Destinations Magazine

Songwriting in Poland: (You Have Your Life) Warszawa Skies – “This A Present From Stalin’s Reign”

By Jsbdsl @jonnyblair

“This; a present from Stalin’s Reign, but you have your life again” – Jonny Blair.

Songwriting in Poland: (You Have Your Life) Warszawa Skies

Songwriting in Poland: (You Have Your Life) Warszawa Skies

Most people reading this travel blog will know me as a travel writer, or as someone who writes about a lifestyle of travel. But that’s not really what writing was about for me when it all began. I started life as a football writer, for fanzines. Then I wrote about music and then I was writing poems, lyrics and songs. I have about 1,000 poems or songs that as yet are unpublished. Someday I will release them on a website. Being back in Poland has reminded me of the song I wrote for my Polish friends in 2007. The song is called You Have Your Life (Warzsawa Skies).

Songwriting in Poland: (You Have Your Life) Warszawa Skies

Songwriting in Poland: (You Have Your Life) Warszawa Skies

The song “You Have Your Life (Warszawa Skies)” is about the fall of communism in Poland and was inspired by my visit to the Palace of Culture and Science in Warszawa. As I walked through Warszawa in Poland in 2007 with my friends Artur and Rafal, one of them pointed at this elaborate building and said to me “this is our present from Stalin.” When I saw the freedom and progression in Poland since the fall of communism, I said to them, “but you have your life again.”

warsaw poland

My mate Rafal holding up my Northern Ireland flag in Warsaw, Poland

This; a present from Stalin's reign - the Palace of Culture and Science.

This; a present from Stalin’s reign – the Palace of Culture and Science.

This; a present from Stalin's reign - the Palace of Culture and Science.

This; a present from Stalin’s reign – the Palace of Culture and Science.

Over a period of 4 days, I used events that happened to me on that trip in Warsaw to concoct a song. I finalised the lyrics on a night out in the Lolek Bar in Warsaw. I later put guitar to it. The lyrics are metaphors for other things, read into it what you will. This is my tribute for the Polish people. Today, now I decided to share the lyrics and only known recordings of the song to date with you:

You Have Your Life (Warszawa Skies)
Yesterday I was a dog for a girl,
Waking up in a different world,
Showing them the best of you,
Showing them the worst of you.

Warsaw skies they won’t rain on you,
Warszawa skies didn’t rain on me.

Yesterday’s African party,
Up on stage false celebrity,
Showing them the best of you,
Showing them the worst of you.

Warsaw skies they won’t rain on you,
Warszawa skies did not rain on me.

This a present from Stalin’s reign,
It’s nice to know you have your life again,
And the passion speaks the world of you,
Polish passion speaks a world to me.

Warsaw skies they won’t rain on you,
Warszawa skies did not rain on me.

Looking out for the Lolek Bar,
A foreign dream can it stretch this far?
And you bow to the friends you made,
You’ll bow down to the friends you made.

Warsaw skies they won’t rain on you,
Warszawa skies did not rain on me.

This your present from Stalin’s reign,
But you have your life again.

I have recorded the song twice, once in my home town and another time in front of Rafal at a hangover breakfast in Tbilisi, Georgia. And remember, I am not a singer or a guitarist, so the passion is in the lyrics and sentiment only. I am not to be judged as a musician!

Version 1 recorded in Bangor, Northern Ireland (2007):

Version 2 recorded in Tbilisi, Georgia (2013):

And my other posts on backpacking through Poland on my four visits to this country to date:

Cycling with Mika in Gdańsk and Sopot
– Visiting the Polish Post Office where World War II began
– Food Tour with Eat Polska in Gdynia
– This A Present from Stalin’s Reign
– Touring Sand dunes near Łeba– Studying Polish in Gdańsk
– Auschwitz Part 1 – Auschwitz
– Auschwitz Part 2 – Birkenau
– Backpacking in Krakow
– Backpacking in Poznan
– My Stay at Mosquito Hostel, Krakow
– My Stay at Poco Loco Hostel, Poznan
– Night train from Krakow to Lviv, Ukraine

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