Polish Language Blog

Jaka to melodia? – Name That Tune po polsku Posted by on Aug 4, 2009 in Culture

Do you ever have those days when you wake up with a song already stuck in your head? And you have no idea how it got there? And then you just hum that song all day long and can’t get rid of it? Regardless of whether you like it or not?

I’m having this kind of day today. And the song that’s stuck in my head, and I have no clue how on earth I managed to come up with it in the first place, is a really old (or at least it seems old) Polish number that, among many other things, mentions “złe czarne fortepiany” (bad black grandpianos), and something about “blues” and “pogoda dla bogaczy“.

Lately I’ve been having quite a few days like that. And I’m surprising even myself with the sheer volume of old Polish hits that I somehow manage to recall. Under normal circumstances this would be really scary, but I think I have a pretty good idea who’s (or rather – what’s) to blame for all this. And that’s “Jaka to melodia?” (Name that tune), which is wildly popular in Poland.

I wouldn’t last half a round on this show. These people are truly obsessed. They can identify almost any random song from just a couple of random notes. The only time I can get anywhere while playing along is if one of the categories is either “Queen” or “Eric Clapton” (which I guess shows my age again).

Why this game show is so popular I have no idea. Maybe people enjoy watching geeks trying to guess song titles from just one single note (po jednej)? Nah, I don’t think so. I think the fun is in listening to sometimes good, and sometimes frighteningly bad, renditions of old and new hits. The host of the show – Robert Janowski is a decent singer too and actually I like when he grabs a mic and belts out a tune or two. And the guy playing the piano is kinda cute, but that’s besides the point. We are talking strictly about music here, OK?

And so I’m pretty sure I must have heard the “złe czarne fortepiany nie chcą spać” song on “Jaka to melodia?”. Because how else would I even know that such a song at all existed? Until “Jaka to melodia?” I’ve never even heard of Halina Frąckowiak. And here I am now, stubbornly humming one of her greatest hits. And all because of this Robert Janowski fella and his singing girls…

OK, I just had to look it up. The title of the song is “Tin Pan Alley” and it was released in 1984 (or at least that’s what it says on the internet).

And here it is in its original Halina Frąckowiak’s version. Z napisami (with Polish lyrics) even:


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  1. Michael:

    Listen to this a few times to get that other song out of your head, this one is better I think.

    Czy ten Pan i Pani-Ania Wyszkoni-Oficjalny teledysk


  2. Blanka:

    jaka melodia … sliczna !
    Jesze poprosze
    Dobra bylo