Monday, 25 October 2010

Definitely loads of songs about Maradona

Yesterday, I speculated that only one song had been written about Maradona. How very wrong I was. Here is a selection from Youtube. At least two of them are by Manu Chao, but one's better than the other. Also the one by La Guardia Hereje is pretty special.

1. Si Yo Fuera Maradona [If I Was Maradona] by Manu Chao

Maradona is in this video. Maradona is literally everywhere!

In this song Manu Chao details the things he would do if he were Maradona, including yelling at FIFA, telling them that they are theives. But life is a lottery [tombola] and he’s only a world-famous singer. Them’s the breaks.

2. Santo Maradona [Saint Maradona] by Manu Chao

This song was originally performed by Manu Chao's punk band Mano Negra. It's pretty self explanatory. I like the football chants.

3. Para Verte Gambetear [To See You Dribble] by La Guardia Hereje

Although the title is quite comedy when translated to English, this is a really lovely song. The lyrics describe town folk gathering to watch Maradona play - kids skipping school, people ringing bells and blowing whistles, and no spare TV sets to be found in any neighbourhood. Not only Argentines but Cubans and Brazilians watch Maradona, who, with his chest inflated, is bathed in light, light radiated from within the dreams of the oppressed. In the streets, people cry with joy. Although Maradona was flawed, they say, the town-folk prayed to see him dribble - a kid with a smile and a warm heart, who could turn his left foot into a hammer. The song ends saying there's no need anymore to squint at TV sets to see what Maradona has inspired. Beautifully played as well.

4. El Francotirador [Sniper] by Attaque 77

This band sound a bit like an Argentine Your Demise, which is either a good or a bad thing depending on who you are. In this song, Maradona is called the revenge of the poor - a saint and a sinner, a winner and a loser. He is an ideal of anti-corruption, and he is a sniper who can shoot through the abuse of power. It's interesting how Maradona's legend status bleeds into all the different scenes and traditions of Argentine music and culture, from the punk scene to acoustica.

5. Maradona Blues by Charly Garcia

Charly Garcia has got the blues like Maradona. But it's a woman, not cocaine, who is his drug. Nice blues.

Right then, that was interesting. Now I'm off to write a song about David Seaman.

Le Mano De Dios

The best (only?) song about Maradona ever written?

The best (only?) song about Maradona, that Maradona has sung himself - about himself - ever written?


Here is a rough translation* of the lyrics which I have tried to make sensible (sacrificing syllable counts):

Le Mano De Dios [The Hand of God]

Born in a hamlet,
By the will of God
He survived and flourished.
Enduring hardships,
His humble composure
Expressed his desire to win, to build a life,
With every kick

Forged in the pastures,
He inherited immortality;
Thirst, ambition to arrive, to prove himself
burned within him -
To devote his life
To the World Cup Dream
And use his fame
To rescue his family from poverty


(For the largest in the world eh?) [that’s a fat joke]

[repeat first two verses]

Soon he would debut
Marado, Marado
The twelve other men [in the Argentine squad] chanted
Marado, Marado
His dream was favoured by the stars;
Blessed with goals and winged feet
And all the people sang -
Marado, Marado
The Hand of God was born
Marado, Marado
Joy spread through the towns
Watered this dry land with glory

(For the world's number one!)

His shoulders were destined to bear a Cross:
To be the best -
Yet never safe in greatness
To be confronted
With unusual temptations.
If Jesus stumbled,
How could Maradona not?

Fame presented him with a white woman - [I think this might be a cocaine reference]
A mysterious flavor
And forbidden pleasure -
With her habit to desire,
And, fulfilled, desire again,
The temptations that stain a man’s life -
But on one day, for one match
Diego was a champion.

[Repeat Chorus]

Olé olé olé olé
Diego, Diego
Olé olé olé olé
Diego, Diego
Olé olé olé olé
Diego, Diego
Olé olé olé olé
Diego, Diego
Olé olé olé olé
Diego Diego

Soon he would debut
Marado, Marado
The twelve other men chanted
Marado, Marado
His dream was favoured by the stars;
Full of goals and winged feet
And all the people sang -
Marado, Marado
The Hand of God was born
Marado, Marado
He planted the seed of Joy in the slum
And he watered this dry land with glory

I love you Diegooooo!

In a lot of ways Maradona is a bit of a villain in the eyes of recent generations of English, but his story, and the song that has been written about it, is a classic example of folk heroism and the glorification of folk heroes in song. The song elevates Maradona into a mythic position; his life is bound up with destiny and superstition, and the ability to provide salvation. Perhaps it's par for the course in such a heavily Catholic country, but he's even compared to Christ. He's also really, really good at football.

What a great song. We need more songs like this. What's going on with your stage set though Rodrigo? Why are you dressed as a boxer? Why is there a boxing ring on stage behind you? Either gigs are a lot different in Latin America, or you are just really weird.

This is also a really good film about him, which gives you a real insight into the man, his trials and his glories, then and now: Maradona by Kusturica.

This is more about Rodrigo, who died ten years ago in murky circumstances: His Wikipedia Page

*If you speak Spanish and can be bothered, I would really like to know what the lyrics mean more accurately.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Stranger In Port

New maritime folk song written today & recorded ten minutes ago in one take in my bedroom. It's an untouched live recording, so you might want to turn the volume up a bit.

It's a free download as well. Just click on the arrow.


Was taken to sea
Crossing an ocean or more
A stranger in port
And she
Had to forget
Had to forget
Forget the place she was born

And she
Ran into me
Like a sailor coming ashore
Like a sailor coming ashore

I was stifled and chained
Landlocked in windows and doors
I ran off to port
And I
Tried to forget
Tried to forget
Forget the place I was born

And she
Ran into me
Like a sailor stepping aboard
Like a sailor stepping aboard

Was taken to sea
But met me down by the shore
Two strangers in port
And she
Made me forget
Made me forget
Forget the pain of before

When she
Ran into me
Like two sailors coming ashore
Like two sailors coming ashore

Broken Tambourine

Regrettably, we sometimes rock too hard.

Friday, 22 October 2010

The Slug And Lettuce, Cambridge, October 19th 2010

Here's a live recording. I'm a bit scrappy in parts. Also there are two new songs in there.

It was recorded by Ed from LOUDER! Music, which you can find (as well as some videos) here:

Zygmunt Day LOUDER! at the Slug and Lettuce by Zygmunt Day

It's also free to download if you want to recreate the live experience in the comfort of your own ipod.

Set List:

1. Fisherman's Blues (The Waterboys)
2. Scratchcard Winner (NEW!)
3. The Leaving of Liverpool (Trad.)
4. Albert Street
5. Here, Katy, Here's a Tissue (NEW! [working title])
6. Summer of '69 (Bryan Adams)

In other news, we lost at The Horn last night to some guy who brought more friends down. On the plus side, girls in St. Albans are prettier than I remember. I think everyone looks nicer in the Autumn, wrapped up in coats and scarves. Maybe it's cos I was born in September and the first thing I ever felt of this world was a chill wind. Maybe it's cos I had a shit summer.

In other other news, I'm gonna have to pay to replace the fire extinguisher.

You can download a load of other stuff on Soundcloud. Go over there by clicking this swear word: ARSE

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Ollie, it's 5am. Will you fuckin put down that fire extinguisher and go to sleep!?

[Above] The Shadow-Line. L-R: Bizzle, Monkey Brain, Howlin' Wolffe, World's Handsomest Man, Lurch

So this weekend, the Shadow-Line came up to see me. We did some practise for our next gig on the 21st, we had a pub lunch, and we got irrevocably crunk.

There was heavy lifting to be done as standard. Once again Will won the strongest brother competition. I haven't won since we were ten or something. And even then it was mostly Dutch Courage from drinking too much Um Bongo. Anyway, we had a pretty good practise. We played Summer of '69 whilst swigging on Budweisers, which has got to fulfil some kind of all-American blue-collar fantasy. We're sounding pretty good. Come and see on Thursday in St. Albans.

Once the work was done, the party started. We threw open the doors of the Mansion, filled the Jacuzzi with Champagne and implemented our renowned "bikinis only" policy. With a fine cigar in one hand, and a glass of '88 Sauvignon Blanc in the other, I waltzed through the various themed rooms (regency ballroom; luxury liner; Buckingham Palace) delivering quips and bon mots to my fellow revellers. Everybody agreed that it was simply charming; and the string quartet we'd hired to play in the buffet room created the perfect ambience. I think I may have had one too many oysters, but we all have our little foibles. The butler said that everybody was a gracious guest, nobody got drunk and the Duke of Edinburgh was impressed with our authentic Van Gogh. Here is a picture of that happening:

I only managed to get one, which is a shame. The Turkish dancers were something to behold!

We all woke up with various hangovers and back complaints and realised the football was about to kick off (it was 1 o'clock) so we went to the pub for breakfast / lunch. I had bangers and mash, Tom had Scampi and Chips, and the other lads had Hunters Chicken. It was very nice. Thank you, The Avery. If you don't want to see the results, look away now: Liverpool lost.

Then the boys got back in the tour bus:

Bit of a squeeze in there! We had to leave two of the hookers and some of the cocaine behind. Anyway, good weekend.