Thursday, 13 March 2008

Alina Orlova

A strange thing happened to me a couple of weeks ago. As I was channel surfing on a Friday (or Saturday?) night, I came across a concert of a Lithuanian performer, and I was transfixed. Now, in general I'd say that the vast majority of Lithuanian music is, to be extremely kind, non-inspiring. There's a fair amount that is unlistenable. Oh, earlier there was Hyperbolė, Bix, and Antis. As for now I can listen to a few groups, but in general their music doesn't do a lot for me; it's just not the kind of music I normally listen to. I do like quite of lot of what Mamontovas does; well, he can be with justification called a genius. And of course, occasionally a singer or a group performs something that I like (for example, Jurga Šeiduikytė's song 5th Season--the video is great), but that's really a rarity. But, anyway, this performer, Alina Orlova, is different. Here's a clip from that concert: The name of the song is Vasaris (February). "February won't last forever." (By the way, my son has also performed in that church with the ensemble he's in.) There's something about her voice and the honesty with which she sings. Her voice really reached out and grabbed me. Anyway, as I was saying, I was transfixed and stopped surfing to listen to her concert. Amazing. I bought her album last weekend. Well, I have to admit that I was more impressed with her live performance, but there's plenty to like on the album and I've only begun listening to it. So far, my favorite songs are Lijo, Mėnulis, Vasaris, and Ramuma. You can listen to some of her songs here: (By the way, her list of Myspace friends includes "Valdas", who just happens to be the president of Lithuania. Who'd a thunk that the president of Lithuania would have his own Myspace page? Cool.)

Here are the lyrics for Lijo, which means "It Rained":
My translation:
Horses graze in your eyes,
But the sky in them is always dreary.
You know words, they always run from you.
Everything is similar to Lego.

Because the day that you were born,
It rained and rained and rained. (x2)

Lego from spiders,
On the walls of the toilet.
From blind dogs,
And the trunks of pine trees.
You know words,
They torture you.
Let's go get drunk,
On Cosmonaut wine. (At least that what it sounds like to me. Whoever put the lyrics on the site above disagrees with me, but I think he or she is wrong--as I may also be.)

Then the refrain again.

Here are the lyrics for Menulyje, which means "On the Moon".
My translation:
There are no schools on the moon.
And no wars take place on the moon.
And on the moon there are many cafeterias,
That serve free buns.
Deer live on the moon.
They aren't hit by cars.
When they gaze so gently,
Not even children have sore throats.

Your feet don't get wet on the moon.
And parents don't die on the moon.
Everyone is his own Noah there.
Umbrellas aren't needed at all there.
There are dragons on the moon.
We can pet them.
But why, why brother,
Is that moon so far away?
So far away...

I think it's beautiful. Whatever one might think about her voice or her music in general, her lyrics are poetic.

It's worth buying her album just to support real talent in Lithuania.


Annie said...

I'd been listening to lijo over and over wishing I knew what she was saying- thank you for providing the translation! Is there any way to get translations of any of the other lyrics?

Alan Hendrixson said...

Let me know what songs you're interested in, and I'll see what I can do. I may be able to translate some of the lyrics myself--not including the Russian song since I don't know Russian. I guess the key is finding the lyrics somewhere online since I have trouble picking out some of the words myself.

Eugenia said...

Can you translate Ramuma, if you have time? I speak Russian, so I can transl. any of her Russian songs if you want.