Poetry

Category archives for Poetry

One of the brightest stars of Swedish literature is Carl Michael Bellman (1740-1795). Much of his work is a kind of humorous beat poetry set to music, chronicling the lives of Stockholm drunkards and whores. Central themes are boozing, sex and death. “You think the grave’s too deep? Well then, have a drink Then have…

Dear Reader, Would you like to read about werewolf communes? The beasties live quietly in southern California Doing dirty work for the drugs trade Sharing pack mentality, each with a queen bitch Riding their vans to the desert’s edge, changing Into quadruped form and running long nights Through the sagebrush, panting and exhilarated Would you…

Here’s a translation of one of my first brushes with absurdism, Swedish rocker Eddie Meduza’s 70s song “Va den grön så får du en ny” (original lyrics here with ugly popups). If It Was Green, Then I’ll Replace It By Eddie Meduza I’d bought myself a vacuum flask In a store down in Målilla It…

Chinese Pop Lyrics

I am almost completely unable to enjoy Chinese pop music. In fact, I can barely stand listening to it: I find it saccharine-yet-bland and silly and clichéd. But there’s one aspect of it that’s kind of fun, though I can only appreciate it with the help of an interpreter. Chinese musicians record cover versions of…

Sausage Skin Hat Episode

I just realised that the lyrics of this traditional Swedish children’s song read just like the recounting of a hallucinogen experience or a psychotic episode. Imagine a goggle-eyed grizzled old hippie buttonholing you at a vegetarian restaurant and forcing you, giggling, to listen to the story of his life-changing episode back in ’68.

Super Furry Archaeology

Gruff Rhys, front man of trippy Welsh popsters The Super Furry Animals, released his second solo album back in January, Candylion. (Here’s the promo site.) Its mellow quirky tunes will appeal to fans of the Furries. I particularly like the title track, “Beacon in the Darkness” and the hummable “The Court of King Arthur”.

La Grange

For about a week, the relentless riff from ZZ Top’s 1973 hit song “La Grange” has been playing in my head. Such a great, great song, not least the powerful and exact drumming. And the vocals are really funny, with the singer sounding like a right old lecher. So I got the album, Tres Hombres,…