Nominated for a Grammy Award in 1996
Certainly, these are hard times, but positive feelings are allowed as well. And that’s where the power of polka comes in. With its relentless tension and release, polka has fun with life. On Polkas For A Gloomy World Brave Combo roars through a variety of polka styles and challenges you to cheer up for a while.
1. Hosa Dyna (Piwowarczyk)
This is a traditional Polish love song (boy can’t get girl). The title roughly translates to “Darn it.” The arrangement is by The Jumping Jacks, a popular polka band from the past.
2. Flying Saucer (Finch/No Class Music)
Another polka-pop song about looking for something to believe in.
3. Eloina’s Marbles (public domain, arr. by Finch, No Class Music, BMI)
Norteño-style medley of two songs we first heard by Los4 Tejanos de Monterrey.
4. The Faithful Hussar (Frantzen/Gustav Gerdes)
Well-known German song about a devoted guardsman who gives up everything to be with his dying lover.
5. Near The Karpat Mountain (public domain)
We learned this odd little waltz from an album recorded in Poland called All The Best Polkas. None of the artists’ names were listed. That’s all we know.
6. Quiero Que Sepas (Guillermo Mejia/Mexican Music, BMI)
The title means, “I want you to know.” A standard recorded by various Texas and Norteño conjuntos, we play it here in the currently popular Tejano style.
7. Mystery Spot Polka (Jeffrey Barnes/Wise Monkey Music, BMI)
It seems there is a measure of 9 beats and a measure of 7 beats and somewhere in those two measures lurks the mystery spot. This is the song you hear when you visit one of those crazy houses with the slanted floor.
8. Potato Chips Polka (Blazonczyk-Gomulka-Darlak/Sajewski Music, SESAC)
One of the biggest polka stars from Chicago, Eddie Blazonczyk, originally recorded this spunky polka. It can be heard at the end of Les Blank’s documentary, In Heaven There Is No Beer.
9. Breslau (public domain)
A beautiful waltz from one of those pesky albums with no credits. We do know that Breslau is the name of a town in Poland and the name of a town in Texas.
10. Pije Kuba (traditional, English lyrics by Sumeracka)
Famous Polish (and Czech) drinking song. Although it’s not exactly politically correct, it is a great song and it delivers a powerful message, “If you don’t drink with us, we’ll hit you with a big stick.”
11. Buscando Tu Corazon (Finch/No Class Music, BMI)
Southwestern conjunto-style song about doing what you’re supposed to do. The title means “Looking for your heart.”
12. Katiusha (Blanter-Issakovsky/Leeds Music, ASCAP)
This is a big favorite in Russia. Katiusha is a girl who promises to be faithful to her lover, who’s at war. Our vocal style is heavily influenced by old recordings of the Soviet Army Chorus.
13. Camino De Dolores (Hernandez-Hernandez/Don Cenobio Music)
A simple waltz about sorrow and disillusionment on the “road of pain.”
14. In Heaven There Is No Beer (public domain, arr. by Finch/No Class Music, BMI)
Famous old Czech song about beer. We’ve expanded the theme a little, but it’s all the same, really. What the heck. Background vocals on “Buscando Tu Corazon” by Janice Krieger.
Thanks to all of the polka artists who have inspired and delighted us for many years, including, but not limited to, scrubby, Eddie Blazonczyk, Lil’ Wally, Happy Louie, Steve Jordan, Mingo Saldivar, Tone De La Rosa and all of the young people who choose to carry the torch of polka. Thanks to Mark Kohan for the invaluable polka information. Thanks to all polka supporters, including, but not limited to, friends, fans, press people and, of course, polka DJs.