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Niebiesko-Czarni: Nie pukaj do moich drzwi (Pronit, 1967)

10 Aug

Nie pukaj do moich drzwi (Don’t Knock On My Door) was written by Czeslaw Niemen and Jacek Grań, both of whom have cropped up here in previous entries, Niemen as a solo artist, and indisputably one of the key figures in Polish music of the period, and Jacek Grań as lyricist on several songs associated with Tadeusz Nalepa and Mira Kubasinska’s blues-rock outfit Breakout. It’s also worth noting the importance of Niebiesko-Czarni (The Blue-Blacks) themselves, since they were, along with Czerwono-Czarni (The Red-Blacks), one of the first beat groups to form and tour in Poland. In their early days, they proved something of a laboratory in which many future talents were nurtured, the roster of members on their debut LP having included Stan Borys, Michal Burano, Helena Majdaniec and Czeslaw Niemen, among others. By 1967 the membership seems to have settled, with Ada Rusowicz and Wojtek Korda alternating on lead vocals and Nie pukaj do moich drzwi  is very much one of Ada Rusowicz’s moments in the spotlight. While she often (like Niemen and Borys) brought American soul and r’n’b vocal styles into the Polish context, the primary influences in this particular song seem drawn more from beat sources, not least the Beatles of Rubber Soul and A Hard Day’s Night. Both band and song also appeared in the 1966 film comedy Mocne Uderzenie and it’s worth noting that the ‘live’ version featured there has a much harder edge than its studio equivalent, as featured on the Alarm! LP the following year.  It seems that at this stage bands like Niebiesko-Czarni were primarily considered (and considered themselves) as live entities, with recordings produced almost as an afterthought – albeit a frequently high-energy and persuasive afterthought. By 1968, more time and resources were being spent in studios developing material designed to be heard on record, but as late as 1967 the approach still seems to have been to try and capture something approaching a band’s live sound with few frills. Nie pukaj do moich drzwi can be heard here, accompanied by some very low-resolution footage from Mocne Uderzenie, and a transcript of the Polish lyric can be read here.

Nie pukaj do moich drzwi (Don’t Knock On My Door)

(after Jacek Grań/Czeslaw Niemen, 1967)

You said that you’d love me forever,
that you’d never, ever, love another.
So tell me, was it a sudden wind
that yesterday took your heart from me?

I’d have told you I wanted to be alone
but you never once came to knock on my door.
I heard you, but it was just the wind –
only the wind, then the wind again.

You said that you’d like me forever,
that you’d always like me more than the rest.
Today it seems I’ve been cast away
like a handful of grass released on a breeze.

Maybe I didn’t keep watch in my house,
left it unlocked, so someone stole you away?
I’d have told you I wanted to be alone
but you never came by to knock on my door.

I heard you, but it was just the wind,
only the wind, then the wind again.
Yes, I heard you, but it was just the wind,
only the wind, then the wind again.

You said that you’d love me forever,
that you’d never, ever, love another.
So tell me, what was this sudden wind
that yesterday carried you away from me?

I know all your words. I know them well.
There’s a word I’d like to say to you.
I want to tell you how much I want to be alone
but you never come to knock on my door!

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Mira Kubasińska & Breakout: Gdybyś kochał hej (Pronit, 1969)

28 Jun

A pretty straightforward lyric from Breakout’s song Gdybyś kochał hej, issued in 1969 on the Pronit label. The original Polish text (written by Jacek Grań) can be found here, and a 1969 Polish TV clip featuring the band performing the song can be seen here.

Gdybyś kochał hej (If You Loved Me)

(after Tadeusz Nalepa/Jacek Grań, 1969)

If you liked me a little bit, liked me at all,
if you hadn’t chosen another girl,

then maybe I’d love you the way you are:
I’d have chosen you if you’d wanted me.

You might be the wind and I the open grass,
you might be the sky and I a poplar tree.

You might be the sun, I the shadow you cast,
if you’d only change your mind at last.

And if you dream of me at night, well, hey,
I might feel peace and you might stay.

Maybe I’ll still love you, maybe I’ll just go.
Unless you love me, you’ll never know.

Mira Kubasińska & Breakout: Poszłabym Za Tobą (Pronit, 1969)

26 Jun

Poszłabym Za Tobą (I’ll Find You…) is the opening track on the 1969 Breakout LP Na drugim brzegu tęczy (Beyond the Rainbow) and its mix of heavy blues-based rock and ethereal flute (played by the noted Polish jazz musician Włodzimierz Nahorny) is both immediate and irresistible in its impact.

Like other Breakout songs, the lyric to Poszłabym Za Tobą is a fairly straightforward love song, in which vocalist Mira Kubasinska wonders how far she’d go to find her lover: to heaven and hell, certainly, but by the time the prospect of the highway and the end of the world come up, there’s a sense that her resolve has wavered slightly – or, at least, that she’s more interested in travelling for her own sake:

Poszłabym za tobą do samego nieba,
ale za wysoko, ale za wysoko,
ale jak się tego nie bać?

Poszłabym za tobą do samego piekła,
ale za gorąco, ale za gorąco,
ale jeszcze bym się spiekła!

Poszłabym za tobą na rozstajne drogi,
ale za daleko, ale za daleko,
jak na moje nogi – hej, hej!

Poszłabym za tobą na sam koniec świata,
ale mi się nie chce, ale mi się nie chce,
nie chce za chłopcami latać!

Not that it matters much: in musical terms, Poszłabym Za Tobą is nothing less than one of the great rock songs of its era.  The Polish lyric is reproduced above and some footage of Breakout performing it on Polish TV in 1969 can be seen here.

Poszłabym Za Tobą (I’ll Find You…)

(after Tadeusz Nalepa/Jacek Grań, 1969)

I’d come to get you from heaven itself,
but it’s too high to reach, too high to reach:
maybe I’ll get to heaven anyway
if you’ll just stay calm, wait there for me.

I’d come to get you from hell itself
but it’s too hot down there, too hot to breathe:
maybe I’ll risk it, scorch my fair skin
if you’ll wait there for me, wait till I come.

I’d come to get you from the side of the road
but that highway’s long, it’s very long:
maybe I’ll walk, wear out my shoes,
if there’s no-one there to bring you home.

I’d come to get you from the end of the world
but don’t want to go, don’t want to go:
maybe I’ll come and find you, when I can.
Will boys fly one day? I’ll fly on my own.