Ukulele Anthem

Amanda Palmer’s amazing Ukulele Anthem, interpreted into Swedish. Here, listen to the original:

Sid Vicious spela fyra-strängars bas och kunde inte sjunga
Och alla hata honom utom dom som tyckte om han
En ukulele har fyra strängar, men Sid spela inte ukulele
Han tog crack och mörda nog sin flickvän Nancy Spungen

Om Sid hade en ukulele kunde kanske han vart lycklig
Kanske allting inte hade slutat lika illa
Han kanske inte skulle tatt så mycket heroin, i stället
Kunde han ha sjungit fina sånger för sin flickvän

Så spela det du gillar bäst
Och glöm allting om riktig text
För fast allt annat misslyckas så kan du vara lycklig
Gör läxor med et gaffelskaft
Ät flingorna med hallonsaft
Ta med din leksak till ditt jobb
Och spela ukulele

Ukulele, liten, kraftfull
Ukulele, modig, fridfull
Du kan spela ukulele, det är faktiskt jätteenkelt
Spela ukulele kraftigt, spela ukulele dåligt
Ukulele ondskan tagen
Ukulele räddar dagen
Ukulele skiner blankt från torn och slott och katedraler

Lizzie Borden tog en yxa, högg sin mamma förti gånger
Högg sin pappa förti en, det blev ett tragiskt pussel
Om dom bara gett henne ett instrument, dom puritanska
Jävlarna, dom hade inte fattat vad som händer
När man inte låter folk va kreativa, och sjunga, skrika
Och nuförtiden är det värre, för du har dom pistoler
Det tar ungefär en timme att lära nån at spela ukulele
Lika länge tar att lära bygga bomber
Räkna på det, du

Så spela det du gillar bäst
Och glöm allting om riktig text
För fast allt annat misslyckas så kan du vara lycklig
Gör läxor med et gaffelskaft
Ät flingorna med hallonsaft
Ta med din flaska sprit till jobbet
Spela ukulele

Ukulele, sak av under
Ukulele, blixt och dunder
Du kan spela ukulele, med, i alla världens länder
Spela Joan Jett, och Jaques Brel
Och Eminem och Neutral Milk Hotel
Låt barnen krossa hatet
Spela ukulele naken
Och om nån försöker ta din ukulele, låt dom få den

Tänk dig om det inte fanns musik, och inga sånger
Tänk dig om John Lennon inte skjutits utanför sin lägenhet
Tänk dig om John Lennon hade skrivit ”Imagine” för ukulele
Kanske folk då hade fattat vad han menade

Du tycker kanske att jag är naiv och lite dum
Att om man vill rädda världen kan man hellre mata barnen
Men i många tusen år har folk behövt musik för att va lyckliga
Och därför har jag lovat John att spela

Så spela du en Beatles låt
Gör tunnelbanan kär och kåt
Dom kostar typ 200 spänn, det är ju jättebilligt
Spela tills solen går upp
Spela tills din hand gör ont
Spela några Vreesvijklåtar på din ukulele
Sluta tjata på din blogg
Sluta låtsas konst är svårt
Lär dig bara tre ackord
Och öva ej för ofta
Gör nån mänska lycklig med
En liten grej av plast och trä
Fan, vad underbart det är att spela ukulele
Ät läxorna med hallonsaft
Gör flingor med et gaffelskaft
Ta med din leksak till ditt jobb
Din flaska sprit
Din vibrator
Din spindelskräck
Ditt objektiv
Din mor och far
Din disco stick
Ditt soundtrack från Karate Kid
Din rosenkrans
Din fina kniv
Carolaskivan, ny och fin
Ditt älsklingsrum
Din TV-film
Ditt mjukisdjur
Ditt glasöga
Din sousafon
Ditt frukost-te
Ditt Nick Drake band
Ditt vackra träd
Din glassbil och
Din ända fru
Din livsglädje
Din öppna sal
Vi ska ju alla dö en dag
Så spela ukulele

Recording to follow in the next few days.

When you’ve finished, you can also use the export button to package everything up

Concert Review: Akku @ Josefine, 23rd November 2011

I just returned from an absolutely fantastic gig!

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A Few Issues

So, new theme is installed, but there are a few kinks to sort out before we’re fully operational. In the meantime, click the Blog link above to read my Tumbler. Unlike most other music services, you can have a look at upcoming songs in your playlist by simply swiping up from the bottom

New blog page

So, this is just a quick update to let you all know that as of now I’ll be using my Tumblr exclusively for blogging. It’s now located at the subdomain , and can be followed like any other tumblr, or read by anyone who wants. I’m giving this site a bit of an overhaul, changing the theme and getting a blog link up on the top, and I’ll still use this to post content such as song lyrics and stories, and the blog archive will still be available. Basically, I’m bringing all my little corners of the Internet (or as many as I can manage) together under this domain. . My bandcamp page now has the url , btw.

So, for those of you who just check my blog every once in a while, update your bookmark to blog.maiamadness.com, and I’ll catch you on the flipside. Common experience tells us that there is a writer pro logical relationship

Happy New Year

This year, this 2011, has been a strange one for me. It has brought about many changes in my life. I’ve graduated from University, and I’ve been doing more thinking about my future than ever before in my life. I’ve surprised myself, and disappointed myself, and been so, so proud of myself.

In July, my country experienced the greatest tragedy since the war, probably, and it’s affected everyone here in one way or another.

As for me, personally, I have moved in with my wonderful boyfriend. I’ve decided to become a physicist, and I have abandoned that track, at least for now. I’ve gone back to school, and I have decided to quit, because while I found math and physics both interesting and exciting, it’s not what I need to do. It’s not even what I want to do. I have started a new job, and I have quit it again, to work as a temp instead. I have recorded and released my first EP. I have decided to focus on music and writing. I’ve grown up, and I’ve figured out I’d rather not be so grown up. I’ve been halfway round the world, almost. I’ve learned to play a new instrument. I have spoken to my hero, and I have found another one. I’ve done so much, tried so many new things and grown so much as a person. I hope to continue to grow in the new year.

I want to thank everyone who’s helped me and stood by me and encouraged me, especially my mother, my boyfriend, and my friend Jenny who, though she may not know it, has also been tremendously helpful.

And I hope that every one of you will have a wonderful new year, that you will be happy, and accomplish many things, that you will love and live and fight and dream and be magnificent. Because you are, each and every one of you, amazing. <3


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I Love the Whole Fucking World Now!

Holy fucking shit, batman, I just made my first two sales on Bandcamp!!! *freaks out* *giggles and cries* *falls down*

Okay, so, now that I’m done jumping around the room and squealing like a little kid… Earlier today I sent an e-mail to Tom Dickins, who is one half of the Jane Austen Argument, and absolutely amazing. I saw Tom perform with Amanda Palmer in San Diego in October and fell utterly in love with his songwriting and his voice, and he has greatly inspired me because he made the decision to quit his day job, focus on the music and say “fuck Plan B”. Which, incidently, is exactly what I decided to do when I was in San Diego, inspired by all the writers and artists I met at the World Fantasy Convention and by the Amanda Palmer gig (well, I haven’t quit my day job, but I’m definitely giving THIS as much of my attention as I can muster).

This was also why I decided to record a Christmas EP. I have little money this year, and so I thought it could be a nice thing to give to family and friends for Christmas, but then I thought, why the hell stop there? So I signed up with Bandcamp. This is the amazing thing about the music business right now. We’re on the verge of a complete change in the music business and its inner workings, where artists no longer need to rely on record labels and have more control over how their music is distributed and where the money goes.

Anyway, back to some kind of point. I e-mailed Tom, and I told him how much he’d inspired me and asked if he could consider sharing my EP with his followers. He did so much more than that. He bought it (like, paid for it, my first sale, and that’s a big deal as he just sold off several of his possession on eBay in order to pay rent) and made the following tweet:

I am so fucking overwhelmed and insanely happy, you have no idea. And within half an hour of this, I’d made my second sale and a new follower on Twitter, and about 100 new plays, too. Life is fucking beautiful right now! <3

If you want to listen to, download (for free) or buy the EP, you can click the image below.

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Primadonna

It’s hard to express this without sounding like a primadonna. Because, obviously, that’s what you are if you’re an artist and you complain about people not paying attention to your art, more about it read here.

I just got home from my job’s Christmas party. We had awesome food, and we talked and it was very very lovely. Now, thing is, one of my coworkers was on this year’s Norwegian Idol competition, on TV. Three times during the course of the evening, she was asked to sing. Me? None. Many of my coworkers know I’m singer. Many of them know I aspire to make a career out of this. Yet, none of them asked me if I would like to sing something.

I don’t begrudge her the attention. In fact, I think she’s very talented, and I wish her luck, and I want her to make it as an artist. I just want her to achieve her goals without… I dunno. I dunno what I’m saying. I’m a little bit drunk anyway.

Like I said, it’s hard to express this without sounding like a primadonna. It’s hard to not sound like a jealous cunt. I’m not, I’m really not. I just feel like, with all the sacrifices I’m prepared to make to be an artist, it would be nice if people would give me a moment to show what I’m up to every once in a while. I don’t think I’m more worthy than others. I’d just like to have the same opportunities.

I don’t play any instruments very well. I should learn. I’m trying to learn, so I don’t have to be dependent on other people. I have gone through most of my life being the last one picked for the team. That goes for my musical side as well. I’m the last one people ask. I once had a voice coach who told me it was because I was too good, that I intimidated them. I would love to believe that, but I don’t. What is it about me that makes me the last person people ask? Why don’t people want to hear me play? Why don’t people want to play with me?

Am I kidding myself? Have people been lying to me all my life, afraid to hurt my feelings? Am I really one of those people who can’t carry a tune to save my life? Am I one of those people who just think they can sing, who just think they have talent, for anything? What is it about me that makes people not notice me?

Understand me right, here. I don’t want to be a celebrity. I’m not in it for the glamour or the riches, or because I’m a narcisistic bitch who needs attention. I’m really not. I’m in it because I feel like I have stories to tell, because I feel like I have all this creative energy inside it and I want to use it for good, to share it. But I need some acknowledgement. I need people to see me, because otherwise I’ll just give up. I need to know that what I’m doing is good. Or at least that it does some good for someone, even if it’s just one person. I need to be told that I’m good enough.

Do people think that I know? Do people think that I don’t need encouragement? Do I seem that confident? Or is it just that I’m really just not cutting it? Am I just not good enough? Would people I rather shut up, keep it to myself, and do something sensible with my life? What? What is it?

I just want to sing…

This song made me stop crying for a minute.

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A Bad Case of Apathy

This is just not good at all. A week left until my first exam, and I am just not managing to do any school work at all. I had an assignment I was supposed to hand in yesterday, and rather than going to school empty handed, I stayed home. It’s like I’m not motivated, and really I think I’m just terrified of failing.

I’d forgotten what school is like… Homework and tests and exams to study for… The past few years I’ve barely had to study for exams at all, most assessments have been practical to some degree or another. I haven’t needed to sit down and study. I’ve been doing things I think is fun. I’ve been practicing music, writing songs, doing research, studying music theory which, once you know it, just kind of sits in your brain and your fingers.

Now I remember everything I didn’t like about going to school. I’ve mostly enjoyed my lessons this semester, and I’ve learned a lot, but then there’s been homework I just couldn’t be arsed to do, always thinking, I’ll catch up closer to exams, and then never doing it. Back into old habits. And now, having decided that I’m not going to go to uni next year anyway, it’s like some part of me has decided it doesn’t see the point anymore, and now I just feel aimless and depressed and apathetic.

I really, really don’t want to go to school, either, but I will. I will because, even if I might not manage the physics, I will at least manage math. I intend to pass my exam next Wednesday. But I’m uncertain about whether I’ll be continuing next semester or not… This is something I’ll have to think very carefully about.

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Writing Tumblr

I set up the first tumblr I made to be a music tumblr, so I decided to make another one, for posting thoughts about writing. Feel free to follow me there.

If you’re curious about the title, I can reveal that Jern is my grandmother’s maiden name, and I’ve been kicking around the idea of using it as a pen name for a while now. I think it sounds catchy. It sounds catchiest in Norwegian, where ‘jern’ means ‘iron’. I like pen names. They make me feel a bit more free to write what I want. I guess that’s a bit cowardly, but I like the feeling of freedom I get from it. I can lie, and no one will hate me for it, because I’m not me.

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Dreams and Stories

I’ve had so many dreams over the years; dreams in the sense of wishes. My Great Dream™ has been to be a writer, a singer, an actress, a dancer (it was short lived), a painter, an astrophysicist, a teacher, a pianist, a chef, even a doctor (until I realised that I’d be exposed to vomit on a daily basis) and the list goes on. Most of these professions are creative, artistic professions and, if successful, involve a certain degree of fame.

In the end, the most frequently recurring of these dreams have been writer and singer, but within those categories I’ve also gone through a fairly large number of sub-Dreams.

I’ve wanted to be an opera singer, a popstar, a rockstar, a folk singer, a blues singer, a jazz singer, and I’ve gone back and forth between wanting to do almost all of these as a member of a band or as a solo artist.

I’ve wanted to be a children’s book author, a sci-fi author, a fantasy author, a poet, a music journalist, a young adult fiction author, a war correspondent, a crime novelist, and again, the list goes on.

I’ve had a lot of time the past few weeks, what with being practically unemployed and having had a lot of insomnia, to think about what it is I really want to do with my life. I’ve examined each of my Dreams in an attempt to figure out which one is really my True Great Dream™, or rather, my motivation for it.

Do I want to be famous? Perhaps a little bit. Every artist wants recognition for their work, and get that warm, fuzzy feeling when someone stops them in the street just to tell them that they’re fantastic (this has actually happened to me, though the person who did it was a person who went to the same school as me and whom I had just never met before, and he stopped me in a comic book shop rather than the actual street).

But I don’t really think fame is my primary motivation. I think that what I really want to do, and what I’ve wanted to do ever since I was old enough to think it, is tell stories. So I think I’ve narrowed it down. I sit with two Dreams that may, possibly, even be compatible, and I will share them with you.

Some of the first stories I ever heard were fairy tales, stories from Greek and Norse mythology, and Fantasy books.  And while there are other genres that I have loved over the course of my life so far, none have thrilled me so much as Fantasy novels. So, if I am to be a writer, that must be my primary focus. I want to flit in and out of horror and children’s stories and sci-fi as well, but I need Fantasy like I need air. Okay, maybe not like air, maybe more like water, or food, or chocolate. The point is, I need it. Because the world is sad and dull and life is uneventful, and when it is eventful we just get stressed out, or it’s dangerous, or it results in sadness.

The other thing that I really, truly need is music. I love all music, but in the vein of telling stories, there is one genre or style that is capable of encompassing elements of nearly all the others while being message orientated, and this genre is folk.

When people think of folk music, they either imagine the traditional kind, from all over the world, or they think of a guy with a guitar singing protest ballads. These people exist. I know several. But that’s not all there is. I know jazz singers, blues guitarists and rock musicians who all profess to be folk performers, because folk music isn’t really a genre. It’s popular music at its purest and its most significant. It’s poetry and storytelling in musical form. It’s magic.

So, this is my action plan. I’m going to write, and I’m going to sing. Fantasy and Folk, stories and stories, words and words. I will be the starving artist, or the successful one, but whichever direction my life takes from here on out, I won’t lie to myself again. I won’t make up other, more attainable Dreams because I’m lazy or scared. I will tell stories.

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© Maia Jern