Sunday, September 28, 2014

"Vinsjan på Kaia" tops the list of the 20 best songs about Norway

This summer a list came out on the 20 best songs about Norway. This list is here. I only know 3 songs on the list, so I've got some listening to do! Many of these are old songs which sound quite dated and I find difficult to listen to. And some of them I find really great. My personal top 10 list would look entirely different!

Here's the top half of the top 20 list. I've linked videos to them so you can give a listen and see if you like any. We've starred the ones we like best.

1. D.D.E.: «Vinsjan på kaia», 1993   *
2. Alf Prøysen: «Så seile vi på Mjøsa», 1964
3. De Press: «Lars Hertervig», 1981
4. Lillebjørn Nilsen: «Barn av regnbuen», 1973
5. Stein Ove Berg: «Manda‘ morra blues», 2004   *
6. Wenche Myhre: «La meg være ung», 1964
7. Tønes: «Sån av Salve», 2012
8. Ungdomslaget Ny Von: «Sluttsang», 1978  *
9. Karpe Diem: «Påfugl», 2012
10. Åge Aleksandersen: «Fire pils og en pizza», 1994

The top song, Vinsjan på Kaia by D.D.E., is a song I first heard last year when a friend's band played it at a bar in Hommelvik. ( I still love this song. The name of the band, D.D.E., is a homophone for "det det er" in the local dialect, meaning "what it is" as in "it is what it is".

The melancholy song tells of a young man on the dock (kaia) leaving his girlfriend for the summer. He had always dreamed of being a sailor, traveling the world and bringing back gifts for his girlfriend, but now he just has a ticket as a passenger on his way to his aunt's house. And at the end, she ends up with a clerk. I'm not sure if he's the clerk or if it's someone else.

Here's the chorus, with my attempted translation – it's written in dialect which can sometimes be inscrutible. (I welcome edits from my Trøndersk friends!)

"Beatles spællt aldri så vakkert som vinsjan på kaia
Finast parfymen va lukta av olje og sjø
Ingen va deilig som du, den dan æ skull' færra
Begge va altfor blyg te å sei adjø"

"Beatles never played so beautiful as the winch on the dock 
The finest perfume was the smell of the oil and the sea 
None were as lovely as you, the day I left for vacation 
Both were too shy to say goodbye."

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