Cornelis Vreeswijk – “Saskia” – & Pernilla Andersson – “Saskia”.

Hey people! 🙂

So as you may remember I shared with you yesterday a song from Swedish pop singer Pernilla Andersson, and I said that I might share one more soon, that is her cover of a song originally written and sung by Cornelis Vreeswijk. And so that’s what I decided to do today.

This song is what made me fall in love with the name Saskia so much that if I ever considered having kids, Saskia would be a very serious candidate for a girl. I’d never really come across that name a lot before hearing this.

The song comes from one of Cornelis Vreeswijk’s earlier albums – “Tio Vackra Visor Och Personliga Persson” (Ten Beautiful Songs And Personal Persson). There is a recording of his live performance at an Örebro jazz club called Powerhouse, which was released as an album after his death, where he says that this song was inspired by a real life Saskia he once met in his “green youth”, on the way back home to his wife with whom he was at the time (Ingalill Rehnberg I think based on the timing), he would often stop at some sort of other beer place I don’t really know, to have a few beers with his “good friends and other condemned individuals”. And one time when he was there, there was a girl called Saskia who was working there, and she apparently asked him what was Rembrandt’s wife’s name, so he said that she was called Saskia van Rijn, and then he had free beer for the rest of his stay there. How magnanimously of her… I don’t know though if what they were doing after her work according to the song is also based on facts or not really. His second wife, Bim Linnea Warne, said once that, while he was awfully jealous which is quite well-known, he was very faithful himself, although, as much as I like Cornelis, I can’t help but feel a little doubtful about that. 😀

I love Cornelis’ original version, but Pernilla Andersson also does a really great job. Her song doesn’t have the last couple of verses though.

According to the lyrics, Saskia is cross-eyed, and that’s why she is a subject of ridicule for everyone, which I’ve always found a little surprising because, perhaps I’m totally wrong at all that but I guess strabismus (I suppose that’s how it’s called in English?) isn’t an uncommon thing, it’s also not like a very disabling condition or making one somehow grossly unattractive even if it’s commonly seen as not very beautiful, so while I get that someone could be bullied due to something like this, would that really raise so much attention? In the 60’s? As I said though, I may have no clue, since I’m blind myself and don’t know how much things like that can affect one’s view of a person, it’s just something that I’ve found kind of interesting and strange.

Below is the translation of the song, I wrote it myself but I used

this one

to help myself.

  Saskia has a name with a ring to it

She works at a pub

Pours beer for the guys

The guys think she is good

The guys think

She is good

Then there is nothing more to it

Saskia, she is crosseyed, you see

Although her gaze is clear and bright

It raises ridicule in everyone

It raises ridicule

In everyone

She is quiet and unnoticeable

Her uniform is starched

But she was beautiful, and when she smiled

In a way that made you gasp

In a way that

Made you gasp

I let my eyes explore her

And it was actually worth the effort

The more they saw, the more they found

She was purely incredibly brilliant

She was purel

Incredibly brilliant

After I had strengthened myself with a beer

I said “Miss, have you noticed?

Has it not struck you yet

That I have been observing you?

That I have been

Observing you”

She said “Sir, it is true

The reason is unknown to me”

Then I mustered up the courage and said

“When are you free, Saskia?

When are you free, Saskia?”

We watched a romantic movie

Then we drank coffee at a café

I followed her to her house

A light was burning in our hearts

A light was burning

In our hearts

Saskia had a sleeping alcove

And she was beautiful when she slept

And we were awake more than enough

Then her alarm clock went off

Then her alarm

Clock went off

Saskia is a name that has a ring to it

She works at a pub

Her eyes are crossed, wherever she looks

But she is beautiful when she smiles

Yes, she is beautiful

When she smiles

Cornelis Vreeswijk – “Tomtebloss” (Sparkler).

Hey people! 🙂

I thought that today I’d share with you this lyrical piece by Cornelis Vreeswijk. I like it a lot because, well, Cornelis being one of my faza subjects, I’ve been very interested in him as an individual, and this song tells us a whole lot about what his love life and relationships generally looked like. I once found a Swedish programme called “Cornelis Och Kärleken” (Cornelis and Love) where a few people analysed in quite an interesting way some of his lyrics that are about love and women – since a lot of his lyrics and poems talk about various women – and how they illustrated the way his relationships looked like. Having had lived a stormy life overall, it was no less stormy and intense with love, because while on one hand he was seeking love and closeness quite desperately, he had some extreme difficulty with forming and maintaining relationships and whenever there was indeed a possibility of having a closer, deeper relationship with someone, he would basically run away almost in panic immediately. It’s flamin’ difficult having fears which conflict with your basic needs. He was also pathologically jealous – largely due to abusing alcohol and all sorts of drugs and other things, many of which can do such things to your brain – so it also wasn’t easy for the other side to be with him for sure.

And in this song, it really shows, in a both lyrical and raw way. Its lyrics weren’t awfully difficult to translate so I tried my best to do it although there may be some errors in here.

  My beloved is like a sparkler,

like a sparkler easily ignited.

She burns so hot when she catches fire,

my beloved is like a sparkler,

like a sparkler easily ignited.

Red-hot like a kiln are my sweetheart’s embers,

but no fire is eternal.

Cold it is for the charcoal burner when his kiln dies out,

my sweethearts embers are so red, so red,

but no fire is eternal.

My beloved is like a race,

a race where neither of us can win.

Where no one catches the other,

my sweethearts lovemaking is like a race,

a race where neither of us can win.

Yes, love is like a sparkler,

like a sparkler easily ignited.

It burns red when it reaches us.

My soul – i am like a sparkler,

and no fire is eternal.

Jack Vreeswijk – “Lilla Regn” (Little Rain) and Georg Riedel & Sarah Riedel – “Lilla Regn”.

Hi people! 🙂

Today, I will share with you another poem-song written by Cornelis Vreeswijk. With this one, I am sure it was written by him and as it seems originally was intended as a poem and not as a song as it didn’t seem to have a melody. The interesting thing about this poem which later became a song though, that I want to show you, is what came out of that it didn’t have a melody in the first place. Namely now people who cover Vreeswijk have all the freedom in the world to create their own, and here we have almost two different songs, very different in style yet with the same (only slightly varying) lyrics.

The poem – maybe a little surprisingly for someone who would know about Cornelis and roughly about what kinds of things he wrote – is not political, not a protest, not about people/society, not about love, not about Ann-Katrin Rosenblad (his muse) and not even about drinking. It’s, as you can guess from the title, about rain. Little rain. He addresses it in a way that makes you think this rain is a child. It’s a gentle encouragement for it to fall. “Of course the Earth is heavy and cold, but rain anyway”. And when it finally has fallen, the birds are hesitantly starting to sing more and more.

I think it’s very nice, and the two totally different musical versions take two totally differing looks at it.

Jack’s version comes from the same album from which is his last song that I shared with you – “Till Den Det Vederbör” – also written by Cornelis. Jack composed the music to it (or so I assume it was Jack) and it feels very deep but also minimalistic.

And then there’s another version of it composed by Georg Riedel, who is a Swedish jazz musician, and sung by his very talented and sensitive daughter Sarah on their album Cornelis vs Riedel. I’ve already shared a song from this album much earlier that was also sung by Sarah – “Se Här Dansar Fredrik Åkare”. – This is a very carefully made, heartfelt and refined album and both Sarah Riedel and Nikolai Dunger (who is another singer on this album) do a great job, in my opinion, of conveying the feel of each of these songs, as if they really took a lot of time to truly feel them and could relate to them personally. It is a very jazzy album as both Georg and Sarah Riedel are jazz people, which is normally something that would discourage me more or less as I usually don’t have a strong connection with jazz music, but here it doesn’t bother me at all and is great since Cornelis himself also drew from and was inspired by jazz among other genres, and it was his more jazzy songs that convinced me that jazz doesn’t always have to be awful and incomprehensive.

And so I seriously don’t know which version I like more. I wonder which one would be Cornelis’ favourite. And how about you guys? Do you like one of these more than the other?

 

Jack Vreeswijk – “Till Den Det Vederbör” (To The Concerned).

I’ve decided to share this song with you quite spontaneously, as I didn’t have any other ideas planned. And I have sort of mixed feelings about it because I feel I didn’t research it quite as well as I should, or perhaps there’s just not enough info on this. Usually if I post a song for you guys – and especially if it’s in another language – I try to put it in a context so even if, as it often happens, there is no translation, and I am unable to provide it myself, you can have a basic idea of what it’s about and what was the background of it. Here, I know very, very little.

I was listening to Jack Vreeswijk a while back, as I hadn’t in a long time and wanted to refresh some of his music for myself. And when listening to this song and trying to understand its lyrics (which I always prefer to do when having them written especially if I’m not sure of something and that was the case here) I learned that this was written by Cornelis Vreeswijk (which is actually no surprise when you look at them more closely) and Jack Vreeswijk. In case someone feels confused, Jack is the son of Cornelis. I’ve written a lot about Cornelis Vreeswijk on my blog before as he’s been one of my major fazas but to sum up quickly, he was a Swedish singer, songwriter, poet, guitarist and actor born in Netherlands, he passed away in 1987 (way too early) but his son, Jack, is still alive and also sings as well as composes music, often drawing from his father’s huge legacy and covering his songs not too badly at all (only when you compare him with Cornelis he just… ahem… lacks that charisma a little bit, so this is a clear example why we should not compare people to each other and why following your parent’s career isn’t always the best choice if you do not want to be compared. But don’t get me wrong, I do like Jack. A lot. I just see a lot that people compare him, and I do too, and I’ve heard how on his concerts people are far more enthusiastic about hearing his covers of his dad’s music rather than his own songs. Although maybe it’s just how I interpret or maybe it’s just me who would feel awful about myself and my music if I were in his shoes). I wonder whether this piece was originally a poem to which Jack composed music later on (it does musically sound more Jack-esque) or a poem late enough that Cornelis could somehow write it in collaboration with Jack (I’ve never heard about them ever having such collaborations but who knows, right?…) or a song that was unpublished or somehow very obscure or something. And if it was a poem, was it actually published in any of Cornelis’ poetry books or not? I can’t find any info or hint anywhere about it in another context than it being a song by Jack, but thenn I don’t have Cornelis’ poetry books as such so it’s possible it is there somewhere.

Moreover, I don’t really know the context of the lyrics. I can understand them quite well – although because neither Swedish nor English is my native language I don’t think it would be a good idea if I tried translating something I don’t have much of an idea what it’s more broadly about, also there are some single words I am not sure what they mean in here – and I couldn’t find a translation either.

But I just found this song interesting because the lyrics made me think, they’re intriguing, murky, weird and haunting. I’m not sure I like them as such but I don’t necessarily always love Cornelis’ lyrics, I doon’t have to agree with them and I often don’t, I don’t have to relate, there’s just something else that is not about plain liking. And I’m always excited to see something new from Cornelis (see how some people are so prolific that even after their death it feels like their creativity is a whole endless well), though I’d like to have more of an understanding of it, perhaps I will over time. Also I feel like I haven’t shared anything by Jack in a very, very long time. So basically these are the reasons why I decided to share with you guys a song about which I know next to nothing, and perhaps you’ll like something about it too. 🙂

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

Jack Vreeswijk – “Gull Är Död” (Gull Is Dead).

Hi guys. 🙂

Today is Jack Vreeswijk’s 55th birthday, if I count correctly. Happy birthday, Jack!!! 😍To avoid any confusion, and I guess it can be a bit confusing for the uninitiated, everyone in my surroundings who doesn’t know Jack, so most people, get confused which Vreeswijk is which and, especially that I love the name Jack, they usually think it’s Jack who is my crush. Jack is the son of Cornelis, and he is also a singer, and Cornelis is – besides Jack’s father – the one on whom I’ve had a crush, and whose poems I’ve been trying so desperately to translate to Polish, and he passed away over 30 years ago when Jack was 23 I believe. But Jack is still alive. I think Jack is also great, although luckily in his own way and not a copy cat of his dad, I’m glad he has his own individuality, even though he has made some covers of Cornelis’ songs, I like him a lot. And I think the song I’m going to show you is interesting. As for Gull, it’s a feminine Nordic name. So, let’s celebrate Jack’s birthday and listen to some of his music. 🙂

Helen Sjöholm – “Då Väntar Jag Vid Vägarna (I wait By The Roads).

Hi! 🙂

It wasn’t on purpose at all, but today’s song really fits the time, because its lyrics talk about the June days and that summer is coming and the person speaking in the lyrics is admiring the nature and waiting for someone who is “her heart’s friend” and “who isn’t like others are”, but isn’t coming, to put it briefly.

I think it’s a very nice song and hope you’ll like it too. I like how idyllic it sounds. And this is the last song by Helen Sjöholm for now.

Song of the day – Pugh Rogefeldt – Grimasch om morgonen.

Hi! 🙂

Today I share with you another version of this fabulous song – “Grimasch Om Morgonen” – written and originally performed by Cornelis Vreeswijk. This is a cover made by Swedish singer Pugh Rogefeldt.

Song of the day – Sofia Karlsson – Grimasch Om Morgonen.

Hi! 🙂

A month or so ago I shared with you this song in its original version, performed by Cornelis Vreeswijk, my previous musical crush whose poetry I would love to translate into Polish sometime in future, it is my very big dream. Also I’ve made an attempt to translate that song into English, which you can see here

. But today I wantd to share with you this song in another stunning performance. Anything by SOfia Karlsson is stunning, but since I love Vreeswijk’s music and poetry so much, this is my favourite song I’ve heard by her. Hope you’ll like it too, She’s so expressive.

Song of the day – Jack Vreeswijk – Rosenblad, Rosenblad.

Hi people! 🙂

Today’s song is in Swedish as well. I decided that since I showed you something from Cornelis Vreeswijk already, we shouldn’t forget about his son – Jack.

Jack (or Lars Jacob) Vreeswijk was born on January 25th 1964 and his mother is Cornelis’ first wife, Ingalill Rehnberg. Having such an unusual and complicated father Jack had undoubtedly very interesting, but also a bit chaotic childhood. He decided to follow his father’s footsteps and become a musician.

Of course, because his dad is so much beloved in Sweden, he is widely known as his son over there and often covers his songs, but has also quite a lot of his own.

“Rosenblad, Rosenblad” is Cornelis’ song though. However, as much as I love Cornelis music, as for “Rosenblad…” I feel like Jack’s version speaks to me more.

The song is really expressive and just great I think. As for the word Rosenblad, it may mean rose leaf in Swedish, but it is also a surname of Vreeswijk’s fictional muse, Ann-Katrrin Rosenblad.

I guess this song doesn’t exist on Youtube in the album version, so I will give you the link to it on Spotify. Hope you don’t mind.

Song of the day (2nd February) – Cornelis Vreeswijk – Grimasch Om Morgonen.

So the song for Friday will be again quite exceptional. It is one of my favourite songs of a man whom I really admire for his poetic talents and generally for his artistic skills and who was my third musical crush. His name is Cornelis Vreeswijk, he comes from Netherlands, but lived and created in Sweden for most of his life, so spoke Swedish fluently. He was a singer, poet and actor and is beloved and famous in Sweden. He lived in 1937-1987. Was quite controversial, being an extreme left-winger, alcoholic etc. Honestly, being a rightist, I disagree with many of his views, but I love his sense of humour, intelligence and how he can describe the world, people, the life, feelings and stuff in an often very straight-away manner, but also with some melancholy at times. I have a whole file with all my favourite quotes of him. One of my big future dreams is to translate some of his works into Polish. Until now, I’ve translated a few of his poems, but the effects are rather miserable.

It’s hard to introduce Cornelis to people who don’t speak any Swedish, as the beauty of his music lies mainly in lyrics, his music is good too, but as he wasn’t a big composer it isn’t always as good as his lyrics, so people with no Swedish have it hard to understand what I actually see in him and his music. But I’ll try my best to show you. And besides his guitar skills were also very good and in this particular song you can hear it very well.

So as I said “Grimasch Om Morgonen” is my favourite song from Cornelis’ discography, I think it’s really beautiful, but also quite sad, bitter and even a bit cynical. Maybe that’s why I love it too.

So to lessen the language bareer at least a bit, I’ll do my best to translate it into English, however, keep in mind, that I am not a native speaker in neither of these languages, so it may not be a masterpiece and probably won’t be.

Now the dew is falling and the sun is rising

But you can’t hear it

You’re lying without blouse or skirt on

With your lips close to my ear

Be serious, you firmly ask

You’re laughing out songs and singing jokes

You can, but don’t want to write

a song about the fragile happiness

Now the sun is rising and the dew is falling

for the poor people and for the rich.

But Luck has a poisoned thorn

that you need to carefully avoid.

She (the Luck) happily lingers for a few days

but when you want to capture her

her eyes turn cold as ice

and you become as bitter as bile

Now the dew is falling without a sound

and grass and leaves become wet

And every morning, the sun is the bride

though no wedding hymns sound

Ann-Katarin, you should know that

there is a certain happiness which dies from laughter.

But it wants to be held at night

And then it becomes as quiet as water.

Get up from bed now, Ann-Katarin

and listen to something important.

There is a special kind of rare wine

that you should enjoy cautiously.

For if you drink it carelessly

it loses its former shine

And all you have got left is an empty bottle

of bitter tears and ashes.

 

Here’s the song: