Friday, July 6, 2007

Här kommer Pippi Långstrump

I wish I could say my recent absence has been for some valid reason, like bathing in the glory of our democratic independent state, but actually it's just because I rediscovered Worms Armageddon and am playing it like a total geek. I allow myself this simple pleasure, however, because it's one of only two games I like to play (the other being the Tony Hawk Pro Skater series, because Tony Hawk is a serious genius. Obviously).

Anyway, in between napalm strikes I looked up Pippi Longstocking (as you do) and noticed something sort of interesting. Here is a video of the theme song to the original Swedish series (later turned into 4 poorly dubbed English language movies):

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It's sort of good, right? I mean, once you get over the semi-annoying child actor singing (which is actually really catchy and I kind of like, though it keeps me from falling asleep), it's kind of hip. Turns out the music was done by a famous (at least in Sweden) jazz musician called Jan Johansson. I'm not exactly sure how this works out, because he died (prematurely) in 1968 and the show started in 1969, but I'm not going to go through the whole rigmarole of researching that aspect. Instead I just downloaded two of his albums, Jazz på Svenska and Jazz på Ryska , which are his versions of Swedish and Russian folk songs, and I think they're pretty nice.

I don't listen to jazz; mostly because I don't know how or where to start, but also because when I think of jazz I think of those weird moments in David Lynch films where someone is playing the saxophone under blue lights and I don't know what's going on, nor do I like the sounds of the saxophone. From what I can tell, Jan Johansson's jazz is non-saxophone related and I can see why people like it. Jazz på Svenska (which means Jazz in Sweden as you probably could have guessed) is fairly minimalist -- just piano and bass. It's smart, and sounds complex and simple at the same time. You can picture what the old folk songs would have sounded like with other instruments because he takes care of all that with only the piano. Anyway, lucky you, I just found a video on youtube. Listen for yourself:

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P.S. Pippi Longstocking was really cool because she had a horse that lived in the house and her dad was a pirate who left her home alone and she didn't go to school. Not to mention she had super-human power, a besides-the-point character strength. Basically my total hero. Also she apparently really loved coffee, an awesome attribute for a kid.

4 comments:

Jake said...

Well, if no one else is gonna comment, may I just say it is an rare honor to blog with a woman who dismisses all jazz (with the exception of someone called Jan Johansson) because it reminds her of "weird moments in David Lynch films where someone is playing the saxophone under blue lights and I don't know what's going on, nor do I like the sounds of the saxophone."

Rock on, Alice

Ben said...

That was a killer post. Just killer. Pippi Longstocking, worms, and jazz? Awesome. And I'll leave it at that.

Karen said...

there's a great story called "The Cat and the Coffee Drinkers," by Max Steele about a nursery school teacher who serves her students black coffee.

Anonymous said...

Jazz på Svenska means "Jazz in Swedish" not Sweden.