12th April 2017: Iftin – Haka Yeelin Nacabkeenna

Iftin – Haka Yeelin Nacabkeenna
Language – Somali
Translation – Don’t Heed Our Enemies (or those who are against our love)

This recording is from a tape, hence the poor quality, but it’s a great song!  Interesting information about the band here on a blog called ‘Likembe’: http://likembe.blogspot.co.uk/2007/11/somali-mystery-funk.html

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).