Monday, March 17, 2008

Asia loves Papaya

The whole of southeast Asia – from Japan to Malaysia, that kind of thing – has fallen in love with a song recorded by a Polish jazz singer in the mid 1970s.

Actually, what they love is the remix version of Urszula Dudziak’s Papaya (1976). It’s as big in the Philippines at the moment as was Macarena all over Europe in the mid 1990s.

See how Asia loves Papaya here. What you have to remember is that many Philippinos think that Urszula is singing in Polish...


AndNowInStereo said...

Does the song actually have lyrics?

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure she also performed this song with her previous husband jazz violinist Michal Urbaniak on one of his albums. Atma?

Or is it another song somebody else did altogether?

I know I've heard it before minus the Papaya refrain.

This is going to drive me nutz (as if I ain't already).

Unknown said...

Wow... maybe they can pull Dudziak out of the mothballs and have her open for Cher in LV... two geriatric acts back-to-back. Oh.. wait.. how 'bout Viletta Villas??? Maybe we can have Polish Divas series... in Branson? It's soooo exciting! But wait... is Jerzy Polomski still alive?? Gimme a break guys!

Anonymous said...

Mika Urbaniak!

michael farris said...

I keep waiting for Franek Kimono, one of my favorite Polish acts of the 80's, to make a comeback ....

michael farris said...

Time to utterly appall some people.
When I was in Poland in 1991 I'd buy all sorts of cassettes. Back in the states I played a lot of it for friends, mostly American graduate students.

Anyway, they were indifferent to prestige acts like Stare dobre malzenstwo, Maanam. The two casettes that got the most enthusiastic responses were:

2. Stasiek Wielanek


1. Mydelko Fa (mainly just the title song but everyone thought it was pretty cool).

beatroot said...

I bought loads of cassettes as well...I was more into disco polo (Tia Maria were my favs).

But I love the remix version of papaya...and sticks in your head all day. I even learnt the dance steps! The dog is not impressed.

Anonymous said...

Drove me nuts last night and this morning.

It's a speeded up take off (rip off?) of Minnie Ripperton's "Lovin' You":

Now I gotta dig up that old Urbaniak album to see if it is indeed on there in some form.


I saw Urbaniak a few years ago in Poland (and a few times in the States when he was living here) and he was still at top form. Some of you young whippersnappers just don't seem to realize that some musicians age like fine wine. I dunno about Dudziak -- I never really cared for her scat singing anyway.

beatroot said...

Urnaiak...which type of stuff? I like the Urbanator stuff...

Anonymous said...

I'm looking towards the Legends release more so than the Urbanator jazz-rap fusion stuff, although it seems ok.

Too bad the Urbaniak website is a bit unfunktional coz it refuses to scroll up or down:

michael farris said...

Hear the awesomeness that is Franek Kimono with 'Break Dance' (which he pronounces 'breck dahnse'.

Metka by Traczka said...

tozznok > this piece does not have words and never had.. It's just a fantastic singing.

And I admit, this song can stay in your head until making you crazy. But it's still nice.

Beatroot dances it so well that he might take a part in some competition once Papaya craze comes to Europe. Lucy the dog is not so sure about it :-)

Michael Farris > did you know that Mydełko Fa was sang by one of the top top most repected Polish actors Marek Kondrat? It was a pastiche of disco polo.

michael farris said...

Yeah, I remembered the name but didn't associate it with the actor at all at the time.
Actually I thought mydelko was the first genuine crossover disco polo hit (not yet called disco polo, if it was called anything then I think it was still 'muzyka chodnikowa'.
Anyway I still remember walking down the sidewalk on ulica dambrowskiego in Poznan in 1991 (when small scale merchants were set up hawking anything and everything they could sell for blocks around the main market) and hearing it blast out from every pirate casette seller (two or three per block).

Anonymous said...

Maybe American grad students "liked" this stuff because it struck them as a Polish joke.

The seductive soapy shower song:

Same for Franek K's stuff.



michael farris said...

No, it was more that Wielanek and Mydełko Fa sounded like they were from a real and specific place rather than sounding bland and generic - like it was from anywhere and nowhere at the same time.

beatroot said...

Tia Maria

disco polo de luuuuux

Anonymous said...

A real and specific place? Like they exactly imagined Poland? Stuck in a disco era, about 20-30 years behind the times?

Not bland and generic? I thought it's blandness and generic-ness was what some folks explained as it's kitschy charm. Polish countryside culture being transformed with the advent of modernization and the influx of urban ways ... an authentic cultural expression reflecting what was going on.

Better off to show young folks Przystanek Woodstock. So they can see Poland as now being forty years behind. Or maybe not.

beatroot said...

Disco polo is not Disco. I love disco. Le Chic. But I love disco polo in a different way (ie I leeeerve its crapness and atachment to the mafia...)

Anonymous said...

How is it not disco?

beatroot said...

Geez! Disco comes out of the black gay dance scene of the 1970s. It is stylistically utterly different from Disco Polo - Disco is based around 120 beats per minute, with guitar chops a la Le Chic, and lasted during the 1970s but not much further.

Disco Polo is based on cheesy rythmns from a casio keyboard under tunes based on simple folk songs and a little bit of every other influence they can throw at it.

Disco was often played by very good musicians, Disco Polo was not.

Need I go on?

Anonymous said...

Well, yea, so?

It's Polish disco, not American disco.

Were the BeeGees disco?

Was John Travolta black? Gay?