I was very pleased to be invited to attend an event to celebrate Polish
Indepence Day at the historic St.George’s Hall in Liverpool. The event
was organised by Merseyside Polonia and featured two guests. The first
was Mrs.Anna Przylipak ,who took part in the Warsaw Uprising against
the Nazis . Anna was a Communications Officer in the Polish Partisan
Army and she was wounded and was forced to withdraw through the
underground sewage system .Her recollections were both emotional and
chilling as she told of her bid to escape the Nazis.
Following Anna’s fascinating memories, we were treated to a set by that
wonderful Anglo-Polish singer-songwriter Katy Carr. Katy was born in
Nottingham of a Polish mother and English father. She has just released
her fourth album “Paszport ” ,which has received rave reviews
,including one by David Kidman in this very magazine.
“Paszport”is a stunning piece of work. It consists of songs inspired
by the stories of soldiers and airmen in the Polish Forces in the
Second World War. As David said in his review ” Paszport” is an
extraordinary achievement, so this live performance was eagerly
I was not disappointed .Katy is a consumate performer and armed with
nothing more than a ukulele and a child’s keyboard [!] she captivated
the [mainly] Polish speaking audience with her superb songs and
gorgeous voice.
Naturally , Katy performed a number of songs from “Paszport”,including
“Wojtek” about a brown bear who was a mascot in the Polish Army and who
had a liking for beer and cigarettes!
One of the key songs on the album is “Kommander’s Car” ,which was
inspired by the escape from Auschwitz by Kazimierz Piechowski and three
others dressed in SS uniforms in the car belonging to camp commandant
Rudolf Hoess.Katy’s live version was quite different from the album
version but just as moving.
For this show,in the absence of a piano, Katy had borrowed a keyboard
from a friend’s child [!] but the track “Alicja” ,which is dedicated to
the great Polish composer Chopin ,still sounded as beautiful as ever.
Another truly beautiful song is “Motylek” [“Butterfly” in English ]
which is dedicated to the Polish Airmen who fought alongside the Royal
Airforce pilots in the Battle of Britain and throughout the Second
World War.
Of the songs on “Paszport”, all but two were written by Katy. One of
the non-originals is ” O Moj Rozmarynie” [ “Oh My Rosemary”] ,a
traditional Polish song about a boy becoming a sodier. It was
particularly moving to hear the members of the audience singing along
to words which obviously meant alot to them.
This was a very special afternoon in which we heard at first hand the
memories of an extremely brave woman who lived through the horrors of
war and, in addition , heard a performance by an exceptional artist who
has created a superb piece of work in “Paszport”. Thanks to all at
Merseyside Polonia for inviting me to join them for this wonderful
Peter Cowley.
Fatea Magazine.


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