When I was one of the guests in Quackcast #500 – Thanks again to ozoneocean for inviting us all! – I made a passing mention of hip hop in Plattdütsch. It’s just one example of the many cool things people do for the minority language I post my comic in along with its English version.
Talking about it reminded me again how interesting it can be.
Plattdütsch (aka Low German) is kind of a cousin to English, in that it stems from the language of those Anglo-Saxons who didn’t invade England in 450AD, but preferred sleeping in and, having missed the boat, just stayed home. Of course the two languages have long drifted very much apart, but you can still notice their common ancestry quite clearly if you know where to look.
So to give anyone who is curious some examples of what Platt or more specifically music in Platt sounds like, I had a good look at what Youtube has to offer in that department. It turned out that all the artists I know have posted some stuff there. I chose each example from a different genre and specifically looked for videos that may or may not give you some kind of clue as to what the songs are about.
The band’s name translates as “the fifty pennies”, and this particular song is about hanging out, not giving a damn and how everything works out as long as you stay cool; “löppt”, as a slang idiom, means “it works” or “it’s cool”
„De Schkandolmokers“ = „the clamour makers“, „Plattsnackers United“ = „Platt speakers unite!“ a song about sticking together. The video shows a bit what different kinds of people all help keeping Platt alive.
Btw. for some reason the song only starts at 0:24.
Heavy Metal / Hard Rock:
De Winnewupps = “the moles” (They say they came up with that band name because moles always wear black thick fur and live deep down in the dark, getting themselves dirty, and if that kind of lifestyle isn't metal as hell, what is?); the song’s title translates as “shitty weather” Btw. the word for “mole” varies so much with the region or even village that even if I didn’t know I could tell quite exactly where they’re from just by that band name.
A song about springtime, which for every farmer is the time for spraying liquid manure on their fields. The lyrics deal mostly with this selfsame natural fertiliser and the action in the video (filmed in summer) more or less follows the lyrics.
When talking about folk I should mention that Platt speaking regions have no traditional music style of their own, except perhaps a slight preference for borrowing those styles brought home by those who went to sea.
For this reason, sea shanties are such an important genre for traditional songs in Platt, that no Playlist like this could be called complete without at least one.
This shanty https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZP2jYXPgJc4 borrows the melody of a traditional British one, as well as the title.
Btw. harbour concerts used to be a Sunday staple of Bremen’s public radio station for more than 60 years until 2013.
Dörp reggae = “village reggae”, about preferring life in a village to that in a big town, because more people speak Platt and aren’t that worried about their weight. The singer also references a 90s song called “Lemon Tree” and sings some parts of it in translation; Ina Müller also wrote some books in Platt. Her day job, if you can call it that, is being a famous TV host and entertainer.
Country (with a version in English to compare it to):
Torfrock – “peat rock” – is the only full-time professional band in this list other than Ina’s above. They’ve been around since the 70s and play classic rock and folk rock with lyrics mostly in German in its Northern dialect, but sometimes also in Platt) This tune is a quite accurate line-by-line translation of the American original:
I’m told the Snake Oil Willie band know and approve of Torfrock’s take on their song.
A certain tendency to comedy is quite typical of most music in Platt today, but don’t let that fool you. These bands I linked here sometimes tackle serious topics in their songs as well, and if only to prove they’re not just gimmicky casual projects but actual full-fledged bands to be reckoned with. It’s just that being serious about your artistic vision doesn’t mean you and your audience can’t have fun.
What impression do you get?
Do you know some cool cultural/musical stuff from where you live that you’d like to introduce us others to?
©2011 WOWIO, Inc. All Rights Reserved Google+