Tadeusz Wózniak

Tadeusz Wózniak is a Polish musician, composer, and singer. He has performed with various bands over the years as well as written songs for other performers and for films.

Wózniak went to music school for a few years when he was young, but didn’t finish. He picked up the guitar on his own a few years later and after finishing high school, he started joining one Polish band after another—Savages (Dzikusy), where he appeared under the name Daniel Dan, and then Four (Cztery), with whom he made his first recordings. He sang “Hey, Hanno” (“Hej, Hanno”) with Four, his first big break. He was invited to more and more festivals and concerts after this. His longest stint as a performer was with singer-songwriter Czeslaw Niemen.

Wózniak started his solo career in 1968, writing his own songs—mostly ballads—and singing and playing the guitar. He also wrote music to the poetry of some notable Polish poets. He has released around 10 original studio albums, most of which—and the most successful ones—date from the 1960s and ’70s. His most recent is from 2015, and he is still performing with a band: he sings and plays the guitar, accompanied by Mariusz Jagoda (violin), Jolanta Majchrzak (keyboard, vocals), and Piotr Wózniak (guitar, vocals). Yet he has had, if anything, a more significant career as a songwriter than as a performer. He has reportedly written more than 200 songs and has worked on 100 different productions, including films, plays, and TV shows, and many other popular Polish singers have performed his songs.

He has won several awards for his compositions, some of the most prestigious for his work in musical theater—he won the equivalent of a lifetime achievement Golden Mask for his musical theater work, as well as several others for individual shows, including The Master and Margarita. Wózniak was also awarded a Gold Cross of Merit, a Polish state award given to exemplary civilians, and a Gold Medal Gloria Artis, a Polish state cultural award.

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“Hey, Hanno” (“Hej, Hanno”), 1968:

Lyrics for “Hey, Hanno”:

A ja mam dziewczynę
Po słowackiej stronie
Wejdę na wyżynę
I zawołam do niej

Hej Hanno!
Przez góry bielone
Przez lasy zielone
Ja zawołam do niej
Hej Hanno!

Hej Hanno!
Usłysz mnie
Wietrze wiej
W siwej mgle

Zanieś moje słowa
Aż do Rużemberku
Spytaj czy mnie chowa
W pamieci kuferku
Dziewczyna ma

Hej Hanno!
Kochaj mnie
Wietrze wiej
W siwej mgle

Jeszcze dobra sanna
Po słowackiej stronie
Juz tam moja panna
Siada w cztery konie
Hej Hanno!
Przez wysokie śniegi
Nieruchome rzeki
Ja do ciebie wołam
Hej Hanno!

Spłyną moje słowa
Słowacką bystrzycą
A może je ptaki
Na skrzydła pochwycą
Zaniosą jej
Przyniosą jej

Hej Hanno!

 

“The Taste and Smell of Oranges” (“Smak i zapach pomerańczy”), 1972:

Lyrics for “Smak i zapach pomerańczy”:

Kto to pędzi tak przez miasto,
Komu w tych ulicach ciasno.
Biegnę gryząc pomarańczę,
Ziemia pod nogami tańczy.

Biegnę gryząc pomarańczę,
Ziemia pod nogami tańczy.

tararam tararam tararam …

Naokoło kipi życie
I ja mam się znakomicie.
Wszyscy niosą oczy jasne,
Trotuary wprost za ciasne.

Wszyscy niosą oczy jasne,
Trotuary wprost za ciasne.

tararam tararam tararam…

Przejmująco pachną lipy,
Rośnie mi po cichu broda
Wieczór aż od dziewcząt kipi,
Może czeka mnie przygoda.

Wieczór aż od dziewcząt kipi,
Może czeka mnie przygoda.

tararam tararam tararam …

Lubię kiedy jest sobota,
Gdy po wszystkich już kłopotach.
Lubię śpiewać, lubię tańczyć,
Lubię zapach pomarańczy.

Lubię śpiewać, lubię tańczyć,
Lubię zapach pomarańczy.

tararam tararam tararam …

 

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Julie is currently studying Russian as a Second Language in Irkutsk (and before that, Bishkek) with SRAS's Home and Abroad Scholarship program, with the goal of someday having some sort of Russia/Eurasia-related career. She recently got her master’s degree from the University of Glasgow and the University of Tartu, where she studied women’s dissent in Soviet Russia. She also has a bachelor’s degree in literature from Yale. Some of her favorite Russian authors are Sorokin, Shishkin, Il’f and Petrov, and Akhmatova. In her spare time Julie cautiously practices martial arts, reads feminist websites, and taste-tests instant coffee for her blog.