10th April 2017: Emir Kusturica & The No Smoking Orchestra – Djinji Rinji Bubamara

Emir Kusturica & The No Smoking Orchestra – Djinji Rinji Bubamara
Language – Romani
Translation – Ladybird (Bubamara = ladybird)

Note to self: write my blog before I make my dinner, before I eat, before I try and watch ‘Broadchurch’, before I fall asleep on the sofa. Apologies for the slight lateness – will I ever learn?

According to the wise people who have written notes under this video on YouTube, this song is sung in Romani – there are lyrics in English and Romani under the video too.  Emir Kusturica is Serbian, and I believe Romani has several different versions in various countries across Europe, so this might be Balkan Romani – see here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romani_language.  From the film ‘Crna Macka Beli Makor’ (Black Cat, White Cat) by Emir Kusturica, who, as well as being a musician in this band, is also a film director.  On the album ‘Unza Unza Time’ from 2000.

Website: http://www.thenosmokingorchestra.com/

8th April 2017: Mak Les Soeurs – Sunshine

Mak Les Soeurs – Sunshine
Language – German

It’s a beautiful sunny day here in Birmingham, so I thought a song about the sun would be appropriate. It’s amazing how a bit of sunny weather makes most folk feel optimistic and happy. I was just having a conversation about whether people who live in climates that are sunny all year round are constantly happy, but apparently it doesn’t really work like that. Here in the UK the relief that we feel after getting through another cold, dark winter is palpable. Sunny days are rare, so let’s make the most of it! 

I believe this super girl band are Swedish, but here they are singing in German (and a tiny bit of a English). It’s a cute love song, equating the effect of happiness from being in love with the joy of a sunny day, even if it’s nighttime. 

Lyrics here: http://lyrics.wikia.com/wiki/Mak_Les_Soeurs:Sunshine

5th April 2017: Selda Bağcan – Ince Ince

Selda Bağcan – Ince Ince
Language – Turkish

The amazing Selda, highlighting once again the difference in the standard of living between those living in the cities and those in rural areas of Turkey. Never afraid to speak out, which sadly landed her in trouble with the Turkish authorities. 

Lyrics (in English and Turkish here: http://lyricstranslate.com/en/ince-ince-flaked.html

4th April 2017: The Rokes – Ascolta nel vento

The Rokes – Ascolta nel vento
Language – Italian
Translation – Listening to the wind

Apologies for not posting for a few days – I’ve been a bit busy 🙂

Anyway, here’s a beautiful Italian tune from 1966, with hints of Gene Clark era Byrds. The lyrics (in Italian) are under the video on YouTube. Info about the band here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rokes.

They also did this song (below) in English, which, while not in a foreign-language, *is* marvellous (thank you to @musicography for introducing me to this song).

3rd April 2017: Domenico Modugno – Nel blu dipinto di blu (Volare)

Domenico Modugno – Nel blu dipinto di blu (Volare)
Language – Italian
Translation – In the blue painted blue (Flying)

Live on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1958 (wow, Buddy Holly would still have been alive then!), the man who wrote this beautiful song (with Franco Migliacci) actually singing it. Classic stuff! 

Interesting life too: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domenico_Modugno

Lyrics in English and Italian here: http://lyricstranslate.com/en/nel-blu-dipinto-di-blu-blue-painted-blue.html

2nd April 2017: Los Mismos – El Puente

Los Mismos – El Puente
Language – Spanish
Translation – The bridge

I have also seen this song with the title ‘Puente a Mallorca’. 

One day, if I ever came into a lot of money, I would like to buy all the singles on the ‘Belter label, because…well, because it’s fab!  Happy memories of rifling through the 45s in an underground record shop in Madrid…I wonder if it’s still there?