Tag Archives: Artists

A great artist you’ve never heard about…Part 2

Here are videos with Rysiek Riedel’s performances. To learn more about this artist, click here.

I’ve chosen these pieces looking mostly on the quality of recording (although no record from Youtube gives justice to the artist’s voice). Louder listening is recommended. My translation of lyrics (sorry Rysiek) follows the videos.

‘Koszmarna Noc’ (‘Nightmarish night’) gives a good account of the artist’s vocal talent, he looks at his best, for the last time…

Nightmarish night, it’s already two o’clock, a disgusting bed and a blanket/ Something is smothering me, monstrous dreams/ That television is hissing like a snake/ I don’t have power any more to turn it off/ I don’t have strength to put it all together/ What am I doing here?… I don’t have strength any more/ I have to think, woman, help me/ Seconds, minutes, seconds, minutes, hours and days… hours and days…

There is fire burning in depths of my soul/ It’s my youth that torments, I know/ In the morning the girls will come again/ And they will do everything to comfort me/ In the morning the little girls will come again/ And they will do everything to comfort me/ Why sun, why sun shines so shortly?/ I have to think, help me, God/ Seconds,minutes, hours and days (2x)/ God, help me, help me, God (2x)

Skazany na Blues-a’ (‘Doomed to Blues’) – here Rysiek is barely alive (it’s 1993, a year before his death) in one of his last (last of all?) concerts; only his passion for signing and his great stubbornness could have made it possible for him to perform in that physical condition… The autobiographical lyrics are poignant to the deepest in those circumstances…

The crowd shouts his name and ‘sing!’, ‘sing!’, sing!’ mantra. And he answers: ‘Always, I’ll always sing for you…to the end.’ And he did mean it. He lived as he sang and he sang as he lived…The great artist, you’ve never heard about…

If you haven’t known him, don’t regret/ If you haven’t known him, don’t regret, o no/ Because you would lose a friend/ Because you would lose a friend…like I did/ No, you didn’t know him…/ You’ve liked sometimes to listen how he played/ But – have you ever thought, where do they come from, people like him?/ Have you ever thought, where do they come from, people like him?

He was one of few, doomed to Blues/ That sentence was strengthening him/ He’s got a home and family, he could have lived peacefully/ But he was running away many times/ To stand before you and to gain some strength/ He was like that, he was like that/ Because he got little time left, he was sensing it/ Doomed to Blues, how many of them is there like him? (2x)/ How many of them is there like him?…(2x)


Double-click on videos to see, who originally had uploaded them to Youtube, thanks guys.


A great artist you’ve never heard about…

He was a poet, a charismatic leader of a rock-band, a blues-man, a signer gifted with a powerful, uncommon voice, a talented draughtsman… Unfinished primary school was all his education, he had never received any musical or artistic tutorials. Yet his arresting personality emanated with sensitivity so great, that it was almost tangible… A perfect dreamer and a loner, his ideal was an Indian galloping through a prairie on a wild horse… In a sense he was just like that, never complying with so-called the ‘mainstream’ model of live, losing himself for freedom and driving crazy everyone loving him and caring for him (and functioning in a more ‘real’ world)… There are little myth-stories about this artist keeping on forgetting about his own concerts and vanishing without a sign to re-appear after weeks (he did that just after his wedding ceremony…) Yet, what he gave out of himself was much greater, those genius few sparks of poignant authenticity, that crowds fed up with illusions and lies were waiting for…

Ryszard Riedel (phonetic transcription: ‘ryshard rydel’ – ‘y’ pron. hardly) called by everybody ‘Rysiek’ (‘si’ pron. softly like in ‘Shiite’) – b. 1956 in an impoverished family of a miner and a shopkeeper, he grew up among heavy industry of Poland’s most devastated region – ‘Silesia’, the communist regime had started to lose its grip a little bit, but there was no real hope for any significant political, economical and cultural change.

Rysiek had his dreams, his poetry, his music and unfortunately – very fashionable in those days narcotics to fight all that. He joined ‘Dzem’ (‘jam’) rock-band and quickly became an icon figure for, at least, two generations of Poles. In simple, yet beautifully crafted texts he sang mostly about his own thoughtful and painful journey through life… To use his own words:

Solitude, it is such a terrible fear / It is surrounding, penetrating me / You know, Mum, I’ve imagined, there is no God / There is no God, no… (Letter to M)

They say about me in a town / What kind of a character he is? / He is drunk all the time / Surely, he doesn’t know what shame is (…) Whiskey, my wife, you are the best of all dames… (Whiskey)

Though my pockets are empty / And sometimes there is no enough vodka / I will never change myself / I will always live like this / I’ve never listened to my father/ Although he was warning me:’They’ll let you down’/ Because of the naivety in the boy’s eyes/ Now there are many who laughs at… (Outsider)

Rysiek Riedel lost his long-term battle with himself in 1994, being only 38 and on a peak of his artistic career.

He didn’t succeed in detoxing his organism from the narcotic abuse. He left his admirers with shock, deep sadness, a great hunger for ‘more’ – more beauty, more truth, more freedom and… anger too… He just wouldn’t have allowed anybody to help him… He chose the slow, extremely painful dying despite of all admiration and love he got from dozens of friends supporting him…

But some people are just not from this world. And the ‘bare’ reality means such a torture, they have to invent a parallel universe, just for themselves. And it is better to leave them alone dreaming, because they are more sane and happier in their dreams. And they die just as they live: incomprehensibly and ‘scandalously’ for most ‘normal’ observers. But, in most cases, they’re those for whom you consider your ‘correct’ life worth living at all…


Because of the size of this article I’ve chosen to affix videos with R.R’s performances in another post here. Enjoy!

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