Living with…Swiss mountain Hütte musik…for a week

Not quite normal service this week for no81bob. Spending time in our all-time favourite place in the world, Arosa in Graubünden, Switzerland. At the start of the week the mountains resembled the Narnia scene when the spring of Aslan edges out the deep dark winter of the white witch – glorious sun and the snow sliding back against the onslaught of sunshine. Then the white witch hit back mid-week to claim back the mountains for her own for one last brief stand – but enough for us to enjoy some extra fine days of ski-ing. But Aslan will prevail…

The music of the alps in the winter is not that of Alpine Horns and other such traditional Swiss cliches. It is the music of the Hüttes, the bars and restaurants that are scattered around the pistes offering refreshment to passing skiers. The music pumped out as you clomp your way from the ski racks to the comforting warmth of gluhwein or cafe creme has always evoked a reaction in me – a cocktail of nostalgia, agony and delight. Its a mix of American/ European Anthems and the last few Now albums generally, so a sort of Schweiz Heart FM, I guess.

But I love it, life wouldn’t be the same without Swiss Hütte musik….and here is the countdown of it’s A to Z this week:

A is for the first you will always hear, ABBA. The original Dancing Queens of the piste, they greet you at every stop.

B is for Barbara Streisand. However, not the diva of our childhoods and star of Yentl but the addictively catchy dance song from Duck Sauce. P is singing it while I type this…the lyrics aren’t complicated so join in too…

C is for Charles and Eddie – Would I Lie to You? I’d forgotten about them.

D is for Deutsch soft rock – my apologies I don’t know the names of all you groups that I heard. Even greater apologies for mistaking you for Bryan Adams (see Z below) before I started listening to the lyrics properly. Even greater greater apologies if you’re offended by that!

E is for Europe and The Final Countdown.

F is for Foreigner and Waiting for a Girl Like You.

G is Give a Little Bit from Supertramp…can’t beat the old favourites

H is for Helmet Hair – not music but the look that’s been sweeping the Huttes in recent years with the proliferation of helmets. Rest and take off the Helmet to reveal your very own TinTin look.

I is for Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s Somewhere Over The Rainbow.

J is for Journey and Don’t Stop Believin’.  No surprises there then.

K is for Kamakawiwo’ole, Israel again – they played that song a lot, and I didn’t hear any Kajagoogoo so that’ll have to do for K.

L is for Laa laa songs, or that’s what we came to call them. Those ones that amble along and then just break out into choruses of laa laa laa – the bits in between don’t matter, just join in with the chorus.

M is for Madonna but strictly songs like True Blue. Wouldn’t want anything too demanding….

N is not for Nena. Contrary to English listeners’ mythology there are many other German groups apart from Nena, so never heard any 99 Luftballons, and indeed haven’t for quite a few years now…

O is for Owner of a Lonely Heart by Yes. I wish. As we were in euro-rock territory I was rather hoping to catch the greatest example out there (imho) in the Huttes, but no such luck.

P is for old Poker Face herself the Lady of the GaGa

Q is for Queen and Somebody to Love.

R is for Robbie Williams’ Millenium. Which reminds me that been reading Tony Blair’s account of his years as Prime Minister (should have been subtitled No Regrets, well except for the ban on fox hunting) and love his one quote after the Millenium Dome debacle “there is only one thing that I am going to thank God for tonight, and that is they only come round every thousand years.” Brief glimpse of humour from our Tony…

S is for Status Quo’s What You’re Proposin’…thanks for the 80’s memories.

T is for Taio Cruz’s Break Your Heart. Again, another P favourite

U is for Eurythmics and Thorn in my side (you’ll have to give me a slight phonetic break on this one)

V is for Van Halen’s Jump…sigh

W is for Whitney Houston’s Didn’t We Almost Have It All

X is for X Factor winner Alexander Burke’s Bad Boys. Move along…nothing to here hear…

Y is not for Yodelling which again contrary to popular English conception does not dominate the soundwaves in Switzerland, unless you’re going to a folk festival or watching the stream of weather videos from resorts on Swiss TV in the mornings.

Z is for no I’m not going for the obvious and ZZ Top-ing here. I guess I have to mention the Big B, his songs continually appear and he clearly is the template for Swiss Hutte Musik – so Z is for Bryan Adams. The Alpha and the Omega of Hutte Musik…

Twotes of the week
@PunSl1nger: I just walked into my Sarcastics Anonymous club 5 minutes late. They said “Oh, nice of you to join us.”

@prodnose: Only one way to brighten up F1 – last lap on foot (Welcome back Danny Baker, we’ve missed you)

@DoLectures: “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” – Albert Einstein

Woohoo! @kerrymayo3: “Albion, Albion, Albion…Albion, Albion, Albionnnn…Albion, Albion, Albion…Albion…ALBION!!!! (yup, promoted on Tuesday night)

@SE19SOUL: A bloke on a tractor just drove past shouting “The end of the world is upon us!!” I think it was Farmer Geddon.

@GaryDelaney: A German, a Greek, a Portuguese and an Irishman go into a bar. The German pays.

Gleewatch: A year behind in Switzerland, but did catch Lassie Come Home in German, so that was nice.

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