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Monday, June 8, 2009

Agnetha's delightful 'trädgård' (1975)


Only one word....

For voice fans, sometimes that is all that it takes to appreciate singer Agnetha Fältskog and her past efforts.

Much of the following is an attempt to put something into words via this brief post  -- that really cannot be.

So, if you'd like, please start off with a couple of listens to Agnetha's delightful song from her 1975 Swedish solo album, Elva Kvinnor I Ett Hus, entitled, "En egen trädgård". (English translation: "A garden of my own." Like most others on Elva Kvinnor..., Ms. Fältskog wrote the melody for it.) 

A current YouTube link in a new window: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGKM8L5s5gI  

(It's also available via iTunes (new window):  http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/agnetha-faltskog/id13118309?trackPage=2#trackPage%29


A 'period piece', from the twentysomething. A happy tune from the mid-1970s, perhaps reflecting what the artist has stated (subsequently, pages 42-46) as being (around) a (generally) good time in her life. Humorously and playfully done, a young woman's fantasy 'garden'... inside of her "fifty square" city apartment. (Ed. note: Per this linked interview with song lyricist Bosse Carlgren, Agnetha is portraying another young woman in this song, and also via other songs on her album...)

(Dancing House In Prague by Petr Kratochvil.This image is in the public domain.)

For this blog effort however; focused upon Ms. Fältskog's special voice, even just one sung word can transport listeners.... (Yes, or a couple...)

'En Egen Trädgård' is an example of Agnetha the vocalist at her brightest and playful best. (Headphones suggested.) She seems in total command. (As with later examples, I often think Ms. Fältskog sings her best on some of her own (composed) songs.)  The happy tune's high notes are hit with still-girlish enthusiasm. (I.e,., no pinching or tensing in the high voice.) Her chipper, yet a little pleading "Isn't it fine, isn't it the finest in town?" (loose English translation)...directly engages the listener. The whole song is bright and a little sassy, but evident mirth breaks out in the next stanza - about the "thousand fish in the bathroom 'lake'..." - via that clear, clear voice. (I.e., the song line beginning: Jag har tusen fiskar i badrummets....)

(Also: "Jag går naken och fri har i mitt paradislund..." -- Ja!)

The entire song also features some nice, mini-scale "runs" from composer Agnetha, allowing us to enjoy her precise (vocal) navigation of them. (Agnetha's boisterous (but musical), running-up-and-down "la-las" near the song's middle -- a little listener's paradise...)

It is the final song refrain, though that captivates most of all. (Beginning line: "Har min egen trädgård pa femtio kvadrat, två rum och kok...") Experienced singer Agnetha beautifully softens and (further) sweetens her vocal in this closing refrain. (Her voice seems to become a little 'dreamy'....)

Have a good listen to the artist sweetly (and blithely) stretch-out/emphasize syllables here. Ex. 'Trädgård', sung as "traaay-gord" (loose interpretation attempt). "Köket" ...as 'shehhhhck-et' (rough attempt, again). Etc.
It is precious; but the star's charming singing makes it work. (Also credit to lyricist B.Carlgren for employing words that (seemingly) facilitated this.)

The extended syllable here in "traaay-gord' (and others): It's a sweet-sounding, metallic "buzz" in your ears! Agnetha's briefly gets her larynx, pharynx or whatever other vocal resonation components buzzing (or "burring") as she lengthens. It's difficult to really describe....so I'm going to give up trying.

Other than: To me, Agnetha's sweetly lighthearted vocal stretch-outs (here) evoke the image (even the feeling) of....An ice skater sliding to a quick, hard stop on the ice; a cool, refreshing shower of ice crystals spraying all over us. (The listeners.) Or, perhaps, something like the cool, fine, wet spray of water jets nicely chilling you by the displays at a (hot-day) farm-stand....Or, the guy with the Husqvarna power saw shooting off a shower of ice shavings (on you), as he carves out a section of those famous, Scandinavian ice hotels....(But those that land in your mouth taste sweet, like a "snow cone" - of course.)

... It's now getting a little ridiculous here. But Agnetha's syllable draw-outs capture the listener, as does the entire sweetly softened refrain of her enjoyable melody.  We briefly glide along, with her.


Please enjoy young Ms. Fältskog's bright rendition of this long-ago song for yourself . (Via the links above for as long as they're available.)  


This image is in the public domain.

And, as appealing as Agnetha's singing is, 'En Egen Trädgård' is not included in her recent My Very Best compilation. (It's probably topped by a few of her other songs from Elva kvinnor, alone... ) 

There are many good solo efforts to choose from: Please enjoy an 'Agnetha solo top ten +'  from this blog here (new window).

Added info.: For additional background, enjoy a detailed interview with Elva kvinnor... lyricist Bosse Carlgren via this excellent forum topic: (link, new window)  http://www.iphpbb.com/board/ftopic-30652567nx61610-6692.html

Blog note: This post is backdated to better fit within the order of entries here. It's actual creation date in August, 2011. Polite corrections to this post are welcome.

Link to my full blog: http://star4abba.blogspot.com/

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