Monday, March 22, 2010

Børn fra Roholmskolen »Midt I En Skolemad« (1977)



































  • Ever felt shy?
  • Ever been member of a fun gang?
This is a record made by a public school from the Avedøre district in the Southwest part of Greater Copenhagen. From the writing credits it appears that this was a collaboration between a teacher at this school, the kids, and Danish pop singer Tommy Seebach, who recently got a little Internet attention revival for his Apache video. Imagine all the people at their desk jobs right now getting mad kicks over some YouTube-video !

It's easy to relate to everything going on with this record. Even if you don't understand a word; words are the extravagant icing on top of a musical speciality brewed up by 15 - 24 children singing unison, synthesizer wizard Tommy Seebach dropping into that sad yet funky chord. Everybody's hungry for authentic stuff. Here it is.

The lyrics on this record are great. What keeps me hanging with some childrens records is the narrative perspective. With some politically-tinged childrens records (especially from the 70s) you can tell adults wrote the lyrics and force-fed them to the children through some unholy adult > child mental USB connection. This isn't the case with Midt I En Skolemad (this record, roughly Eating/Digesting School Lunch). The lyrics seem very loyal towards a childs point of view as if they we're written by the children themselves, but you can never really tell. Hazy wordy layer of adulthood obscure some lyrics. Beardy & bear-like primary school teacher from the 70s trying to influence my world-view by having children sing opinions. Oddly compelling. Children usually do not have too many opinions or hidden/introvert agendas, and it makes them obvious musicians.

Do you like when songs drop into half-tempo and youngsters start clapping semi-rhythmically along while chanting wildly? Then you will appreciate a lot of no-nonsense compositional effects (half-tempo, modulation, clapping, unison singing) that make most of these songs #1 hits. There's only one musical travesty on this record that nobody will probably like. The song Carlo & Mig is a love song to a horse from what sounds like a 10 year old girl. Half-way through aforementioned wooly-clad bear-like male kindergarten teacher steps in with some horrifying scat-vocal. Gravity is suspended by feelings of awkwardness and hate. NO.
Snap out of it by listening to Forår i Tappernøje (Springtime in Tappernøje (Tapernøje = Danish village with quaint & old-timey name)) What a spring-time #1 hit !

For some reason this record could never have been made today. We have lost our youngest to Bluetooth-phones, ubiquitously embarassing advertising and a jungle of weird self-imposed personalities AKA the personal brand. When they grow older they will be too encapsuled in their own frenzied haze of robbing supermarkets with flimsy tomahawks bought on eBay for drug money to wipe up your drool when you're hanging about old-aged and static. Sad horizons for everyone.

Hope the 70s vibe will come back soon. Make Holger Czukays »Cool in the Pool« mandatory national anthem for everyone so everyone can get normal and cool again.

The last track ends abrubtly with a semi-Native American chant. That's how the record is.

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