Inuit Nunaat, the Greenlandic song that reminds the White man he’s not home

It’s been a little while I haven’t started a new week with a song that takes us somewhere in the world!

But during my recent travels in Greenland, I have discovered the band Sume and I’m very keen to share this finding.

Sume was a huge band in Greenland; OK Greenland is a small place with no more inhabitants than would fit in a football stadion, but still, Sume was a huge band there.

In the 1970s, it was a bit the Beatles of Greenland, but with a political tint. The first rock band formed there, it created a musical revolution in a country that did not really have a musical culture – or culture at all – other than the ancestral one of the Inuit people.

It was such revolution that a film was released recently, called The Sound of a Revolution, that takes us back to those times when a national sentiment emerged in Greenland, and the role the band played in society.

Today Greenland is largely autonomous, but still part of Denmark, and whether the country should try and go independent or not is a constant debate in the Greenlandic society.

I’ve selected this particular song from Sume because I’ve heard it a lot there, indicating that it’s a very famous one, and because of its lyrics, found in original Greenlandic language and translated here. Have a look:

We came here in ancient times (reference to the native Inuits who came from Canada and settled a very long time ago) 
To these lands where we now roam
Utilizing their resources, getting power from them,
It is for future generations
What our ancestor’s upheld
It is the land of the Inuit
It will be theirs, it will be theirs forever

Then came the quallunaat – the white people – with their way of life
They called themselves holy
And wanted to influence us
Their masters decreed they should rule our lands
And take possession of their resources

Have a travel-inspired week!

This post is part of a weekly event called The Monday Travel song. You can participate, too, by doing the following:

  • Create your own post every Monday and title it The Monday travel song: xxx by xxx
  • Include a link to a song (YouTube link or other)
  • It must be a song which is linked to a geography. For example, a Russian song, a Chinese song, a Scottish song… (it can be from your own country every now and then, but remember the purpose is to get others to virtually travel!)
  • Your post doesn’t have to be long, but do tell us a little bit about the song… for example by telling about the lyrics, about the composer, about the style…
  • Include a link to my own Monday travel song in your post tag it “Monday-travel-song” so others can find it too
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Arschloch, the German antifascist punk song

I propose to start every new week with a song that takes us somewhere in the world.

Today I’m taking you to Germany back in the nineties with Arschloch (means Asshole), the song of Berlin-based punk band Die Aerzte (means The Doctors).

Arschloch is meant as an insult to idiotic fascists, whose obscurantism and lack of affection leads to hatred and radical opinions. It was released in 1993 but has never sounded so topical to me.

An overview of the lyrics:

Deine Gewalt ist nur ein stummer Schrei nach Liebe
Deine Springerstiefel sehnen sich nach Zärtlichkeit
Du hast nie gelernt dich zu artikulieren
Und deine Eltern hatten niemals für dich Zeit – oh oh oh Arschloch!

Weil du Probleme hast die kleinen interessieren
Weil du Schiss vorm Schmusen hast bist du ein Fascist
Du musst deinen Selbsthass nich auf andere projezieren
Damit keiner merkt was für ein lieber Kerl du bist – oh oh oh Arschloch!

Translation:

Your violence is only a silent cry for love
Your army boots long for tenderness
You have never learnt to express yourself
And your parents had never time for you – oh oh oh asshole!

Because you have problems that none is interested in
Because you’re scared of cuddles you’re a fascist
You don’t have to project your self-hatred on to others
So none notices what a lovely guy you are – oh oh oh asshole!

I was just 12 years old when Arschloch became a bit hit and I remember really well the mixed feelings of excitement for the song and awareness that its title made it quite transgressive for kids our age. I’ve had a bit of nostalgia for Germany recently so hearing it at a party a few days ago was quite a sweet sensation.

Have a great week!

This post is part of a weekly event called The Monday Travel song. You can participate, too, by doing the following:

  • Create your own post every Monday and title it The Monday travel song: xxx by xxx
  • Include a link to a song (YouTube link or other)
  • It must be a song which is linked to a geography. For example, a Russian song, a Chinese song, a Scottish song… (it can be from your own country every now and then, but remember the purpose is to get others to virtually travel!)
  • Your post doesn’t have to be long, but do tell us a little bit about the song… for example by telling about the lyrics, about the composer, about the style…
  • Include a link to my own Monday travel song in your post tag it “Monday-travel-song” so others can find it too

The Monday travel song: Hijo de la luna by Mecano

I propose to start every new week with a song that takes us somewhere in the world.

Today we are travelling back to the 1980s in Spain, with Hijo de la luna by Mecano. Simply because I didn’t sleep a wink last night, possibly because of the full moon.

I love music, so hopefully it can help me feel a bit better despite the sleep deprivation!

Have a great week!

This post is part of a weekly event called The Monday Travel song. You can participate, too, by doing the following:

  • Create your own post every Monday and title it The Monday travel song: xxx by xxx
  • Include a link to a song (YouTube link or other)
  • It must be a song which is linked to a geography. For example, a Russian song, a Chinese song, a Scottish song… (it can be from your own country every now and then, but remember the purpose is to get others to virtually travel!)
  • Your post doesn’t have to be long, but do tell us a little bit about the song… for example by telling about the lyrics, about the composer, about the style…
  • Include a link to my own Monday travel song in your post tag it “Monday-travel-song” so others can find it too

The Monday travel song: Life on Mars by Seu Jorge (David Bowie cover)

I propose to start every new week with a song that takes us somewhere in the world.

Today is a universal tribute day to David Bowie; but my rubric being what it is, I have selected a cover from Bazilian artist Seu Jorge. I hope you enjoy it!

Have a great week!

This post is part of a weekly event called The Monday Travel song. You can participate, too, by doing the following:

  • Create your own post every Monday and title it The Monday travel song: xxx by xxx
  • Include a link to a song (YouTube link or other)
  • It must be a song which is linked to a geography. For example, a Russian song, a Chinese song, a Scottish song… (it can be from your own country every now and then, but remember the purpose is to get others to virtually travel!)
  • Your post doesn’t have to be long, but do tell us a little bit about the song… for example by telling about the lyrics, about the composer, about the style…
  • Include a link to my own Monday travel song in your post tag it “Monday-travel-song” so others can find it too

The Monday travel song: North Korea’s Moranbong Band

I propose to start every new week with a song that takes us somewhere in the world.

Today I’ve selected a song that takes us to North Korea with the Moranbong Band, an all-female phenomenon in the DPRK whose members are said to have been selected by the supreme leader Kim Jong-un himself.

When I was in North Korea in October 2014, this music was being played in a continuous loop, everywhere, all the time. Nevertheless when I expressed the wish to buy a DVD of it, I was told that it was not available in any shop. Whether that was the truth or a lie, like anything in North Korea, I doubt we will ever know!

Interested to hear more about my travel in North Korea? Read about my general impressions of the country, who were my guides when I visited the country, and how become a North Korean guide yourself!

Have a great week!

This post is part of a weekly event called The Monday Travel song. You can participate, too, by doing the following:

  • Create your own post every Monday and title it The Monday travel song: xxx by xxx
  • Include a link to a song (YouTube link or other)
  • It must be a song which is linked to a geography. For example, a Russian song, a Chinese song, a Scottish song… (it can be from your own country every now and then, but remember the purpose is to get others to virtually travel!)
  • Your post doesn’t have to be long, but do tell us a little bit about the song… for example by telling about the lyrics, about the composer, about the style…
  • Include a link to my own Monday travel song in your post tag it “Monday-travel-song” so others can find it too

The Monday travel song: Egyptian Electro Chaabi

I propose to start every new week with a song that takes us somewhere in the world.

Today I’m taking you to the streets of Cairo with some electro chaabi music – a genre that quintessentially represents a means of expression for the Egyptian youth who rejects the austerity that the Muslim Brothers want to impose to the country.

Electro chaabi music typically features highly political but humorous texts; it is a genre that developed a lot during the 2011 Revolution and brings together the young, the poor, and anyone who likes to enjoy music and life.

During an evening sitting at a large street cafe in Cairo Downtown, suddenly electro chaabi music was played and everyone paused their activities to dance and smile; communion was truly palpable.

Have a great week!

This post is part of a weekly event called The Monday Travel song. You can participate, too, by doing the following:

  • Create your own post every Monday and title it The Monday travel song: xxx by xxx
  • Include a link to a song (YouTube link or other)
  • It must be a song which is linked to a geography. For example, a Russian song, a Chinese song, a Scottish song… (it can be from your own country every now and then, but remember the purpose is to get others to virtually travel!)
  • Your post doesn’t have to be long, but do tell us a little bit about the song… for example by telling about the lyrics, about the composer, about the style…
  • Include a link to my own Monday travel song in your post tag it “Monday-travel-song” so others can find it too

The Monday travel song: Dans les brouillards de Londres by Thierry Hazard

I propose to start every new week with a song that takes us somewhere in the world.

Today I’ve selected a song that takes us where I have been hanging out almost all day: in the fog of London!

Yes it’s autumn, this season I hate, and the weather is terribly sad in South England. Many flights were cancelled today; both my flights were “only” delayed by several hours each, so I have spent many hours in Gatwick airport, stranded as many other fellow passengers. My return tomorrow is cancelled, so I expect more airport fun to come!

And of course, this reminds me of this old French song from the eighties, Dans les brouillards de Londres (which literally means In the fogs of London). A good eighties entertainment and a few minutes are already over – just a few hours to wait now 😉

In airports or elsewhere, have a great week!

This post is part of a weekly event called The Monday Travel song. You can participate, too, by doing the following:

  • Create your own post every Monday and title it The Monday travel song: xxx by xxx
  • Include a link to a song (YouTube link or other)
  • It must be a song which is linked to a geography. For example, a Russian song, a Chinese song, a Scottish song… (it can be from your own country every now and then, but remember the purpose is to get others to virtually travel!)
  • Your post doesn’t have to be long, but do tell us a little bit about the song… for example by telling about the lyrics, about the composer, about the style…
  • Include a link to my own Monday travel song in your post tag it “Monday-travel-song” so others can find it too