And so the day has come. A day to commemorate and celebrate love and all things connected to it. Long, romantic strolls along the snowy banks of the Vistula river. Cozy winter nights spent cuddling and sipping mulled wine while gazing into each other’s eyes. Slipping under the covers and asking your significant other ever so tenderly, “Would you please roll over? You’re breathing on me!” The fact of the matter is, love means different things to different people. Be it romantic love, platonic love, or my personal favorite, unrequited (romantic masochist, reporting for duty!), I suggest this Valentine’s Day be considered an equal opportunity holiday which allows us to celebrate all kinds of love! And so, I offer you the quintessential Valentine’s gift, a playlist.
Ah, yes. As sentimental as they are practical, playlists have been around since the dawn of time – or at least since we’ve been able to press records. Severely underrated, there is much to be said of playlists. They are versatile, timeless, and a true expression of one’s individual sentiment in regards to another. In fact, the best Valentine’s gift I had ever received was a mix tape given to me by my first boyfriend back in high school. Trust me fellas, Frank Sinatra’s “I’ve got a crush on you” will take your relationship places.
And so, faithful readers, below you will find a playlist as unique as any love and comprised strictly of Polish music. The crème de la crème of romantic love songs. From pop to rock, and even rock polo, every music fiend will be sure to find something illustrative of their current relationship status and in alliance with their romantic philosophies. So bust out the box of chocolates, pour yourself a nice big glass of dry red, and tune in. Happy listening and happy Valentine’s Day!
1. Strachy Na Lachy – Dzień dobry, Kocham Cię
“Good morning, I love you. I’ve already spread you on bread.” Cannibalistic? Erotic? Or just plain bizarre? I’ll let you be the judge of that. This song is so classic, even expats know it by heart. It’s the perfect start to the perfect Valentine’s Day. Set to ska undertones, the music itself is cheerful and upbeat while the lyrics present the ups and downs of a relationship in a more realistic light. The song is pretty textbook in its meaning and reiterates the concept that though we may hit rough patches in our relationships, we should remember what brought us together in the first place and never allow one other to stray too far. This song can be heard on the radio any day of the week but holds even more significance on this particular day.
2. Terrific Sunday – Streets of Love
I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce a song that’s been banging around in my head for the better part of this past month. In fact, if Valentine’s Day means nothing at all to you and you just dig good music, do yourself a favor and give this song a listen. Up and coming indie band Terrific Sunday are so authentic and evolved in their sound, they give international headliners a run for their money. Another plus is that a number of their songs are written in English. “Streets of Love”, off their debut album Stranger, Lovers, is a simple reminder that, though relationships end, life goes on and there is much to keep busy with. Time heals all wounds, and nothing patches up a broken heart better and faster than some live music. You can catch Terrific Sunday live this Februay 25th at Zet Pe Te. Happy couples welcome to attend also!
3. happysad – Czwarty Dzień
Ciało Obce was released prior to Valentine’s of last year, but I have yet to put this album away for longer than a day or two. Seriously, it’s either that good or I am that much of a fangirl. Whatever the reason may be, “Czwarty Dzień” is a must this Valentine’s day. happysad [sic] has come a long way since singing about teddy bears and flowers, and Ciało Obce does a phenomenal job proving exactly that point. In fact, “Czwarty Dzień” is the antithesis to any conventional love song and leads us down a dark and dismal path to a love devoid of any affection, yet so powerful in its demise it is enough to make you question the very meaning of your own existence. So, if you’re feeling particularly angsty today or perhaps just spiritually out of whack, this song’s the one for you. Get angry. And scream to your heart’s content, “Love… and what is that?” Catch happysad live on their spring tour this March 17 at Klub Kwadrat.
4. Pidżama Porno – Nikt tak pięknie nie mówił, że się boi miłości
It would be a mortal sin were this song not included on today’s list. Pidżama Porno, Krzysztof “Grabaż” Grabowski’s original project, are bonafide legends of Polish rock history. Their songs, which are usually hard hitting and border on punk rock, carry much esteem in the Polish music scene. “Nikt tak pięknie nie mówił, że się boi miłości”, or in English “No one ever said they were afraid of love as beautifully as you”, is a softer alternative and is so extraordinary in its poetry that the lyrics themselves should be considered as required reading in Polish schools. This song is pure love, passionate and true, but riddled with complexities and pain. It is falling out of a love that could never be matched by another. The details are so exquisite, from ‘drunken stars’ to skin as soft as ‘crumbling pastries’, that the pain in the lyrics is so vivid it is your own. Equally as superb is a live cover of this song as performed by reggae performer and Grabowski’s close colleague, Piotr Gutowski. Worth listening to a thousand times over!
5. Sławomir – Miłość w Zakopanem
“Love in Zakopane, we’ll pour champagne on ourselves…” Where the single folk at?! This one’s for you. Welcome to rock polo. A fairly new phenomenon which only came to exist thanks to the rising star of Sławomir, a glorified cebulak (think Polish hillbilly). Rock polo combines good ol’ rock and roll guitars along with the synthesized goodness that is disco polo, because apparently, that’s what we’ve been missing this whole time. A club favorite, this song is the perfect soundtrack to a night spent on the town looking for a little love. It works just as fine in the comfort of your own home where you are free to dance like nobody’s watching. Champagne not included.
And there you have it. Five songs. Five ranges of love. A little bit of sweetness. A little bit of darkness. And everything in between. Wherever you may fall on the spectrum, be sure to celebrate the love that is in your life. On this day. And every day. Szczęśliwych walentynek!