Ukulele & Languages

Different countries,
Different cultures
one common language... the ukulele.

Ukulele, Hungary, Attila the Hun and Hungarian Ska

03 2010

Happy  New Year everyone !

Our first trip of the year will take us to Hungary as a few ukulele videos related to Hungary have cropped up on YouTube lately.

Sweet Soubrette is a singer and songwriter from the United-States who has created a few songs for the Cabaret Magyar.

Ode to Hungary, is Sweet Soubrette‘s tribute to the nation of Hungary and it is interesting to see how ukulele and accordeon can mix to give a traditional Hungarian feel.

Another of Sweet Soubrette‘s song is telling the story of the death of the fierce Hun leader, Attila, who according to some people was mortally wounded by the blade of his wife Gudrun. However, other people having done research on the subject of Attila’s death claim that he has probably died naturally of internal bleeding.

Anyhow, Sweet’s Soubrette‘s song about Attila‘s death is called The Cold River Tizca.

A lot of people have attempted their version of Brahms Hungarian dance Nr 5 in F Minor but I especially liked this one by logophile on ukulele, melodica and Ashbory bass. Logophile has appropriately renamed the dance Hungarian Ska.

Looking for ukulele songs from a specific country? Try entering the name of the country in the search field at the top right of this page.

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  1. Ron Hale on the 4th of January 2010 @ 07:13

    The ukulele and the accordion(some of which are so heavy they’re referred to as “stomach Steinways” only half in jest)do blend quite well.
    Another good example of that is my favorite Sweet Soubrette video, Cut Up, in which she’s backed by the circus band, Cirkestra (includes a line or two in Spanish, so it could be included in a bilingual category here). For a wee bit deeper look into Hungary, you could have included the Extremely Hungary Festival’s Mustache Contest video. No ukes, but the world doesn’t begin and end with the ukulele.

  2. Armelle Europe on the 4th of January 2010 @ 18:24

    Ron : Cut up is a good song, thanks for pointing it out. I might use it in a later post.
    Really, doesn’t the world begin and end with a uke ???

  3. Ron Hale on the 15th of January 2010 @ 10:12

    Serendipity: the gift of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for. Yes, Armelle, this ties into the ukulele/accordion pairing.

    The other day I was poring over the on-line
    version of the San Francisco Chronicle, SFGate (I live in the north San Francisco Bay Area, in the famous wine valley), and glanced at the local band blog, Off the Record. The writer mentioned what he termed, “San Francisco’s greatest acoustic duo,” a band called Vagabondage. Well, all right, I suppose. Nothing about the ukulele was mentioned in the article, but a video was included, so I watched it.

    Well (and here’s the uke/accordion connection) the video did indeed include the ukulele/accordion pairing (along with a bass), and it was, to me anyway, fabulously well done, immediately becoming my favorite ukulele video of 2009. I raved about it in the comments section of the article, mentioning that in order to give them well-deserved exposure and raise their profile in the ukulele world, I was going to include it as one of my entries in Al’s 2009 video of the year contest.

    One of the two band members answered my comments
    and said that he used Ukulele Hunt as a source of instruction when he was learning to play (of course) and they would be honored to have the video mentioned on the site.

    I dropped by their website and myspace pages and at neither place did they mention the ukulele (they’re not primarily a uke band), neither is the video tagged for “ukulele.” I suggested they add the instrument to their sites and tag the video for “ukulele” to immediately increase views.

    With the ukulele/accordion connection (although not a Hungarian connection), I thought this place on your site would be a good place to mention them and their video (I’ve already mentioned them to one SF Bay Area uke blog and I told the band I’d be in contact with other blogs,too). Fans of this pairing might enjoy watching.

    It’s a very catchy drinking song, on Youtube as –

    Vagabondage – Raise Your Glass
    from: vagabondageband

    This is the official music video of the song, uploaded by the band on September 22, 2009. There are many live performances of the song using the same labeling posted by them, but the official one is the one to watch. Thank you…

  4. Armelle Europe on the 15th of January 2010 @ 18:15

    Ron :
    From one wine region(Burgundy) to another, I’ll raise my glass to the longest comment on Ukulele & Languages. :)

    And I’ll include the link to Vagabondage’s video here for those who are curious to investigate the ukulele/accordeon pairing :

    I have noticed that Vagabondage have now added the tag ‘ukulele’ to their video so it does look like you are influential ;)

    Thanks for sharing!

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