I have moved house!

Hi there!

Tomorrow is when I start posting excellent foreign-language tracks, every day, for the whole of 2018. I have moved from WordPress.com to a new home at WordPress.org and consequently have a snappier website address (http://djesperanto.com). I would be most happy if you could join me on my musical journey!

See you next year! 😉

Day 24: Musical Advent Calendar 2017

Artist: Singer is Kishore Kumar, song written by Laxmikant Pyarelal
Title: Aata Hai Aata Hai Santa Claus Aata Hai
Translation: I think it roughly translates as ‘Here comes Santa Claus’
Language: Hindi

Lyrics: http://www.lyricsgram.com/song/aata-hai-aata-hai-30257

This piece of pure joy is from the 1974 film ‘Shandaar’, and features vocals by Kishore Kumar, as well as the inimitable Asha Bhosle, who I think during the 1970s must have worked on pretty much every Indian film made!

I have not seen ‘Shandaar’, and am consequently intrigued as to how this gem of a tune fits into the general story of the film.  According to IMDB (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0234701/?ref_=ttpl_ql), the premise seems to be a rich man who owns a match factory helps out a woman whose daughter reminds him of his own daughter, who is sadly deceased.  The woman’s husband owns a rival match factory, and due to the help and kindness of the rich man he makes a success of it.  The husband eventually puts the rich man out of business, but then starts behaving badly by drinking and having crazy parties.  And we all know *that* won’t end well!  What this has to do with Christmas remains to be seen.  Until I have time to watch the film, if anyone can tell me, please get in contact!

The music for the film is by Laxmikant Pyarelal, who, I am ashamed to admit, for years I thought was one person, but is actually two: Laxmikant Shantaram Kudalkar and Pyarelal Ramprasad Sharma.  If you ever see an Indian soundtrack by these guys, do listen to it as they make brilliant music.  Note to self: in 2018 I must start watching more Indian films 🙂

Day 23: Musical Advent Calendar 2017

Artist: Fairuz
Title: Talj Talj
Translation: Snow, snow
Language: Arabic

This is one of the most beautiful songs I have every heard.  A kind person on YouTube was good enough to add the lyrics in both Arabic and English, so I have added them below the video. This song seems to be part of a Christmas special where Fairuz sang (at least) five Christmas songs, but this one is far and away my favourite, and a gentle reminder that the West does not have a monopoly on Christmas.

Fairuz is Lebanese, and also a Christian, and in 1977 she made an album called ‘Christmas Hymns’ where she sang some familiar songs in Arabic, such as ‘Angels We Have Heard On High’, ‘Jingle Bells’, and ‘Silent Night’, as well as songs written by the Rahbani Brothers; Assi (Fairuz’s husband), and his brother Mansour.

Thank you to Shira for the helpful information about this album on her website: http://www.shira.net/music/musicrevws/fairuz-christmas-hymns.htm

More information about Fairuz on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairuz

تلج تلج snow .. snow .. عم بتشتي الدنيي تلج the world is raining snow .. و النجمات حيرانين and the stars are confused و زهور الطرقات بردانيين and the flowers of the streets are feeling cold تلج تلج snow .. snow.. عم بتشتي الدنيي تلج it is falling down و الغيمات تعبانين and the clouds are tired عالتلة خيمات مضويين and on the hills some tents are lit و مغارة سهرانه and a cave is not sleeping فيها طفل صغير it has a little child in it بعيونو الحلياني in his beautiful eyes حب كتير كتير plenty , plenty of love تلج تلج snow .. snow . عم بتشتي الدنيي تلج is falling down كل قلب in every heart كل مرج and in every meadow زهر فيه الحب متل التلج love has blossomed like snow و جاي رعيان من بعيد and shepherds come from far away وينو الطفل الموعود where is the promised child? هون يا رعيان العيد here , shepherds of joy هون الليل االمنشود this is the night you sought تلج تلج snow … snow.. شتي خير rain goodness و حب and love و تلج and snow على كل قلب on every heart على كل مرج on every meadow ألفة و خير و حب love and connection and goodness متل التلج just like snow.. تلج تلج snow .. snow ..

Day 22: Musical Advent Calendar 2017

Artist: Ole Neumann
Title: Til julebal i Nisseland
Translation: For the Christmas Ball in Nisseland
Language: Danish

Lyrics: http://cooljul.dk/sangtekster/til_julebal_i_nisseland.htm

This is so cute!  This little kid is off to the Christmas Ball at the Nisse King’s palace.  He is taking his elephant, Bodil Kjer, obviously.  Well you would, wouldn’t you? He left his dog behind though, who, if you notice, doesn’t wake up.  The Curious Incident…?

I am going to bypass the slightly odd Father Christmas character, who has a very deep voice for one so small, and the disturbing nature of someone persuading a small child to leave his bedroom in the middle of the night.  I  shall just rejoice in the joy of a little boy and lots of elves dancing about and having a lovely time in a sparkly hall.  But was it all a dream?

This is from a 1956 Danish children’s film called ‘Far til fire i byen’ – Father of Four in the City.

Day 21: Musical Advent Calendar 2017

Artist: Janiro Eisden (Basic-One)‏
Title: Papa Noël
Translation: Father Christmas
Language: Papiamento (from Aruba)

Lyrics: The lyrics are on the video

This song is ridiculously catchy, and you’ll be singing it all day!  The band are from Oranjestad in Aruba, and there is more information about them here: https://www.discogs.com/artist/4615105-Basic-One-3?anv=Basic+1%E2%80%A2One.

The band very kindly answered my query as to what language this is, and you can follow them on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/Basic-One-The-Legend-Ataniro-154273082807/posts/?ref=page_internal

As someone who enjoys learning about different languages, Papiamento is fascinating.  When I first heard this song the lyrics reminded me a little of Brazilian songs, so I was hearing Portuguese-sounding words, but it has influences from a number of other languages too, and the people of Aruba have their own dialect.  While it is so interesting to find languages that are made up of a combination of other languages, it is important to bear in mind how those languages became combined in the first place (e.g. the consequences of slavery, foreign dominion, trading…). Find out more here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papiamento

Day 20: Musical Advent Calendar 2017

Artist: Sniglabandið
Title: Jólahjól
Translation: Christmas bike
Language: Icelandic

Lyrics: https://www.musixmatch.com/lyrics/Sniglabandi%C3%B0/J%C3%B3lahj%C3%B3l

This guy *really* wants a bike for Christmas.  There is a very large present under the Christmas tree…is it the item he wants more than anything?  Fingers crossed!

This song kind of grows on you, be warned!  I love the video too.  It’s the antici…pation.

Day 19: Musical Advent Calendar 2017

Artist: マツトヤ由美 (Yumi Matsutoya)
Title: 恋人がサンタクロース
Translation: My Baby / Lover is Santa Claus
Language: Japanese

Lyrics: https://idolyrics.wordpress.com/2012/12/04/koibito-ga-santa-claus-恋人がサンタクロース-lyrics/

Thank you to ‘The Wadas On Duty’ for this tune from 1980.  None more 80s!  I got it here, which is a great site about living and travelling in Japan: http://the-wadas.com/popular-japanese-christmas-songs/

Their Twitter is here: @TheWadas

Information about Yumi Matsutoya here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yumi_Matsutoya

Day 18: Musical Advent Calendar 2017

Artist: Daisy Voisin
Title: Alegría, alegría
Translation: Joy, joy
Language: Spanish (Daisy Voisin was from Trinidad & Tobago)

Lyrics: http://islandlyrics.com/lyrics-daisy_voisin-alegria_alegria_parang.htm

This song is by Daisy Voisin, a legend in Trinidad & Tobago. She was known as the ‘Queen of Parang’.  Parang translates as ‘merrymaking’, from the Spanish work ‘parranda’, and seems to involve musicians going round to people’s houses and everyone singing, dancing, eating food…basically having a great time!

Daisy Voisin was a deeply religious person, and sang in church, and this song is a celebration of the birth of Jesus.  I love the joy in this song.  I personally find some English-language carols and religious Christmas songs a little…turgid.  Dancing, singing and celebrating in a jubilant way makes much more sense to me!

Information about Daisy Voisin here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daisy_Voisin

Very informative website about Parang here: http://aingram.web.wesleyan.edu/parangdescription.html

Day 17: Musical Advent Calendar 2017

Artist: Michèle Richard
Title: C’est Noël Rock
Translation: Literally translates as ‘It’s Christmas Rock’, but is a version of ‘Jingle Bell Rock’
Language: French

Lyrics: http://www.bide-et-musique.com/song/14052.html

I am doing well this year with cool Christmas music from Canada!  Today we have a very groovy, upbeat version of ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ for your delight and delectation.  I like how the lyrics in ‘traditional’ English-language songs are altered so that they sound good in other languages. This one has a nice line: ‘Personne n’est triste, tout le monde chante’ – ‘Nobody is sad, everyone sings’. While that may not be true for everybody at Christmas, it’s something to aim for.

More information about Michèle Richard here: https://translate.google.co.uk/translate?hl=en&sl=fr&u=https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mich%25C3%25A8le_Richard&prev=search Bear in mind it has been translated, so may not be exactly correct!