Halina Frąckowiak: Idę Dalej (Muza, 1974)

26 Jan

Halina Frąckowiak had long been known as the lead vocalist with Andrzeja Niebeskiego’s Polish soul outfit Grupa ABC when she released her first full-length solo recording, Idę, in 1974. While many of the songs were in more mainstream idioms, the best material used progressive instrumentation and arrangements, many composed by Frąckowiak herself (including the song that concerns us here, Idę Dalej) with some additional material on the LP arranged by such notable composers as Katarzyna Gärtner and Wojciech Trzciński. The supporting musicians on Idę are drawn from a wide pool of Polish players of the time, so the approach here appears to have been for Frąckowiak to put together an appropriate backing for each song rather than work with a more stable line-up (on her second solo release, Geira, she worked more consistently with the progressive rock band SBB). Idę Dalej itself has a heavy organ-based sound and a dynamic that underscores its message perfectly: as Frąckowiak walks out on her dying relationship into some unknown future, to be lived on her own terms, the slow sections describing what she’s leaving behind are contrasted neatly with the uplift of the choruses that describe her going. I can’t help suspecting that this song might well have a similar status in Poland to that held by Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive in the UK: a perfect marriage of heartbreak and exhileration precisely engineered to make the ending of a relationship feel like the most exciting thing in the world, tinged with sadness though it might remain. The full song can be heard here and a transcript of the Polish lyric, written by Janusz Kondratowicz, can be read here:

Ide Dalej (Going On)

(After Janusz Kondratowicz/Halina Frackowiak, 1974)

There’s not much I can give you,
I’ve so little left in hand:
while the clock ticks ever faster
my days fade out like sound.

I shared everything I had with you,
each word, each passing thought,
each touch and fleeting moment:
what’s left now is not enough.

So your silence grows in volume,
impatient stares turn dark,
moods shift from cold to black,
sway like palm trees in a storm.

I’m going, I’m going back to live my life.
I’m going, as one thing’s born and another dies.
I’m going, you’ll write your own account of us.
I’m going, don’t miss me, I’ll find my own way out.

I’m going, along the path I have to walk.
I’m going, where horizons fall out of sight.
I’m going, without you at my side,
I’m going, I’ll keep going. I’m moving on.

There’s not much I can give you,
I’ve so little left in hand:
while the clock ticks ever faster
my days fade out like sound.

I shared everything I had with you,
each word, each passing thought,
each touch and fleeting moment:
what’s left now is not enough.

Today, there’s nothing left of us,
what I know I’ll no longer hide.
One hope I’ll carry against the wind:
that the memory helps me live.

I’m going, I’m going back to live my life.
I’m going, as one thing’s born and another dies.
I’m going, you’ll write your own account of us.
I’m going, don’t miss me, I’ll find my own way out.

I’m going, along the path I have to walk.
I’m going, where horizons fall out of sight.
I’m going, without you at my side,
I’m going, I’ll keep going. I’m moving on.

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