Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Glas harmonike

The second tune that received the title of


"2009 Greatest All-Time Hit Song" 
(2 elected)
at the XXII Polkas International Award Show in Cleveland, Ohio
is also a waltz
GLAS HARMONIKE
or
THE HAPPY ACCORDION
by famous Slovenian composer and band leader Lojze Slak.

In the video below, Bobby Kravos with Walter Ostanek and the Boys In The Band was kind enough to perform it for me while playing at our SNPJ 778 Spring Hill hall on January 30:
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Glas harmonike waltz has been widely performed and recorded by button box groups and polka bands across the Cleveland-Style music scene. 

In 1970 the Lojze Slak Trio from Slovenia, with vocalists Fantje s Praprotna toured the United States. Lojze Slak managed to bring old-fashioned button box music to the forefront with the polkas and waltzes he wrote and played on the diatonic accordion, and instrument that was popular between the World Wars.

In 1973 Fanika Pozek wrote lyrics about the sound of the accordion and Lojze Slak was so enraptured  by the words that he immediately composed a melody for "Glas harmonike." The waltz became the title song of Slak's new album.

Glas harmonike quickly became a sing-along favorite, transcending the limits of language with the uplifting "la-la-la" refrain.

In the U.S., Cecilia Dolgan restyled the Slovenian lyrics into English and captured a new audience for the tune under the name of "The Happy Accordion." Many button box players have made it a standard in their repertoires.

In the next video, there's Glas Harmonike again, this time performed by well established Slovenian ensemble Spev. Beautiful singing, typical Slovenian landscape and traditional architecture - and (of course!) the one thing that's never missing in any kind of Slovenian celebration - vino (wine). Check it out, it's well worth seeing! :)
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Slovenian lyrics to Glas Harmonike waltz:

Nocoj je glas harmonike
spomine spet predramil.
Nekoc ta glas mehak in blag,
srce mi je omamil.
Le da tedaj je ta napev
bil mnogo, mnogo bolj vesel.
In fant, ki je takrat igral
si mene je izbral.
La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la...
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The last video in today's post was taken this past Thanksgiving at the Awards Show XXII at Slovenian National Home in Cleveland, Ohio. "Glas Harmonike" for the third time - performed by Kathy Hlad (button accordion), Mi Smo Mi Mens Choir & Cecilia Dolgan. Lyrics sang in Slovenian by Mi Smo Mi first and then in English by Cecilia Dolgan.
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English lyrics to Glas Harmonike (The Happy Accordion) waltz: 


Tonight the old accordion plays,
So very sweet and tender,
The songs we used to sing-along,
When we were young, remember?
The memories of days gone by,
And happy times together,
Still echo like this melody.
Come sing-along with me.
La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la...
I love to hear an accordion play,
Singing and dancing the night away.
La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la...
Join in the crowd as we gather 'round
The Happy Accordion sound.
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