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I think it was one of the Michaels who suggested that we should talk about our favorite music. Naturally, I assume he meant Polish music.
Hmmm… favorite Polish music… I do have to admit to owning two disco polo CDs, but they’re not exactly what I would call my favorite.
So what is? Well, I am going to show my true age again here and dig up some Polish golden oldies for you.
Let’s start with my most favorite Polish song, probably ever. Ask any Pole over the age of 20 if he’s heard “Autobiografia” and I bet you he’ll answer something along these lines “Duh! Man, it’s a classic.”
And yes, it sure is. It is the most famous song of the most famous Polish rock band with a very non-Polish name – Perfect.
In terms of rock music, it’s an ancient band, it’s been around, on and off, since the late 70s. (Yes, Virginia, there was rock music in Poland under komuna.)
The song – “Autobiografia” is more or less a typical coming of age story of a young guy who discovers rock music, alcohol, sex and dreams of being famous.
Why did it become so immensely popular? I’m not sure. It’s very easy to sing along to, the lyrics are simple enough for anyone to understand (in Polish, of course) and it has gentle references to changes that took place in Poland after the death of Stalin (referred to in the song as “uncle Joe has died” – “wujek Józek zmarł.” It talks about happy times (parties and having fun) and tragic times (when the girlfriend commits suicide). In other words, it covers a lot of very real life.
Set the words to a great melody and what you get is a hit. And a hit it was indeed. The song was released in the fall of 1982 during one of the more miserable periods in Polish modern history. But that didn’t stop it from ruling the charts. (Yes, Virginia there were music charts in Poland under komuna.)
So here it is. Music – Zbigniew Hołdys, lyrics – Bogdan Olewicz.
“Autobiografia” – Perfect.
PS. I couldn’t find a “singable” English version of “Autobiografia” on the internet, but if you know where to find one, please let me know. Otherwise, I’m thinking to prepare my own translation.