Polish music bands – learn Polish through our culture!
Polish music: Kult
Their name literally means “A cult” in the Polish language. They’ve been active since 1982, so they began under communism. In 1987 they released their probably most famous song – Hej czy nie wiecie (Hey, don’t you know). In the lyrics, the lyrical subject keeps asking some unspecified individuals (allegedly – communist politicians) if they know that they do not rule the world.
The band is known mostly for its leader, vocalist, and lyricist Kazik (Kazimierz) Staszewski. He is somewhat controversial due to the clear political views he expresses. His song Twój ból jest lepszy niż mój (Your pain is better than mine) sparked a heated discussion in 2020. It criticized the politicians visiting the graveyards amidst the pandemic, while common folks couldn’t.
Staszewski also confessed that he used the drugs in his youth. In 1988 he suspended his Polish music band to work in London as a construction worker.
Kult is very important to Polish art history. During our Polish language course in Wroclaw, you may be asked by your teacher to listen to some of their iconic songs. It will teach you more than just a language, but also a culture.
Polish music: Paktofonika
Polish music has few hip-hop and rap artists that can be recommended to foreigners. Many of them use a language too hard for even intermediate learners. Other ones may teach you a language you rather don’t want to use.
But Paktofonika sang in a very simple language. Their most notable song is Jestem Bogiem (I am a God) from 2000. It is written with limited vocabulary, which makes it easy to memorize and comprehend. It is a monologue of a person claiming to be a God, but also informing a listener that they’re also a divine being. The song’s also points out that the consumerism is bad. However, some words and sentences are tricky.
Paktofonika was active from 1998 until 2003. In 2000 its most famous member, Piotr “Magik” (Magician) Łuszcz committed suicide. It is assumed that he wanted to avoid conscription by pretending to be mentally unstable. But he played his role too well and probably became mentally wrong. Then the debate over artistic matters arose and led to the disbanding of this Polish music hip hop band.
Polish music: Dżem
This band’s name means “a jam” in Polish. Those Polish music icons play a unique mixture of rock and blues genres. They were founded in 1973, but after 50 years they don’t stop creating music! Their most notable member was Ryszard Riedel, a vocalist. Despite his outstanding talent, he was severely addicted to drugs. He died from heart failure in 1994.
They became famous after their concert at the Jarocin Festival in 1980. It was an alternative music show used to express a common opposition to the communist government. Since then Dżem became popular. Their activity was irregular from about 1985 when the addiction took better of Riedel.
Dżem’s most important song is probably List do M. (Letter to M.). In the lyrics Riedel addresses his mother and confesses his lack of faith in God and that he suffers from being completely alone.
Polish music: Enej
Actually, it’s a Polish-Ukrainian band, as some of its members are of Ukrainian ancestry. They play mostly folk and rock, but sometimes you may hear them perform folk rock, punk rock, ska, or punky reggae.
Their name is inspired by Eneida, a Ukrainian mock-heroic poem by Ivan Kotlarevskiy. Enej was its main hero, a humorous parody of Aeneas from Virgil’s Aeneid. Polish music band Enej is also known for its rhythmic and amusing songs.
They were founded in 2002 and are still active! During their 21 years of artistic activity, they built an impressive portfolio of songs. Their newest album is Kolędy z pierwszą gwiazdą (Carols with the first star) from 2022. Its most popular song is Jedna z chwil (One of the Moments) with 137 thousand views as of 12th September 2023.
Enej’s most iconic songs of all time include Kamień z wielkim love (A rock with great love), a song that tells the story of a guy wanting to impress his sweetheart. He has but a stone to offer, which leads to rejection. The girl preferred someone rich… but at the end of this masterpiece of Polish music, it turns out that the stone was made of gold!
This Polish music band plays also songs in Ukrainian. If you want their music to learn Polish pay attention to a language. If Ukrainian is transliterated into the Latin alphabet, you may take it for the Polish!
Due to its Ukrainian connections, Enej was accused of promoting Ukrainian nationalism. Their name was also nom de guerre of Petro Oliynik, the colonel of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army. In the 1940s this formation committed a horrible genocide of Polish people in Western Ukraine. However, Enej stated that their band is inspired by a poem and does not support any radical ideologies.
In this article, we presented you with a Polish music band worth listening to. Not only to boost your Polish language course in Wroclaw but also for their artistic qualities. You probably noticed that most of those bands were created a long time ago. However, their songs are timeless and sung in a language suitable for foreigners.
Polish language course in Wroclaw
We’re also launching our Polish language course in Wroclaw on 9th November. Our goal is to teach you Polish through conversations. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to enroll.