Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A look At The Puhdys




Many people were shot and killed trying to cross the Berlin Wall, which was the most famous monument to the failure of communism. But the Berlin Wall could never stop rock and roll. The Puhdys are easily the most popular band to come out of 40 years of communist rule in Eat Germany. Their popularity continues in the united Germany. Their use of basic instruments rather than high tech has a 60's feel to it. And their lyrics speak to universal concerns.

I was very happy to find a video of Große Herzen, a song from the Puhdys "Dezembertage" (December days) album. The lyrics are as follows, followed by my very rough translation.

Sie sind nicht von dieser Welt They Are not of this world
der Himmel schickte sie They are sent by heaven
all die Engel mit den großen Herzen All the open hearted angels
geben Trost und Zuversicht give consolation and confidence
und sie bringen dir das Licht and bring to you light
wenn du im Schatten stehst und hilflos bist when you stand helpless in the shadows

Große Herzen fragen nie The open hearted never ask
nach dem Lohn für ihre Müh´pay for their troubles
große Herzen spenden Kraft Open hearted exert effort
für das was man allein nicht schafft for that which people can not do themselves

Manchmal sind sie Weggefährten Sometimes they go away
tragen deine Last taking with them your burden
manchmal zahlen sie für dich den Preis sometimes they pay your way
manchmal opfern sie sich auf sometimes they sacrifice themselves
nehmen die Gefahr in Kauf paying the price
um Leben vor dem Tode zu bewahren to protect life from death

Große Herzen fragen nie The open hearted never ask
nach dem Lohn für ihre Müh´pay for their troubles
große Herzen spenden Kraft Open hearted exert effort
für das was man allein nicht schafft for that which people can not do themselves

Könn´ erhören und versteh´n They can hear and understand
tief in deine Seele sehn and see dep into your soul
wenn sie mit dir durch ein Feuer geh´n as they go with you through the fire
können heilen und verzeih´n They can heal and absolve
können deine Retter sein And be your rescuer
bedingungslos an deiner Seite steh´n and unconditionally stand by your side

Große Herzen fragen nie The open hearted never ask
nach dem Lohn für ihre Müh´ pay for their troubles
große Herzen spenden Kraft Open hearted exert effort
für das was man allein nicht schafft for that which people can not do themselves.

The term "Große Herzen" translates literally as "big hearts".

It seems to describe either angels, spiritual beings or friends who are spiritually attuned. I tend towards a more mundane association of deep friendship, or of souls in the next world who function as spiritual guides. Either way, the song has a resonance to it. I am including below a band video of the song and an anime version. I hope my readers enjoy both.




video video

Sunday, May 9, 2010

British Elections and Looking For Music





The British election and its maddening stalemate found me wondering about some of the splinter parties. There is a Scottish nationalist party that actually seeks to make Scotland an independent nation. The party is known as the Scottish National Party. They have joined a bloc known as Plaid Cymru, which is a Welsh nationalist party with corresponding goals of Welsh independence. They have agreed to form a Celtic bloc to strike the best deal possible for themselves.

The survival of Welsh and Scottish Gaelic never ceases to amaze me. I grew up outside of Boston. Despite no known Irish ancestry, the Irish historical narrative resonates with me. When I was a child, there were still veterans of the struggle for Irish independence and still elderly people who had grandparents in the potato famine. There are universal notes in the history of each and every nation. Ireland is no exception.

After the British elections, I set out to find Welsh and Scottish folk rock. Sometimes, life is what happens when you were expecting something else. So I did not find a Celtic folk rock band. But I did find an English rock band from Oldham, England known as "Dare". They have been around since 1985. So some of you all can roll your eyes at my having just discovered a band that is 25 years old. That's fine by me. Music isn't like a jar of mayonnaise. It doesn't go bad when it's old. So I just discovered it. And if it weren't for the British elections and my unsuccessful search for some Celtic rock, I never would have known what I am missing.

What never ceases to puzzle me is that an English rock band sings in an American accent. It doesn't particularly bother me, except that I like to hear local accents, which is one of the reasons I enjoy listening to Melanie, who sings with a New York accent.

If you want to hear an English accent in English music, there is always Fairport Convention. The earliest albums have Sandy Denny as the lead vocalist.

So I didn't find quite what I wanted when I set out to find Celtic music. Sometimes it's like that when you go out looking for new music. You can't always get what you want. Elections are like that too,












video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xd1AKbXFe80&feature=related





video


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-ezy2WaM24&feature=related