A GUEST POSTING by MARTIN ELLIOT
(our Swedish Correspondent)
The recent name-centered ICA’s gave me the idea of a Swedish Girls ICA – not in the sense the expression Swedish Girls was made world famous in the 50’s and 60’s but songs in Swedish named after girls.
I’ve kept to only songs in Swedish, my apologies for 10 songs with little meaning to the rest of the TVV community, but still. If for no other reason, it amused me putting this collection together, and it was an afternoon’s work rather than 3 months of constant changes.
Swedish Girls, a collection of names.
(Contrary to what you might think, Helene is far from the most common female name in Sweden, it’s Alice and has been so for many years.)
A1 Ebba Grön – Mona Tumbas slim club
Ebba Grön was one of the first Swedish punk bands, and the one that grew biggest. Mona Tumba was the wife of hockey pro, and later golf pro, Sven Tumba and she started her own fitness studio complete with a range of products and video courses. Our version of Jane Fonda. According to Ebba Grön we don’t need her slim club…
A2 Kent – Bianca
Kent, probably the biggest (indie) rock band we had within our borders. They also had quite a following in our Nordic neighbours, especially Norway, but by and large they were a Swedish concern. Lyrics often cryptic and hard to decipher, sometimes labelled emo – I would go for dark.
A3 Reeperbahn – Sång till Helene
Reeperbahn was one of the most important “new wave” bands that surfaced in the wave of music post punk-era. This is an early single, released 1979.
A4 Olle Ljungström – Alice
Olle Ljungström was the singer in Reeperbahn, after the band disbanded he had sorts of a solo career and in the 90’s he released a handful of brilliant records, but then disappeared in drugs, illness and isolation. He had almost recovered, was clean, when he died 2016 with a come-back album almost finished. It was posthumously finalized and released in 2017, so almost 40 years after the previous track here now is Alice, also sung by Olle.
A5 Thåström – Linnea
Joachim Thåström was the singer of Ebba Grön and has since then been in Imperiet (basically an evolution of Ebba Grön) and noise outfit Peace & Love & Pitbulls. Solo I would say he’s our Nick Cave, moving between rock and almost crooning, reading his lyrics more than singing. Always dark, moody. One of the greatest Swedish artists in modern time.
B1 Magnus Carlsson – Elin
Magnus Carlsson is the lead singer of Weeping Willows, band known for making middle aged men cry at their concerts with their 60’s-drenched pop with lyrics brim-full of lonely men and broken hearts. Solo Magnus leans more towards Northern Soul, and I had to include this since as at the time I had just met a woman named Elin – the chorus goes “Elin, you are, you are mine” – I played the song frequently. (She is now Mrs.)
B2 Tant Strul – Rosa
Tant Strul was the female version of Ebba Grön and singer Kajsa Grytt our version of Siouxsie, albeit blond. Apart from their debut album I wouldn’t say their music was punk, but they had the punk DIY attitude and at the time as an all female rock band they likely had to fight a mountain of stupidity from the recording business. Among the best we had at the time, and singer Kajsa is still active as a (very good) solo artist.
B3 Commando M Pigg – L Marlene
New Wave band from Stockholm, started out as Commando Musse Pigg (Commando Mickey Mouse) but the big American movie company didn’t appreciate the connection and they shortened their name to Commando M Pigg, and later just to Commando. Excellent band live, probably my best live experience.
B4 Webstrarna – För guds skull Helene
From their self-released rather quirky debut album. Webstrarna polished their sound moving on but became the band a bit inbetween – too pop for the indie kids and too strange (“left field”?) for the pop kids. They were big fans of Reeperbahn (see track A3).
B5 Anna Järvinen – Lilla Anna
Part Swedish, part Finish, but since she lives and works in Sweden I count her in. Dreamlike, fluffy like white clouds, her music is light, with room for less. Somewhat a lyricist I guess she can be harder to appreciate when you don’t understand the language, but I thought this pretty little piece would make a nice album closer. For the album this is lifted off she also made a cover of Cocteau Twins‘ Footzepoletic, but the week the album was released the band changed their mind and withdrew their approval of the song so the album got withdrawn – I was lucky to buy it early, so I have the original LP.
I salute those who cared to read this far, and if you even took the step to listen to some of the tracks I hope there were some Swedish Girls to your liking!
Tack och hej,