30th April 2015: Ennio Sangiusto – El Pirata

Language – Spanish

Translation – The Pirate (not too tricky to work out, that one…)

Yeah, let’s do the Pirate Twist with Ennio Sangiusto!  I suspect that real pirates wouldn’t have much time for doing the Twist.  Far too busy making people walk the plank, or splicing the mainbrace, or counting their pieces of eight, or whatever else pirates do. But, if they did have a few minutes for a dance, the Twist would definitely be right up their street…

**I just learned what ‘splicing the mainbrace’ actually means – find out here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Splice_the_mainbrace**


29th April 2015: Gigliola Cinquetti – No tengo edad

Language – Spanish

Translation – I have no age (I am ageless?)

An lovely Italian lady singing in Spanish.  Sometimes, I just spoil you lot…

Gigliola Cinquetti is Italian, and this was a song she sang in Italian at the San Remo festival in 1964, which was called ‘Non ho l’eta’, and which translates as ‘I’m not old enough’.  She won!  I think that either it changed meaning in translation from Italian to Spanish, or this is why I should be suspicious of trusting Google Translate. Anyway, it’s a lovely song.  She sang the same song at Eurovision in the same year, and only went and won it as well! At the grand old age of 16.  Fair play to the young lady!  Italian / Eurovision version below, and you can choose which one you prefer 🙂

28th April 2015: The Singing Nun – Dominique

Language = French

Was this the first big Euro-crossover hit?  I felt that I should put this song on my blog – it’s important in the history of English-speakers learning about songs in other languages. Lyrics in the link below – an interesting read.  I am curious as to how this song became such a big hit in 1963, the beginning of possibly the most transformative decade of the last century.  Divine intervention, perchance?


26th April 2015: Theme from ‘Mon Oncle’ – composed by Franck Barcellini

I have chosen two instrumental tracks today, and I have very personal reasons for doing so.  My lovely dad died ten years ago today, and he adored the film Mon Oncle. My dad introduced me to the Quintet of the Hot Club of France, and Jacques Tati, and the films of Jean Renoir.  My parents took me and my brother on holiday to the Basque region that spans the Pyrenees, and helped us understand the importance of retaining and respecting different cultures.  We had many amusing food incidents where what we ordered in shops or restaurants was not what we thought we had asked for due to lack of language knowledge (particular memories of half a kilo, instead of a quarter of a pound, of garlic sausage that seemed to last for ever!).  Exciting forays into the world of cidre in Normandy.  Drinking Fundador brandy whenever we went to Spain. Just a fantastic introduction to our world, and the beginnings of a curiosity for finding out about countries and regions that developed and has never left me.  I consider myself a very lucky person. My dad wasn’t perfect, but I wouldn’t have changed him for anything. And these tracks are for him x

25th April 2015 – Los Huracanes – Algo Por Nada

Language – Spanish

Translation – Something for Nothing

It is Saturday evening, and we need to dance.  Hence, my choice of this groovy Spanish soul stomper!  I suggest you play it loud.  Really loud.  And dance like no one is watching you.  Go on, you know you want to…

You can get this track on the fabulous compilation album, Sensacional Soul, here: http://munster-records.com/en/label/vampisoul/product/sensacional-soul-vol-1


24th April 2015: Brigitte Bardot – Contact

Language – French

I can’t believe I have got to nearly the end of April before choosing this one! This song is the result of the delicious pairing of Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot. The vocals are a bit out of synch with the pictures but, whatever, it’s this kind of event that makes me wish I had been around in the 60s.  Ah, c’est la vie!

http://www.fondationbrigittebardot.fr/ – this is a link to Brigitte Bardot’s animal charity website. Which is infinitely cooler than her political views…

22nd April 2015: Elis Regina – Águas de Março

Language – Brazilian Portugese

Translation – March waters

Possibly one of the cheeriest singers ever! I have nothing to say about this song – it’s perfect!

I read that Elis Regina sometimes sang some pretty politically-charged songs, including those which were critical of the dictatorship in Brazil in the 60s / 70s, but due to her absolute fame and popularity she did not suffer the fate (i.e. exile) of many of her contemporaries who did the same thing.  Sadly, she died at the age of 36.

21st April 2015: Los Diablos – Niña de papá

Language – Spanish

Translation – Daddy’s Little Girl

This evening I have watched three episodes of Game of Thrones.  It is the first time I have seen it, and while I have no personal objection to the dramatic use of violence and swearing, I think it may have resulted in the mood that made me choose this slightly chirpy number as today’s top pick.  An antidote, if you will.  I have a copy of this single, of which I am most proud – photo below!

This song is made, of course, by the excellent keyboard sounds.  I can just imagine when the keyboard player first brought that behemoth to the rehearsal studio and said ‘Lads, this is the future!’.  Or, rather, ‘Muchachos, este es el futuro!’.  Thankfully, they listened to him, as we all know that Moog-y keys are the best.  It may not be a Moog.  I don’t know.  But it is fantastic, nonetheless.

I would also like to heartily commend these muchachos on their dancing!  Top stuff.