I'm a great collector of music on the fringes of the industry. On the one hand, I love the 'have a go' amateurs like Florence Foster Jenkins, Mrs Miller, William Hung, Alan Gillet, Anna-Lisa Ingemanson and others who made records despite their singular lack of talent. On the other, I love ill-considered novelty songs; I'm not talking about those deliberately recorded for comic effect, but rather those songs that time has made cheesy and awful like Reggie Bosanquet's 'Dance with me' or Patrick MacNee and Honor Blackman's 'Kinky Boots'. And somewhere in the middle, there's a place in my heart for foreign language versions of well-known songs originally recorded in English.
Many professional artists do record in non-English languages of course. The Beatles, Dusty Springfield and ABBA all recorded some of their songs in French, German and, naturally in ABBA's case, Swedish. But it doesn't happen so much any more as English has become the lingua franca of business and the music industry. Just look at Eurovision. I think that's a shame. There's a charm in hearing a familiar song sung in an unfamiliar tongue. It adds a freshness to them that is quite delightful.
I thought I might share some of my collection with you, starting with Thailand's brilliantly named Sakarin Boonpit with his version of 'All shook up' or 'Kotmorn Yoop Yap':
If you enjoyed that, you'll probably enjoy this Hindi version of ABBA's 'Dancing Queen' ('Mitha Maze Dar') by the wonderful Salma and Sabina Agha:
And to end with, how about the Bulgarian version of 'I will survive' (Ya Budu Zhit') by popular combo Strelki?