Monday, October 11, 2010


Michael Hurley
10" x 8"
oil on wood, 2010

There's only a handful of dreams in one's life of which the memory stays with you forever . One of those dreams for me occurred more than twenty years ago. In the dream my father, on a train in Hungary, morphed into me. The dream was given with so much detail that I ended up researching those details' (political) history. Little did I find, even a coin, of which I could read its inscription, didn't give any real context. At the time I believed it was a reincarnation dream,  but now I don't believe in that anymore. A little later, during a few months when I had the ambition to become a singer songwriter, I wrote a song about that dream called Hungary. It was recorded on the roof of the building I was living in at the time with the sounds of the city in the background. God knows what happened to the tape. My friend Oebele, who recorded it, may have it, I don't know. It was quite a pathetic song (in retrospect) so it's probably a good thing it's lost (I will never attempt a do-over). Apart from the dream I have very little affinity with Hungary or Hungarians. I have one friend, Bela Koe-Krompecher, an American with Hungarian roots, who, as fate will have it, married a Dutch woman, (Merijn van der Heijden, who is one of the few people around my home town of Columbus I can talk Dutch to -and still be understood). The Top 100 also has very little affinity with the country; once a Hungarian Gypsy combo led by Pali Gesztros had a song in it and Bela Bartok has been in the list a few times but that's all I recall.  Stat maniac as I am, I noticed this very blog spot hasn't had one single hit out of Hungary yet. This of course needs to change. So I go to the library, go to the world section, go to European section, go to the letter H (split only with Herzegovina), pull out the cd Hongrie: Musiques Populaires, and it's awesome! This year's Top 100 will have music from Hungary! Here's my top 10 from the cd:
  1. Mihaly Barsoni and Rokus Papp - Tiszaujfalui tekeromuzika
  2. Imre Jankovics - Harnas tancdal
  3. Zither Band of Sandorfalva - Kek szivarvany koszoruzza az eget
  4. Andras Szim - Bura termett ido
  5. Sandor Czako's wife - Szoloorzo dalok
  6. Imre Jankovics - Rab vagyok, rab vagyok
  7. Erno Kukucska - Aki dudas akar lenni
  8. Menyhert Vegh's wife - Harom kivandorlo dal
  9. Pal Tendl - Regi dunantuli lakodalmas csardas
  10. Mrs. Istvan Nagy - Ne futyoressz, ne csicseressz
Now you're asking: what has the painting of Michael Hurley to do with all this? The answer: I don't have Mihaly Barsoni (the first from the cd to enter the list) painted yet (I probably won't be able to find his picture anywhay), and Michael Hurley's is the newest I finished (while playing the Hongarie cd over and over again). Michael Hurley was in the Top 100 2009 three times, I wrote a lot about him, I met him, and did hang out a with him a little. The real link though is that both Michael Hurley and Hungary are both filed alphabetically under HU: they are next to each other in my archive. My pathetic little song had a refrain that went hu-hu-hu-hu.
Lastly here I want to affirm to my Polish friends (more than 20 visits to this site from that country) that I'm not forgetting about their country. I'm also looking into the first Polish Top 100 entry in ten years (which was an anonymous 'kobza' player'). With Poland I have a little more more affinity than with Hungary as I have met several Poles (one I was French kissing about the same time I had that Hungary dream, I forgot her name –it was a difficult name to spell let alone pronounce). In my record collection I have way more Polish records than Hungarian ones, lots of polka of course, but the first Polish record I ever got was by the singer Ursula Sipinska, a beautiful blonde who's best song on the record is a Polish rendition of Bob Dylan's Be My Baby Tonight.

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