Omega: Gyöngyhajú lány (Qualiton, 1969)

10 Nov

A track taken from the leading Hungarian band Omega’s oblique concept LP 10,000 Lepes (Ten Thousand Steps), first released in 1969. 10,000 Lepes was the band’s second Hungarian release (and third full-length recording: the first, Omega Red Star: From Hungary (1968) was recorded under the auspices of the Rolling Stones for Decca in London). Gyöngyhajú lány was written by Anna Adamis and Gábor Presser, best known as members of Locomotiv GT, perhaps the key songwriters (certainly the most successful in commercial terms) writing material for rock artists on the Hungarian scene from the later 1960s and through most of the 1970s. Gyöngyhajú lány was a hugely popular recording, with Omega themselves issuing alternate versions in German and as an instrumental for the international market: it has also been widely covered in the years since its first release, notably by Western rock band The Scorpions in 1995, albeit with rather ham-fisted English lyrics and a far more anodyne nineties studio production, making its general feel very different to the spellbound quality to be found in the Hungarian version of 1969. The original version of the song can be heard here, and a transcript of the Hungarian lyric can be read here:

Gyöngyhajú lány (A Girl with Pearls in her Hair)

(after Gábor Presser/Anna Adamis, 1969)

One day the sun was tired, fell asleep
on the green breast of the lake.
I tell you: people hurt in the dark.
She had pity, once, stayed among us.
I had this dream. Perhaps it’s true.

The sun’s hair is bright as pearls
strung between blue earth and sky.
The lake’s green was touched by light
and the sun stayed, once, long ago.
I had this dream. Perhaps it’s true.

At dawn, she was finished, went home,
saw the blue mountains shrink,
blue elephants then small blue flowers.
This was the story, a girl at dawn.
I had this dream. Perhaps it’s true.

I lived where the departing sun
dipped her long hair in a green lake,
lowered it, strand by strand, till
it touched sand, snared deep pearl.
I had this dream. Perhaps it’s true.

When alone, that girl might sleep,
a reflection between pearl-white
stars of ice, adrift in the water
among green currents, clear stones.
I had this dream. Perhaps it’s true.

I tried to wake her. She was long gone,
waits for us, somewhere, out there
between the heavens and earth,
behind mountains, or in the water’s sky.
I had this dream. Perhaps it’s true.

Did I dream? Perhaps it’s always true.
She is waiting for me somewhere
between heaven and earth,
hidden deep in mountains, water, sky…
I had this dream. Perhaps it’s true.

UPDATE: Since this was posted, Omega’s own English-language version has surfaced on YouTube. Thanks to Radoslav Košvanec for linking to this in the comments below.

3 Responses to “Omega: Gyöngyhajú lány (Qualiton, 1969)”

  1. ALan Field December 21, 2011 at 1:08 am #

    Can anyone tell me who owns the publishing rights to Gyöngyhajú lány?

    Thanks.

    Lehet bárki mondja ki birtokolja a kiadói jogoknak a gyöngyhajú lány?

    Köszönöm.

    • wayneburrows December 22, 2011 at 2:13 am #

      The song is credited to Gabor Presser (music) and Anna Adamis (words) so I’d guess tracing their music publisher would be the first step. I know the Scorpions cover (featuring Presser’s music) is copyrighted to Universal Music, but not sure if they also own the rights to the Omega original.

  2. Radoslav Košvanec February 19, 2014 at 7:07 pm #

    The song was also recorded and released with english lyrics, but unfortunately only in mono http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJBfYPSAMX0

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