones deaf

And the song’s thought secret

There goes a girl in the aspen grove

I have a yellowed photography

With the years she became a dream, a saga

A lonely wanderer’s sympathy

There goes a wind across the wind’s meadows

A curtain of tulle flaps

And I shall write a summer song

With sun and smell of flowers in the melody