cantaudio008, may 2004, edition: 22

Five section interpretation of the song 'gloomy sunday' as part of the CANT series, re-examining key pieces of Twentieth Century audio through the placing of them within, around and outwith new bedfellows.

scene 1 (20.42) have we ever let you down?

boo radleys: c’mon kids (75% normal speed), billie holiday: gloomy sunday (timeline sustained, words removed)

guitar (intro from the outcasts: programme love), space landing (time almanac), iva bittova: gloomy sunday

the mother & son scene from igby goes down

piano (gitane demone: gloomy sunday), bass (modern eon: choreography)

heather nova: gloomy sunday, diamanda galas: gloomy sunday

bass (merged intros from echo & the bunnymen: ocean rain and bonnie ‘prince’ billie: i see a darkness, 65-100%)

einstürzende neubauten: headcleaner mp3, norah jones: sunrise mp3

christian death: gloomy sunday, the brothers scene from igby goes down

artie shaw: gloomy sunday (reversed), bjork: gloomy sunday

velvet underground: sunday morning, carmen mcrae: gloomy sunday (timeline sustained), backing vocals (sinead o’connor: gloomy sunday)

boo radleys: c’mon kids (beats removed, vocals only from midfield general remix, 80%), kronos quartet: gloomy sunday mp3, peter wolf: gloomy sunday mp3

lydia lunch: gloomy sunday mp3 with interuptions (bikini kill: i like fucking, bratmobile: panic, minor threar: bottled violence, hüsker dü: makes no sense at all, gymslips: robot man, germs: 4-street dreams demo, aus rotten: fuck nazi sympathy), fade guitar (danny michel: gloomy sunday)


scene 2 (07.30) christine yesnoness

luscious jackson: christine, paul whiteman orchestra: gloomy sunday, danny michel: gloomy sunday, pink industry: stand alone

thirteen one second compositions:

(1) nah, yes, nah: irvine welsh

(2) yeah, yeah, no no: adam & the ants + bow wow wow

(3) no, yes, yes: sex pistols + residents

(4) no, no, no: rod stewart + destinys child

(5) no doubt, yes: george bush + bill clinton

(6) no, no: catatonia + beastie boys

(7) no/yeah: cramps + xtc

(8) yes ... no: public enemy + iggy pop

(9) above reversed + david bowie

(10) above + prince

(11) above + crime & the city solution

(12) above + public image limited + john lee hooker

(13) no: aimee mann (50%)


SCENE 3 (04.25) hungary

intros: galas, shaw, holiday, mccrae, demone, nova, bittova, faithful, o’connor, michel, kronos quartet, mckennitt, lunch, whiteman, wolf, westcoast trio

bbc/cnn reports, suicide bombers, sunday 25 april 2004

erkel ferenc: hungarian national anthem, reversed order (de-cresceding)


SCENE 4 (03.35) christine lala-lala

butthole surfers: tv star (95% speed), britney spears: everytime (84-95%), gazza: fog on the tyne (at 33rpm), balatonia gypsy orchestra: tzigane (100%, split, reversed)


SCENE 5 (05.39) ein lied von liebe und tot

ricky nelson: gloomy sunday (unreleased), loreena mckennitt: gloomy sunday (75%, chorus removed), nick drake: road (guitar), excerpts from the 1999 film inspired by gloomy sunday, ein lied von liebe und tot


The Wirral Globe vs The Global Wire, 2004



Gloomy Sunday, written in Budapest in 1933 by Rezso Seress (first two verses) and Laszlo Javor. Original Hungarian lyrics (below left) completely bastardised for known English (translation by Sam M. Lewis and Desmond Carter). Billie Holiday's version was of course banned by the BBC in the forties through a suspicion that the song had directly led to a number of suicides, including one in Birkenhead. Following these incidents and in an attempt to reportedly "alleviate the pessimistic tone", a final verse (beginning 'dreaming, I was only dreaming') was added in English.

hungarian lyrics

it is autumn and the leaves are falling, all love has died on earth

the wind is weeping with sorrowful tears, my heart will never hope for a new spring again

my tears and my sorrows are all in vain, people are heartless, greedy and wicked

love has died!

the world has come to its end, hope has ceased to have meaning

cities are being wiped out, shrapnel is making music

meadows are coloured red with human blood

there are dead people on the streets everywhere, I will say another quiet prayer

people are sinners, lord, they make mistakes...

the world has ended!

english lyrics

sunday is gloomy, my hours are slumberless

dearest, the shadows I live with are numberless

little white flowers will never awaken you

not where the black coach of sorrow has taken you

angels have no thoughts of ever returning you

would you be angry if I thought of joining you?

gloomy is sunday, with shadows I spend it all

my heart and I have decided to end it all

soon there'll be candles and prayers that are sad, I know

but let them not weep, let them know that I'm glad to go

death is no dream, for in death I'm caressing you

with the last breath of my soul I'll be blessing you

dreaming, i was only dreaming

I awake and find you asleep in the deep of my heart

darling, I hope that my dream never haunted you

my heart is telling you how much I wanted you