Some Polish music which I highly recommend (from a learner)
I noticed on the Polish discussion as well as some other languages there are people who ask for music in the language they're learning, and as someone who loves music I think it's a natural and good thing. So I wanted to make this list of some of the songs which: 1.) had the most impact on me and influenced me to start learning the language, and 2.) Aren't (in my opinion) too difficult in structure to learn or translate to English by a student. This list has a mix of both older and newer material, and is of course, biased by my perceptions and preferences. I invite you to reply and add to it, share your favorite Polish music. Don't stop at this list, if music interests you then go find more!
1 - Marek Grechuta
A must-know figure in Polish music imo, someone well renowned as a poet beyond just a musician. I would guess that "Dni, Których nie Znamy (Days Which We Do Not Know)" is his most well-known song, but I also reccomend "Gdzieś w Nas (Somewhere In Us)", "Korowód (The Musical Procession)", and "Świecie Nasz (Our World)".
I have a biographical book on him from my friend in Poland, which I have the goal of reading through and translating (I started just a couple weeks ago!).
2 - Czesław Niemien
My Duolingo profile picture is of his "Czerwony Album." Personally my favorite Polish musician, and actually one of my favorites, period. He's done every style from soul to rock to folk to avant-garde. His lyrics are often adaptations from the poet Cyprian Kamil Norwid. I like his progressive side the most, but songs such as "Dziwny Jest Ten Świat (Strange is This World)" and "Sen o Warszawie (A dream about Warsaw)" are great songs that I think everyone knows. BTW, he has English language albums too, so check those out if you like his style.
3 - Lady Pank This group is more of a punk rock/new-wave style band of the 80s. I think if you enjoy a band like, say, The Police, you can get into them. They have some English versions of certain songs as well, but they aren't really related to their Polish counterparts. My favorite song of theirs is "Kryzysowa Narzeczona (Crisis Bride)".
4 - Grzegorz Turnau My friend described him as being a bit 'kitsch', but even so, I don't care, I really like his singing and the intricacies of his piano playing. The music is easy to listen to, imo, and is a good starting point for learning some Polish lyrics. My personal favorite is "Bracka (Brackish)".
5 - Budka Suflera A bluesy-rock band that's been around since 1969. Early on they played a lot of covers of musicians and bands like Hendrix, Cream, and Led Zeppelin, but began recording their own studio albums in the mid 70's. I personally reccomend "Jest Taki Samotny Dom (This is Such a Sad House)" above all, but also be sure to know "Za Ostatni Grosz (To the Last Cent)".
6 -Lizard The last on this list is a rather obscure one, a progressive rock band starting in the mid 90s, which still makes music to this day. Their lyrics are more fantasy oriented, and (for me) rather advanced, you should have an intermediate-high level of proficiency to start understanding the lyrics. I recommend "W Krainie Szmaragdowego Jaszczura (In the Land of the Emerald Lizard)" as a starting point.
Każdy Dzień to Ran w Twej Głowie (tr. "Every Day is More Wounds in Your Head")
Honorable Mentions: SBB(prog rock), Laboratorium (instrumental), Jelonek(instrumental), Zbigniew Namysłowski(instrumental jazz), Tides from Nebula(post-rock), Riverside(rock band, lyrics are all English though), Krzysztof Penderecki (otherworldly compositions)
Aside Marek Grechuta I must admit that I not a fan of the others. I'll name you a few names that are worth giving them a chance:
1) Jacek Kaczmarski, great bard, very important in 80s when his music was a symbol to Solidarity movement. Also he made many songs concerning history, politics and classical world.
- Mury, iconic piece of him
- Ballada Wrześniowa, historical piece, about September 1939
- Lekcja historii klasycznej Gallia est omnis divisa ...
2) Republika with Grzegorz Ciechocki.
3) Jacek Kowalski, another bard with many medieval songs and music from the time when there was Commonwealth of Poland and Lithuania. Also some mythological and religious motives. I very like his work.
- Wezwanie do krucjaty
- Pieśń konfederatów
- Pieśń najemników
- Duma ukrainna, text comes from 16th century :)
- Diana mythological motive
4) Choirs, we in Poland don't have a choir in type of Aleksandrovskiy choir but nonetheless there were some pieces worth notion
5) Mieczysław Fogg
6) Film Music
- Ogniem i Mieczem (With a fire and a sword) Soundtrack became iconic music, winged hussars
- Wojciech Kilar - Orawa
- Wojciech Kilar - Polonez z Pana Tadeusza, the most known Polonaise in Poland
- Wojciech Kilar - Walc z ziemi obiecanej
- Wojciech Kilar - König der letzten Tage, film is German but music written by W.Kilar.
- Wojciech Kilar - Portrait of the Lady
- Michał Lorenc - Bandyta
7) Chopin music
I recommend a great album of Magda Umer "Duety - Tak Młodo Jak Teraz". The album consists of 15 songs sung in duets with artists who she adores, likes, respects or all of the above mentioned. The songs come from different periods of her life and even before she was born. My favourites are "W żółtych płomieniach liśći", "Dwa serduszka cztery oczy" and of course, "Płachta nieba".
I also have a couple of my favorite Polish singers
- Sylwia Grzeszczak. She is more of a modern singer, but her music and voice are amazing. Some of her songs I'd recommend: a. Sen o przyszłości
b. Małe Rzeczy
c. Bezdroższa with Mateusz Żiółko
- I also have on my list Pectus. This band is more on the pop/country side. I personally only like their album "Siła braci" Songs:
b. Szkoła marzeń
c. Mój przyjacielu
- I can't forget Anna Jantar
a. Żeby szczęśliwym być
b. Baju baj
c. Tyle słońca w całym świecie
- Voce Angeli. This group sings religious songs, and the only songs I've ever listened to are
a. Łzy Matki (this is a good one)
b. Jezu ufam Tobie
It's a shame that more around the world don't know of Niemen's greatness. "Enigmatic" is one of the greatest albums ever made. And Lady Pank's first album is a must-have for any fan of Polish rock.
Some of my other favorites:
Kasia Kowalska - She started my fascination with Polish music, after I heard her "Gemini" album.
Edyta Bartosiewicz - Szok 'N Show is a great album.
Hey - Started out as a Grunge band, but their sound has evolved over the years.
Dzem - Polish Blues Rock at its' best.
Wilki - Highly recommend their "Watra" album, especially 'Slonce Pokonal Cien'.
Goya - I could listen to Magda Wojcik sing all day.
Myslovitz - If you like Grechuta, you'll love the version of "Krakow" he performed with them.
Some others: Kult/Kazik, Pawel Kukiz, Ania Dabrowska, Bajm, amongst others.
Long before I ever discovered Duolingo, or even thought to learn Polish, I loved NeraNature and UnSun. There is also Delight, Kasia Kowalska, Anita Lipnicka, Ania Dabrowska, Beata Kozidrak, Edyta Gorniak, Moonlight, Kashmir. There is quite a mix of styles in there.
Nera does songs in both English and Polish; I love both. I am very impressed by her lyric writing. To be such a strong lyricist in one's native tongue is quite the achievement in itself, in a foreign one? Double that to say the least. UnSun is all in English, but still great to listen to.
NeraNature - Drifting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6YjUASaQRg
NeraNature - Mówisz: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDTxHURaVcQ
Kasia Kowalska - Pieprz i Sól: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YypnRLyF310
Beata Kozidrak - Żal Mi Tamtych Nocy i Dni: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lnOs4R9mMA
As a native I sometimes don't appreciate Polish music enough but we do have some nice modern bits as well. My random propositions:
- Lao Che- LOVE THEM! They have a wonderful and scary album about Warsaw uprising, their lyrics are straight to the point, they also have one album inspired by slavic folk- must check!
- Skubas- don't know much of his music but I like this one a lot:
- Dawid Podsiadło- Love him, great bit, great voice, cool lyrics. He has both songs in English and in Polish but I prefer Polish ones. Also has an amazing songs about Warsaw Uprising, some love songs, some comments about Polish society
From new album https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVbwuRAJCAI
About Warsaw Uprising, made for a movie https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8w600YIpkoY
4.Fisz- modern sounds, worth checking.
I don't want to spam you too much but also some older bands like Coma, Kult, Pidżama Porno, Strachy na Lachy (those are rockish bands), Stare Dobre Małżeństwo (they sing poetry)...Feel free to ask me for a specific genre, I will be happy to recommend something.
KLESZCZ (horror-rap, clever crazy/fast rhymes and a pretty unique style:)
BRACIA FIGO FAGOT (Ale uważaj, this is pretty hefty, vulgar, and generally NSFW if Poles are around :P ...but funny if you like stuff like Die Ärzte ;)