Thursday, December 29, 2011

1000 SONGS - DAY 152: SONG #182

Day 152: A Song that takes you to the Heart of Darkness

Rudi Spitzer, a Hungarian Jew who came to be known as Rezső Seress, composed the song "Szomorú Vasárnap" (lit: Sad Sunday) to the words of László Jávor in 1933. It became a world famous song and a jazz standard in the English version, to the words of Sam M. Lewis as "Gloomy Sunday". Many people have done recordings of that song, amongst them Billie Holiday. There is an urban legend, that the song has inspired hundreds of people to commit suicide. The one person connected to the song that actually has committed suicide is the composer himself. Here is his rendering of the song in the original Hungarian version (with lyrics):

Szomorú vasárnap
száz fehér virággal
vártalak kedvesem
templomi imával.
Álmokat kergető
vasárnap délelőtt,
bánatom hintaja
nélküled visszajött.
Azóta szomorú
mindig a vasárnap,
könny csak az italom,
kenyerem a bánat.
Szomorú vasárnap.
Utolsó vasárnap
kedvesem gyere el,
pap is lesz, koporsó,
ravatal, gyászlepel.
Akkor is miránk vár,
virág és – koporsó.
Virágos fák alatt
utam az utolsó.
Nyitva lesz szemem, hogy
még egyszer lássalak.
Ne félj a szememtől,
holtan is áldalak…
Szomorú vasárnap.

Here are three versions by three female singers each done in a different style, starting with Ms. Holiday, with the more optimistic finale that Diamanda Galás talks about when introducing the song to her audience (last version featured here):

The version by Lydia Lunch from her 1979 album "Queen of Siam":

And finally, the dark dionysian lady herself, Diamanda Galás:

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