by Sean
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.


Johan Heltne - "Krieg ist Krieg und Schnaps ist Schnaps".

This song evokes a particular, gorgeous melancholy for me, only I don't speak German so this particular, gorgeous melancholy is somehow completely disconnected from the particular, gorgeous melancholy expressed by native listeners to "Krieg ist Krieg und Schnaps ist Schnaps" and in fact, I suspect, from the particular, gorgeous melancholy intended by Johan Heltne himself. Who cares, right? Or really: Who cares... Wait - do I care? I feel feelings, listening to this song. Are these feelings a deception - me deceiving myself? Me deceiving myself with someone else's song? Is this a conspiracy or am I all alone on it? Did Johan do this or am I doing it entirely to myself? Is this whole song in German, like its title, or is it in Swedish, like its singer?

All this is enough to make you order a snaps and drop your head to the table. If you are doing so, hopefully "Krieg ist Krieg und Schnaps ist Schnaps" is on the turntable. Hopefully "Krieg ist Krieg und Schnaps ist Schnaps" is in your iTunes. Hopefully your battered, tattered heart can be nursed to health by a glow of synths and a scatter of drums. Which is not to neglect the saxophone. Most saxophones deserve to be neglected - they strain too hard for the attention. But this saxophone is OK. This saxophone cares about you. It is a nourishing, sensitive friend. It has noticed that the stars are out, outside. It has noticed the state of your face and shoulders and silhouette. "Krieg ist Krieg und Schnaps ist Schnaps" is playing. The saxophone knows you do not speak German, or Swedish, whatever it is, and it understands the whole thing. It doesn't mind. It will wait. It will take you home, but only when you're ready.

[buy / listen to the discography / Thank you, Arnulf.]


Elsewhere: I did write about David Bowie, twice, for the Globe & Mail: one, two.

Posted by Sean at January 18, 2016 7:22 PM

Yup, it's in Swedish!

Posted by Lisa at January 19, 2016 1:26 PM

the song is in swedish - m.

Posted by manfred at January 19, 2016 2:33 PM

love this so much, sax and all. thank you!

Posted by anar at January 23, 2016 5:36 PM

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about said the gramophone
This is a daily sampler of really good songs. All tracks are posted out of love. Please go out and buy the records.

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"And I shall watch the ferry-boats / and they'll get high on a bluer ocean / against tomorrow's sky / and I will never grow so old again."
about the authors
Sean Michaels is the founder of Said the Gramophone. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors. Follow him on Twitter or reach him by email here. Click here to browse his posts.

Emma Healey writes poems and essays in Toronto. She joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. This is her website and email her here.

Jeff Miller is a Montreal-based writer and zinemaker. He is the author of Ghost Pine: All Stories True and a bunch of other stories. He joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. Say hello on Twitter or email.

Mitz Takahashi is originally from Osaka, Japan who now lives and works as a furniture designer/maker in Montreal. English is not his first language so please forgive his glamour grammar mistakes. He is trying. He joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. Reach him by email here.

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Dan Beirne wrote regularly for Said the Gramophone from August 2004 to December 2014. He is an actor and writer living in Toronto. Any claim he makes about his life on here is probably untrue. Click here to browse his posts. Email him here.

Jordan Himelfarb wrote for Said the Gramophone from November 2004 to March 2012. He lives in Toronto. He is an opinion editor at the Toronto Star. Click here to browse his posts. Email him here.
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