I was listening to a great new show “Gypsy Caravan”, part of KZSC’s latest Spring Schedule yesterday and heard a riotous version of Katy Perry’s modern pop classic “Hot n’ Cold” done up right by a great gypsy band known as Los Colorados.This European quartet’s version of Perry’s pop confection had me dancing around the room and made me think of some other great gypsy versions of popular songs. Here are some of the really fun ones…
“Born To Be Wild” by Fanfare Ciocarlia–This version of the Steppenwolf classic is from the “Borat” soundtrack. You have to listen very closely to even recognize that this is a cover of the sixties classic, but the song is just as ebullient and Rollicking as the original from which it was born. Imagine that you have gone on a trip to the Ukraine to visit your cousin Boris and you end up at a barbecue and there is a local band playing and a gaggle of large women dancing arm-in-arm with kerchiefs on their heads and pales of water in their hands and chickens dancing in between them on little tiny chicken motorcycles. That is what this song reminds you of.
“Paint it Black” by Nayekhovichi–This cover of the Stones classic starts out very somber and quiet, with the lead singer reciting the lyrics in English with a thick Russian accent. The song then breaks into a full gypsy orchestra sound, complete with horns and ‘oompah’ drum beats. This one is fairly faithful to the original. If Mick Jagger married a Russian peasant woman, this is what their wedding music would sound like.
“Womanizer” by the All-American Rejects–Okay, this is not one of my favorite bands, and I don’t even think that they are a ‘gypsy’ band (more like a modern rock band playing gypsy dress up), but this version of Britney’s modern pop classic is done up right in this song, complete with mini accordions in the background.
“Sympathy for the Devil” by Daniel Kahn, Psoy Korolenko and Oy Division.Another Stones classic, this time in a Yiddish/Klezmer style. The official title of this version is “Rakhmones Ayfn Tayvl” and it really isn’t until the end when they belt out “Pleased to meet you, hope you guessed my name!” in English that you even realize what song it is, making it even more cryptic than the original.
“Shaya and Perry (Paparazzi)” by Yoel Brach Productions–Okay, not really gypsy, but this Jewish wedding cover of the Lady GaGa classic has a very old world flavor to it, complete with loud horns and kick drums. The lyrics are changed from “Paparazzi” to “Shaya and Perry” the name of the bride and groom who polka’d down the aisle to this fun romp.
“Highway to Hell” by some Ukrainian guys–These guys have a blast updating the AC/DC classic in a fun polka style. You can tell that they love the song, and they really do their best to exude metalness from their Eastern European pores. Again, this one is completely in Ukrainian, so you have to go by the melody to recognize this rock classic.
To hear quirky covers like these from time to time, check out “Gypsy Caravan”on kzsc, Wednesdays from 2-4pm.
“Hot N’ Cold”
“Highway to Hell”
“Sympathy For the Devil”
“Paint it Black”