Saturday, 12 December 2009

Great Danes

Denmark does not usually merit a mention when great musical heritages are being discussed - apart from the Raveonettes, Barbie Girl and Lars Ulrich there isn't much else to report. Nothing you are about to hear will change that.

I recently found in the local Oxfam shop a CD called "Kitsch Hits 3", a title I found hard to resist. It is a compilation of Danish pop hits from the 1970s to the 1990s which - while accepting that the cream of the crop will be on volumes one and two - would appear not to have been a vintage period even by Danish standards. How else could you explain the presence of cover versions of the Hokey Cokey, "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" and Paul Anka's "You're Having My Baby"? The latter does at least have one advantage over the original - you can't understand the words. Here it is:

"Vi Venter En Baby" - Slik

The second selection is "Uglevisen" by Flemming Werge's Blue Notes. "Uglevisen" appears to mean something like "Owl Ballad".

"Uglevisen" - Flemming Werge's Blue Notes

I tried to find out more information about Flemming but all I could find was a "Where are they know?" feature that Google had translated from Danish to English. It is worth reading in full but, in brief, after a successful career in music he ran a chain of nightclubs and lived in England and Spain before returning to Denmark to resume his career playing "soup-roast-and-ice music".

In the interview Flemming hints at a lack of self-esteem among Danish musicians which might partly explain their lack of success internationally: "Since the time we started to play in Jutland, thought people over here that we were better musicians because we came from Zealand, like the Danes generally believed that English musicians were to fall on your ass over".

Here is a recent clip of Flemming with some of that crazy soup-roast-and-ice music. I defy you not to fall on your ass over this.

And as a special treat, here is Paul Anka with the original of "You're Having My Baby". Odia Coates appears only in spirit form.


  1. This is great! I am an independent singer songwriter and I learn a lot from reading blogs like this - thanks so much for sharing.

  2. Jade

    That is very kind of you to say so, but having looked at your blog and seen what you are up to I think it is me who should be learning from you.