Wednesday, August 10, 2005

"Pulp Fiction" does not need to pay copyright, just be honest


Since "The Connection" was abruptly cancelled by the Boston affiliate of NPR, the local station is scrambling to fix the schedule. We got Diane Rehm show instead and also something called "The World".

I was listening to the World this afternoon - interesting stuff about the Harvard Zoology Museum collection, about a Slovenian alpinist rescued from the Himalayan mountain called "The Killer" (9th highest peak in the world), etc. At the very end, they had a segment, just a few minutes, about an interesting German band and their new CD. It actually sounds really good. I may buy it.

But, what really got my attention was the part when they played a song I am very familiar with. Here is the relevant part of the interview:

With a name like Quadro Nuevo, you probably wouldn't expect the four band members to come from Germany. And you wouldn't think the music they play would sound like this.

Mulo Francel plays clarinet and saxophone in Quadro Nuevo. He and the other band members live in Munich. He says Quadro Nuevo's music is borrowed from many places: Ethiopia, Egypt, Syria, Greece, Turkey and the Balkans. There's also one other very important component.

Mulo Francel: "We like the coffee very much, we like the Oriental version of the coffee, the mocca, so we called this music mocca music and we called this CD 'Mocca Flor.'"

This tune may not be recognizable at first. "Miserlou" became a surf guitar anthem. And it was later picked up in the soundtrack to the movie "Pulp Fiction."

Mulo Francel says the song "Miserlou" brings specific things to mind for the bandmates.

Mulo Francel: "Miserlou, for us, evokes a lot of images, a lot of sceneries in our minds. It's like smoking water pipe after a long hot desert day, you feel the heat of the sun on your skin and you're sitting maybe (laughs) with a charming, Oriental smelling young lady in an Arabic pub."
It irks me to no end, ever since "Pulp Fiction" came out, that there was no attribution for the cover theme. Apparently, the German band does not know where the song comes from either.

It is actually a very old song from south Serbia, one I have played and sang at many, many drunken parties. Here are the lyrics in Serbo-Croatian language (by typing a short excerpt in Google, you can find MIDI-files on various sites):

Vranjanka
Volela me jedna Vranjanka,
Mladost mi je kod nje ostala.
Nit je Sofka nit je Kostana,
Vec najlepsa Lela Jelena.

Pusto, pusto, pusto mi je sve,
Nema, nema moje Jelene.
Dodji, Dodji Lelo Jelena,
Ti si moju mladost odnela.

Ko zna gdje je moja Vranjanka,
Ljepsa od svih moja Jelena,
Sve bih dao kad bi' saznao,
Ko je moju Lelu ukrao.

Pusto, pusto, pusto mi je sve,
Nema, nema moje Jelene.
Dodji, Dodji Lelo Jelena,
Ti si moju mladost odnela.

posted by coturnix @ 10:04 PM | permalink | (1 comments) | Post a Comment | permalink