Chłopcy z Placu Broni

The Boys of Paul Street / Chłopcy z Placu Broni

Published: September 28, 2016

The Boys of Paul Street (Chłopcy z Placu Broni) is a Polish classic rock band formed in 1987 in Krákow by Bogdan Łyszkiewicz. The name of the band is a reference to a Hungarian classic children’s novel about two groups of boys who end up in a territiorial war with one another.

Łyszkiewicz was the singer, guitarist, and pianist for the band; he was also the leader for the first 13 years of the band’s existence. Originally, he was joined by Wojciech Namaczyński (percussion), Waldemar Raźny (bass), Jacek Królik (guitar), and Jarosław Sokoł (the manager). Łyszkiewicz was a young nonconformist in 1980s Poland, getting involved in protests and demonstrations. When he was first introduced to the Beatles, a new dimension of his rebellion emerged, and he started styling himself in homage to John Lennon—he has been called “the Polish John Lennon.” Królik cofounded the band—he had started his career in the band Lid (Dekiel), which was popular in the early 1980s. The band made its debut at the Jarocin Festival, where it won second prize. The band released its first album, O! Ela, in 1990, soon followed by Cross in 1991 and several others, while they toured around Poland and the world.

In 2000, right after the Boys released their fifth album, Poland (Polska), Łyszkiewicz suddenly died in a car crash in Płońsk. The band immediately fell apart. Over the next few years, there were festivals in honor of Łyszkiewicz and an album of his unreleased music was released, performed by other Polish artists.

The story of Boys of Paul Street wasn’t over, though—in 2015, Franz Dreadhunter, who had joined the Boys in 1991, suggested that they get back together in memory of Łyszkiewicz. Spurred on by him and several other former members and friends of Łyszkiewicz, the Boys of Paul Street were reincarnated with original members Namaczyński (percussion) and Królik (guitar), plus Dariusz Litwińczuk (vocals, guitar), Dreadhunter (bass), Piotr Czerwinski (guitar), Adam Drzewiecki (keyboards), and Artur Malik (drums).

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“I Love Freedom” (“Kocham wolność”), one of the band’s most popular songs, 1990 (in this link, the audio is original but the video is new):

Lyrics for “Kocham wolność”:

Tak niewiele żądam
Tak niewiele pragnę
Tak niewiele widziałem
Tak niewiele zobaczę

Tak niewiele myślę
Tak niewiele znaczę
Tak niewiele słyszałem
Tak niewiele potrafię

Wolność kocham i rozumiem
Wolności oddać nie umiem
Wolność kocham i rozumiem
Wolności oddać nie umiem

Tak niewiele miałem
Tak niewiele mam
Mogę stracić wszystko
Mogę zostać sam

Wolność kocham i rozumiem
Wolności oddać nie umiem
Wolność kocham i rozumiem
Wolności…

Wolność kocham i rozumiem
Wolności oddać nie umiem
Wolność kocham i rozumiem
Wolności oddać nie umiem

Tak niewiele miałem
Tak niewiele mam
Mogę rzucić wszystko
Mogę zostać sam

Wolność kocham i rozumiem
Wolności oddać nie umiem
Wolność kocham i rozumiem
Wolności oddać nie umiem 2x

 

“I Love You” (“Kocham cię”), 2000:

Lyrics for “I Love You”:

Jeśli kogoś kochasz, jeśli wiesz
Czym jest miłość, jaki jest jej sens
Jeśli tylko szczęście widzieć chcesz
Mów do mnie szeptem

Co dalej jest?
co dalej jest…

Jeśli się nie boisz mówić nic
Jeśli się nie boisz mówić nie
Jeśli wszechświat to wszystko
Powiedz może wiesz

Co dalej jest?
Co dalej…

Jeśli zawsze znasz odpowiedź, jeśli wiesz
Jeśli tylko szczęście widzieć chcesz
Mów do mnie czule
Mów do mnie jeszcze
kocham cię

 

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About the author

Julie Hersh

Julie Hersh

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.

Program attended: Art and Museums in Russia

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