Czerwone Gitary: Nie Zadzieraj Nosa (Pronit, 1966)

9 Apr

Often this site’s song choices, for fairly obvious reasons, have focused on the material whose lyrics are most suited to adaptation into something resembling a literary form, so consider this song by Poland’s star Big Beat combo Czerwone Gitary a hint at the more conventional modes of pop song that are far more widely represented on LPs and 45s than this site generally tends to imply: Nie Zadzieraj Nosa offers an example of something with no literary pretensions whatsoever. On the back cover of To Wlasnie My (This is Us), the band’s 1966 debut LP, Nie Zadzieraj Nosa is glossed as Don’t Show Off, which suggests the literal phrase, Don’t Wrinkle Your Nose, (or, perhaps, Don’t Turn Up Your Nose) is idiomatic in the way that the same line is in English: a request to ‘put aside your pretensions and join in the fun’, as the rest of the lyric so clearly insists. Czerwone Gitary (Red Guitars) were founded by 23 year old Jerzy Kossela in 1965, drawing members from other bands of the time and recorded all over the Eastern Bloc, occasionally beyond. Initially seeming like an early Beatles styled act, expertly if not entirely originally deploying jangling guitars and close harmonies on a whole clutch of catchy pop tunes, from their third LP onwards they began to develop into a far less easily classifiable proposition, with Rytm Ziemi (Rhythm of the Earth) and Płoną Góry Płoną Lasy (Burning Forest Burning Fires) making key contributions to a compelling back catalogue peppered with experimentation and genre-blurring. By the mid-seventies, the band had returned to a (mostly) mainstream repertoire of old hits and love songs, but recordings by individual members like Krzysztof Klenczon continued to experiment outside the group itself. Nie Zadzieraj Nosa hails from 1966, their earliest phase, and can be heard here.

Nie zadzieraj nosa (Don’t Wrinkle Your Nose)

(Seweryn Krajewski/ Marek Gaszyński,  1966)

Don’t wrinkle your nose and make that face.
Don’t put on airs or dismiss the five of us.
Come on, change it all for the better now!
In just a moment you could be a friend of ours.

If you’ll loosen up, join us, we’ll all have fun.
Come on, get started, let’s share a party now!
Let us persuade you it should be like this.
If you’ve got troubles, well, we’ve had worries too.

And if you want to sing, sing along with us.
This is your chance: we’re playing just for you!
Have fun with us, now, if you want to dance,
Tomorrow we’re leaving and you’ll still be here.

But you’ll remember our songs, and sing along,
and when our chorus starts, we’ll be back again!
If you want to sing, well, sing along with us,
this is your chance, we’re playing just for you!

So don’t wrinkle your nose and make that face,
don’t be shy or try to put down the five of us.
Come on, let’s change it all for the better now!
In just a moment, you could be a friend of ours.

If you join us, we’ll all be friends and dance.
Come on, have some fun, let’s all party now!
Let us persuade you things should be like this!
If you’ve got troubles, well, we’ve had worries too.

Czerwone Gitary - To Wlasnie My… (Pronit, 1966)

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