Alibabki: Grajmy Sobie w Zielone (Pronit, 1969)

28 May

Grajmy sobie w zielone (Let’s Play in the Green) is a song taken from Alibabki’s 1969 debut LP Kwiat Jednej Nocy and like that album’s title track – featured in an earlier post and introduced with some background on this all-female vocal ensemble – the lyric has a decidedly symbolist air, though the two songs were, in fact, written by different people: in the former case Juliusz Loranc and Jonasz Kofta furnished the music and lyrics, while here they are the work of Jerzy Kleyny and Aleksander Bem. Far more relaxed in its use of jazzy inflections than the earlier song’s pastiche twenties style, the two nevertheless share an identity definable as Alibabki’s own. This suggests either that the songs were created specifically for the ensemble, or that Alibabki themselves chose their material carefully. Whichever is the case, the song can be heard here in a version performed for Polish TV and the original Polish lyric (from which this version deviates while hopefully remaining broadly within the spirit of the original) can be read here.

Grajmy sobie w zielone (Let’s Play in the Green)

(After Jerzy Kleyny/Aleksander Bem, 1969)

Let us play ourselves in the green,
in all those endless forests
whose birds, paths and trails
lead us into the sun, the trees, over water,
take us right where they want us:
wherever you want.

Let us play ourselves in the green,
among all these rivers, running on,
the scent of cut meadows
and trees bowed under the sky’s weight,
a familiar heaven of cirrus cloud
that lifts us, takes us – who knows where to?

Let us play ourselves in the green,
deal a green-backed card
from the woodland’s tarot-pack of leaves
that foretells our fates:
is it the leafy or the stony path we’ll take
when the road forks next?

Let us play ourselves in the green,
in the cat-like, thoughtful
green of your eyes, in the light
through a forest canopy whose shade
closes over us, cools our skins
like fresh cotton sheets: let’s play…

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