“Joli garcon” (Pretty boy)

The first song on Je dis oui! – is one of three original French songs written by Thomas Lauderdale for the French film Souvenir and Belgian filmmakers Bavo Defurne and Yves Verbraeken. Starring the legendary French actress Isabelle Huppert, Souvenir tells the story of Liliane, a singer who lost to Abba in a European music competition in the mid-1970s, and who – now forgotten – works at a meat paté factory putting bay leaf and cranberry garnishes on the loaves of paté. One day, Jean, a young ambitious boxer, comes to work at the factory. As a romance unfolds between the two, Jean encourages Liliane to return to the stage for the first time in 30 years.

In addition to the three songs, Lauderdale and Pink Martini scored the film, which will be released in December. “Joli garcon” – Liliane’s comeback song – is sung here by China Forbes, backed by a Brazilian samba batucada ensemble, swirling strings and harps, anthemic brass, and the recurring chorus “Je dis oui!” that is the title of this new album.

Combien de nuits sans sommeil
Combien de jours sans soleil?
Les jours sans amour c’est fini
Tu souris et tu dis:
Viens-tu au Pays des Merveilles?
Veux-tu balayer le passé?

Joli garçon, je dis oui
Bras de béton, je dis oui
Coeur de bonbon, je dis oui
Seul vit l’amour ou vit l’envie...

Oui mon amour
Cueillons les fruits
Sans perdre un jour
ni même une nuit! Mon cheri...
Joie du retour,
tu chasses mes ennuis
Tu peins de ta main
Les couleurs de ma vie...

How many nights without sleep?
How many days without sun?
The days without love are over
You smile, and you say:
Will you come to Wonderland?
Will you leave the past behind?

Pretty boy, I say yes
Arms of concrete, I say yes
Heart of candy, I say yes
Love only lives where there is desire

Yes, my love
Let’s gather the fruits
Without losing a day
or another night My darling...
The joy of returning
You chase away my unhappiness
You paint with your hand
The colors of my life

Filmmakers Defurne and Verbraeken met Lauderdale the first time Pink Martini played in Belgium, at an outdoor concert in Bruges in 2005. The two were in the front row. Lauderdale liked how they danced, so he struck up a conversation with them after the show. In 2014, they started collaborating, writing three songs for Souvenir in Ostend, Belgium and Paris, France. These are the first songs ever written by Defurne and Verbraeken. And this is the first full feature soundtrack by Lauderdale and Pink Martini.

“I’ve always wanted to work on a film soundtrack. But the kinds of films I would want to score are generally not being made. When I saw Bavo Defurne and Yves Verbraeken’s first film ‘North Sea Texas,’ I was so blown away by both the story and the film’s aesthetics that I knew that I wanted to be part of any of their future projects. Writing songs with them was delightfully fun … the songs themselves unfolded very easily and quickly. It was also great fun traveling in August 2015 to the south of France to work with Isabelle Huppert while she was on family vacation. She is as mesmerizing in person as she is on the screen. And she is fearless!”

“China Forbes and I met at Harvard in 1988,” says Lauderdale. “She was queen of the dining hall. We lived in the same college dormitory and she would entertain us for hours with her accents and her voices and stories, and she and I would break into the practice rooms late at night and she would sing opera arias and I would be her accompanist at three a.m.”

“When the band first started, I didn’t really get along with our first singer. I thought about China and discovered that she was in New York City. So I called her up and tricked her into flying to Portland, Oregon, and I kept doing that every other weekend, and finally she moved to Portland three years later.”

The Butterfly Song

Written by Alex Marashian and Lauderdale – pays homage to Robert Schumann’s piano suite “Papillons” (Butterflies), and is a delightful and bittersweet ode to the outdoors. Sung by China Forbes, “The Butterfly Song” tells the story of a butterfly who is captured in a net, brought home where the narrator tries to make it happy, but dies. The lesson learned is: “If you love a butterfly, if you love it let it be.”

Butterfly -- dance across the sky to me
Come and spend some time with me
I promise not to pin you down
Or even frown
If you have to fly away
Into someone else’s dream
Come and spend some time with me
Linger just a little while – butterfly style
Before you flitter away

I used to think that butterflies
Were meant for catchin’
‘Til the time I caught one in my net
Took it home and tried to make it happy
But the very next day (the very next day)
The next day it was dead

Butterfly I buried in the meadow
Where I’d found it flying so free
After that I learned my lesson
If you love a butterfly (If you love a butterfly)
If you love it let it be

Butterfly – glad to see you back again
Come and rest your wings my friend
I promise not to pin you down
Or even frown
If you have to fly away
Into someone else’s dream
Come and spend some time with me
Linger just a little while – butterfly style
Before you flitter away

Alex Marashian is a longtime collaborator with Pink Martini. “Like China Forbes, I met Alex Marashian at Harvard,” says Lauderdale. “We were all in the same dormitory – Adams House, the artsy, international, politically far left, gay oasis that was unlike any other place on the Harvard campus. It was like going to a completely different college altogether. Alex, an Armenian philosophy major from Fresno, California, influenced me in huge ways. He introduced me to the films of Federico Fellini, the piano works of Scriabin and Rachmaninoff, French pop singers like Phillipe Katerine. The first time I ever went to Paris was because Alex Marashian kidnapped me during spring break of 1990.”

Lauderdale continues, “After college, Alex moved to Europe and became editor-in-chief of Colors, the way-ahead-of-its-time magazine published by Olivier Toscani and Benetton. Alex conceived and directed the award-winning video we made in 1999 for our French hit, “Je ne veux pas travailler”. He co-produced our fourth album “Splendor in the grass”, and he and I wrote many of the songs on that album. In August, we finished writing this song, one of many songs we’ve started but never completed.”

Alex Marashian says, “‘The Butterfly Song’ is truly a butterfly song. It came to us. It flitted away. Then, when we had forgotten all about it, it came back and landed in our lap.”.”

Kaj kolah khan
The tough guy with the crooked hat
Music by Babak Afshar, lyrics by Touradj Negahban

Don’t furrow your eyebrows at me
I’m with the guy in the crooked hat
I am beautiful, I am beautiful
I’ve left many broken hearts in my path
I am a lone rider, I’m a maverick
I have no rival anywhere
I love white stallions
I am a very good jockey girl
Long hair, like a lasso
With endless waves and curls

To mesmerize you
I’ve got locks for days
From head to toe
I’m a flirting machine

When I line up my gaze
And mesmerize you with a look
Even if you have heart of stone
I’ll have your heart

ابرو به من کج نکن
کج کلاه خان یارمه
خوشکلمو خوشکل
دلها گرفتارمه
یکه زن و یکه سوارم
هیچ کجا رغیب ندارم
عاشق اسب سفیدم
دختری چابک سوارم
گیسو نگو کمند والله
چینو چینو بلند والله

پریشون دارم
تا که پریشون بشی
عشوه فراوون دارم
از نوک پا تا به سر

وقتی خمار می کنم
چشمامو تو اون چشات
اونو شکار می کنم
دل اگه سنگم باشه

“Kaj Kolah Khan” is a song in Farsi which appeared first in a film with the same name in the early 1970s in Iran. The legendary Iranian singer Googoosh made a pioneering feminist recording shortly thereafter which showed a woman in a position of strength. When the Shah of Iran was deposed in 1979, thousands of writers, artists, teachers, singers, actors and journalists left Iran, as the country reverted to a strict Islamic state, including Googoosh. “I think what is so incredible about this song is its feminist message,” says Lauderdale. “Kaj Kolah Khan is a window into a brief moment in Iranian history where women were becoming more independent and powerful.”

“I thought Storm Large would be perfect to sing this song,” continues Lauderdale. ”Storm came to our rescue six years ago when China Forbes lost her voice. We had four sold out concerts at the Kennedy Center with the National Symphony in Washington D.C. and I called and begged Storm to come sing at those concerts. She learned ten songs in five languages in four days and has been singing with us ever since, dividing the time with China Forbes. Storm is an unbelievable presence! She gets the conga lines going like no other person I’ve ever known in the world. Like China, Storm is also from Massachusetts. She has had a varied, incredible career, from punk rock roots to now singing Kurt Weill’s “Seven Deadly Sins” at Carnegie Hall with the Detroit Symphony.

“It’s great having two lead singers because China has a child and is unable to travel all the time and Storm has a whole other career and band. So we get to have them both, which helps keep all of us on our toes.”

To help with Storm Large’s pronunciation and understanding of the song, Lauderdale enlisted the counsel of Portland, Oregon-based Professor Hossein Salehi, one of America’s foremost experts on Persian music, and Fahti Rabizadeh Yamin, who Lauderdale met in a hair salon 25 years ago.

Ov Sirun Sirun

After years of requests from Armenians worldwide, Pink Martini has finally recorded a song in Armenian. “I discovered a beautiful recording of the traditional Armenian folk song, ‘Ov Sirun Sirun,’ recorded by Ardashes Avedian, from the 1960s, about unrequited love,” says Lauderdale. “Ari Shapiro, the co-host of NPR’s ‘All Things Considered,’ sings with long-time band member Timothy Nishimoto and Kyle Mustain, who co-produced this album with me. Although Ari Shapiro is originally from Portland, Oregon, we met because one of Ari’s first stories for NPR was about Pink Martini and why it was taking so long for a second album.”

“Through the years, whenever the band played in Washington, D.C., Ari and his husband Michael would host gatherings for us. One summer day after we played at Wolf Trap, Ari and Michael had a barbecue for us and for the band Blind Pilot. Afterwards, there was a sing-a-long around the piano and I was reminded what an amazing voice Ari had. The next day I called him and asked him if he would consider recording a song for our fourth album. Three weeks later, he was in the studio recording “But Now And Back,” and he’s been recording and performing with us ever since. I always somehow feel safer when he’s in the room,” Lauderdale concludes.

Here is a translation of the lyrics:

Oh my beloved
Why did you come near me?
My heart’s secret
Why did you know it?

With an innocent love
I loved you
But you without mercy
You betrayed me

Oh, if I see you
One of these days
If you’re coming
Sad, in pain

I’ll be a friend
To you in your pain
I will not leave
My beloved alone

Love for Sale

“There are hundreds of recordings of Love for Sale by Cole Porter, but this is now my favorite,” says Lauderdale. “Making her singing debut at age 75 is the incredible civil rights leader Kathleen Saadat. I met Kathleen in 1991 when both of us worked in Portland City Hall on the civil rights ordinance for the City of Portland. I learned everything I know about politics from Kathleen. Originally from St. Louis, she moved to Portland to go to Reed College in the late 1960s. She was appointed by Oregon governor Neil Goldschmidt to be the state’s affirmative action director. I think she’s one of the most articulate political activists in the country. Several years ago, Kathleen and I organized a rally in support of the Occupy movement in Oregon.”

“When both of us were working in City Hall, I discovered that she was a fantastic singer,” continues Lauderdale. “So we would get together and sing for fun through the years. About six years ago, I said to Kathleen, “we should make an album together…an album that is now almost finished. One of the best pieces on that collaborative album is ‘Love for Sale.’ It was so good in fact that I decided to include it here on Je dis oui. With sparse but mighty percussion, incredible strings and harp and soaring trumpet, this is the most apocalyptic version of ‘Love for Sale’ ever recorded. Before this, my favorite ‘Love for Sale’ was a disco version done by the group Boney M. But now I have to say that this is my favorite,” he adds.

Love for sale, appetizing young love for sale
Love that's fresh and still unspoiled
Love that's only slightly soiled, love for sale
Who will buy? Who would like to sample my supply?
Who's prepared to pay the price, for a trip to paradise?
Love for sale

Let the poets pipe of love in their childish way
I know every type of love better far than they
If you want the thrill of love, I've been through the mill of love
Old love, new love every love but true love

Love for sale, appetizing young love for sale
If you want to buy my wares follow me & climb the stairs
Love for sale


“This fado song from Portugal was originally performed by Amália Rodrigues in 1958,” says Lauderdale. “This is a devastating song in which the singer shakes her fist at the heavens and laments her solitude. I have loved this song for years and years and I thought Storm Large would be the perfect person to sing this.”

de quem tremeu
A tentação do céu 
e desencanto que o céu me deu.
Serei bem eu
Sobre este véu de pranto
Sem saber
se choro algum pecado
A tremer,
imploro o céu fechado
Triste amor,
o amor de alguém
Quando outro amor
se tem abandonada,
e não me abandonei
Por mim, ninguém
Já se detém na estrada

of those tremble
before the temptations of heaven
and the disappointments that the heavens dealt me / It is just me
under this veil of tears
Not knowing
if I suffer from some sin
imploring to the closed heavens
Sad love,
the love of someone
when one love for another
is abandoned
and I didn’t abandon myself
For me, nobody
stops on the road

“There is also a divine chorus comprised of members of the Pacific Youth Choir under the direction of Mia Hall Miller. We have collaborated with Pacific Youth Choir on every album since Splendor in the Grass.”

Al bint al Shalabiya

“So many of the songs that we perform and write and record are a direct result of the people with whom we spend time,” says Lauderdale. “So, in a sense, our albums become journals from each of those periods. For example, our blossoming friendship with Alba Clemente led to the writing of ‘Una notte a Napoli.’ If we hadn’t met Alba Clemente, I doubt that song would exist. Similarly, this recording of Fairouz’ ‘Al bint al Shalabiya’ is a result of our friendship with Ikram Goldman,” says Lauderdale.

“My friend Kim Hastreiter, editor in chief of Paper Magazine, introduced Ikram Goldman and me years ago. We’ve been friends ever since. Ikram has an atelier in Chicago and is a pioneer in the world of fashion. She is recognized as the one who heavily influenced Michelle Obama’s interest in fashion and design. She styles and dresses all kinds of people all over the world. Fashion designers love her because she is so honest and forthright with her opinions. In this way, she is as influential as Anna Wintour of Vogue Magazine. Going to Fashion Weeks in New York, Paris and Milan with Ikram Goldman is like going to the Vatican with the Virgin Mary.”

“I have loved the singer Fairouz for years. Ikram, who is Lebanese but grew up in Israel, also loves Fairouz. Ikram introduced this song to me. When Pink Martini started to record it, I flew Ikram from Chicago to Portland to be part of the back up chorus and to help counsel the band through the Arabic pronunciation. We were also working with Dr. Dirgham Sbait, the author of the textbook Arabic 101, and a professor of Arabic at Portland State University. Through the years, he has been instrumental in helping us with our pronunciation and understanding of Arabic.”

“We were in the recording studio with Ikram and Professor Sbait, and soon it became clear that Ikram herself should record the lead vocals,” Lauderdale adds.

Here is a translation of the lyrics:

The pretty girl with almond eyes
I love you from my heart

Oh, my heart, you’re my eyes
Near the bridge my love awaits
To break your thoughts

My child, was not my intention
You appear and gesture

But the heart is wounded

Days are on my mind

And the memories come and go
Under the pomegranate tree
My love spoke to me

He sang to me songs

Oh my eyes, as he wooed me

“This marks Ikram’s recording and singing debut, and it is as much a surprise to her as it was to me. The result is incredible and wonderful and I couldn’t be happier. Also, Kim Hastreiter, who introduced us, recorded some of the melodic lines. So it’s really a family affair,” Lauderdale concludes.


“‘Souvenir’ is the first of three songs we wrote for Isabelle Huppert for the film Souvenir by Bavo Defurne and Yves Verbraeken. Some of the melodies come from Enrique Granados’ Spanish Dance #2,” says Lauderdale.

Te souviens-tu Do you remember
des nuits sous les étoiles the nights under the stars?
C’est mon précieux souvenir This is my dearest memory

Nos cœurs brûlent Our hearts burn
comme le feu sur la plage like fire on the beach
Tu ne restes qu’un beau souvenir (Now) you’re only a beautiful memory
Pour te revoir je ferme les yeux To see you again, I close my eyes
Pour te revoir je ferme les yeux
To see you again, I close my eyes
Je ferme les yeux. Je ferme les yeux I close my eyes, I close my eyes

Ton sourire est tranquille
Your smile is calm
Et tes yeux comme des feux
and your eyes are like fire
Tu répands des parfums You emanate of perfume
d’un soir orageux of a stormy night
Tu joues avec le vent
You play with the wind

Tu causes avec les nuages
You converse with the clouds
Je sors du bois dormant I leave the sleeping woods

Enfant d’hiver A child of winter

devenu fille du soleil Becomes a daughter of the sun

Soleil pour mes jours sans amour Sun for my days without love

L’hirondelle promet ton retour
The swallow promises your return
Je ferme les yeux. Je ferme les yeux I close my eyes, I close my eyes

Je reviens et l’amour va fleurir I’ll return and love will blossom
Me disent tes yeux de saphir

Do you remember
the nights under the stars?
This is my dearest memory

Our hearts burn
like fire on the beach
(Now) you’re only a beautiful memory
To see you again, I close my eyes
To see you again, I close my eyes
I close my eyes, I close my eyes

Your smile is calm
and your eyes are like fire
You emanate of perfume
of a stormy night
You play with the wind

You converse with the clouds
I leave the sleeping woods

A child of winter

Becomes a daughter of the sun

Sun for my days without love

The swallow promises your return
I close my eyes, I close my eyes

I’ll return and love will blossom
So say your sapphire eyes

Aşkım bahardı

Lauderdale says, “‘Aşkım bahardı’ was introduced to me by two linguistics professors of the University of Arizona in Tucson, Andy Wedel and Adam Ussishkin. Andy Wedel had spent a lot of time in Turkey so I asked him about Turkish songs. Andy sent me a list of songs including this one, which was sung by Belkis Özener recorded in 1969. Belkis Özener herself has joined us many times onstage in Istanbul and always brings down the house. I love this song; it’s an anthemic lament about love, which is abandoned.”

Aşkım bahardı
Ümitler vardı,
Sen gittin diye
Gönlüm karardı

Ah … Geçti o günler
Unutuldu yeminler
Bir kırık kalp kaldı,

Neden terk ettin,
Bırakıp gittin,
Ümitsiz kaldım,
Gönlüm karardı

My love was like spring
I had such hope
But then you left
And my heart darkened

Ah … how those days went
Your vows were forgotten
Leaving nothing but a broken heart

Why did you forsake me
Just abandon me
Leaving me without hope
And a darkened heart

Finnisma Di

“Back in 1996, as we were working on the first album, Pepe Raphael and I wrote a song called La Soledad, incorporating themes from Chopin’s ‘Andante Spianato,’” Lauderdale notes.

“Like many of the other songs on this album, this is the result of a chance meeting on a plane from Paris to New York. I was flying back from France with the Von Trapps and a guy named Iyad Qasem recognized me because he’s a big fan of the band. Iyad and I spent the plane ride talking and we came up with the idea of working on a future Pink Martini album project for the Middle East. We haven’t started real work on that album, but this is the first step. Iyad wrote new lyrics to La Soledad. The new song is called ‘Finnisma Di’ and Ari Shapiro recorded it. This was a great opportunity to rework La Soledad and record the strings and harp that I always wanted in the middle of the song.”

“I think that this is an important song for many reasons, not the least of which is the sketchy state of the world … made sketchier with the looming American presidential election. This song of hope is one of our responses to the very divisive political landscape of the world. Especially between America and the Middle East,” he adds.

In this sweet summer breeze

A shade of your love comes to mind

Forget me not, I give up my light for you

Yet you are far, and I miss you dearly

My younger years have gone in longing

In this solitude the light is gone, & it pains me
Memories of you linger on

Yet you are far, and I miss you dearly

In this sweet summer breeze

I sing a song in the sweetest melody

In this sweet summer breeze,
I long for my own soul
In this foreign land, I hold on to a new life

You remain far, and I miss you no longer

My future begins here, my heart is light with joy
Rays of hope, melodies & love surround me again
Memories of you fade away

But you remain far, & I still do miss you dearly

In this sweet summer breeze

A shade of your love is resurrected

In this melody, I sing of my eternal love for you

في النسمة دي، في طيف هواك عالبال
ماتنسانيش، أنا عيني ليك في سؤال
برضو إنت فين، وحشني موت ده حرام
في سنين صبرت،الحب راح، وعمري راح وياه
في الوحدة دي، ظلمة وعذاب وجراح
لا صورتك اه، لا ذكريات في لقاك
برضو إنت فين، وحشني موت ده حرام
في النسمة دي ، كلام كثير، من قلبي بالألحان

في النسمة دي، فراقي عن روحي طال
والغربة دي، أسيبها لا ده محال
أما إنت فين، وحشني لا ما خلاص
بنيت أمال ، من غير سؤال، ده قلبي طار ياسلام
في الدنيا نور، طرب وشغف وغرام
لا صورتك اه، دي راحت عن بالي زمان
برضو إنت فين، وحشني موت ده حرام
في النسمة دي، في طيف هواك
وغنوة عمري معاك

Says lyricist Iyad Qasem; “I am taken by the events that take place in my part of the world and the massive displacement of people which resulted in the large immigration and refugee influx into Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and some parts of Europe.” 

“I see some international celebrities do good for these refugees. The only one that made the major stand in the Arab world was Queen Rania of Jordan. She was brave enough to speak to the world about the suffering of these refugees (Syrian, Iraqi, Kurd, Afghan, and Palestinians...). Not a single Arab artist was brave enough to dedicate their time to mobilize the region to help these refugees. Wealthy Arab countries are simply assisting with financials but not awareness. So it is not as bad.” 

“Effectively, I feel it is my duty to write a song with the above in mind.” 

“The song words assume a refugee speaking about the modern times Diaspora and the way they feel as they leave the homeland, settle elsewhere, start a new life, yet long for that small town where their heart is and where the summer breeze is sweetest. It is longing for one's roots and the images that are imprinted in the mind of childhood playgrounds and teenage hangouts all the way to adulthood.” 

“This applies to every human that has been forced to flea their home for a better life and safety, including Syrians, Iraqis, Kurds, Turks, Egyptians, Palestinians, and the Jews of Europe as well.”

“There is a reoccurring statement that Queen Rania repeats and emphasizes: "Refugees flee from danger and conflict in hope that one day they will return to their homes in safety." Hence the song, ‘Finnisma Di.’”

“Clearly, the song can be interpreted in many different ways. It sounds like a love song of a love long lost. But it is eventually resurrected through determination and confession.”


‘We started writing ‘Segundo’ with DJ Johnny Dynell of Jackie 60 fame from New York City. Johnny and Alba Clemente wrote Una notte a Napoli with China and me back in 2001. We started writing Segundo over ten years ago. We never got the lyrics just quite how we wanted them so we’ve released it here as an instrumental. Like ‘No hay problema’ from the first album, it features bongos, congas and the Afro-Cuban percussion that is the heart of Pink Martini. We may release a version with lyrics as soon as we figure them out,” says Lauderdale.

Blue Moon

“Rufus Wainwright came to Portland several years when we were recording Get Happy and the collaborative album with the von Trapps, Dream a little dream. During those sessions, he recorded Kitty come home, a song written by his aunt Anne McGarrigle, as well as a couple of other songs including this one, Blue Moon, by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart,” Lauderdale notes.

“This is an exquisite, beautiful version of Blue Moon, which, like ‘Love for sale,’ has been recorded many, many times. Rufus’ phrasing and delivery is astounding, breathtaking and spellbinding especially in the moments right after the solo. I think this is my favorite version of this song ever recorded,” he adds.

Fini la Musique

““Fini la Musique’ is the second song from the film Souvenir. It’s somewhere between Edith Piaf’s ‘Non, je ne regrette rien’ and Lesley Gore’s “You don’t own me”. It’s an anthemic lament about what happens when one no longer has an audience…something I hope doesn't ever happen to Pink Martini,” says Lauderdale.

Fini la musique, la foule défile
Parti le public, que reste t’il?
La lumière s’éteint et te voilà
Mon ange gardien
Tu me prends dans les bras

Où, ou étais-tu
Quand la gloire se fanait?
Les bravos se taisaient?
Où, où étais-tu
Quand le silence s’approchait?

Quand tombe la nuit, le doute viendra
Le train pour l’oubli, Il m’emportera

Où, ou étais-tu
Quand la gloire se fanait?
Les bravos se taisaient?
Où, où étais-tu
Quand le silence m’écrasait?

Dans la nuit noire, Je ne voyais pas
Que l’étoile d’espoir,
Mon ange c’était toi
Tu, tu étais là
Tu seras là
Toujours, pour moi

The music is over, the crowd parts
The audience leaves, what remains?
The lights go down, & there you are
My guardian angel
You take me in your arms

Where, where were you
When glory was waning?
The bravos were fading?
Where, where were you
When silence closed in?

When night falls, doubts return
The train to oblivion carries me away

Where, where were you
When glory was waning?
The bravos were fading?
Where, where were you
When silence was crushing me?

In the black night, I could not see
That the star of hope
My angel was you
You, you were there
You will be there
Always, for me

Pata Pata

“Pata Pata” is a song in Xhosa, sung originally by the South African singer Miriam Makeba. It’s a song she performed on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1967 when she made her American debut. “I’ve loved this song for years. When it debuted, it was widely seen as a feminist statement against apartheid,” Lauderdale notes.

“When we were recording this, our Greek trombonist Antonis Andreou was whistling along, and I said, “That sounds incredible!” So I had him record the whistling and I think that it really makes the song!”

Saguquka sathi ‘bheka’
Nants’ iPata Pata
Saguquka sathi ‘bheka’
Nants’ iPata Pata

So we grooved, "Check it out!"
This is the Pata Pata...
So we grooved, "Check it out!"
This is the Pata Pata.
Pata Pata is the name of the dance
We do down Johannesburg where
And everybody starts to move
As soon as Pata Pata starts to play

Yiyo mama, yiyo mama
Nants’ iPata Pata
Yiyo mama, yiyo mama
Nants’ iPata Pata

That’s it, Lady
This is the Pata Pata
That’s it, lady!
This is the Pata Pata
Every Friday and Saturday Night
It’s Pata Pata time!
The dance keeps going all night long
Til’ the morning sun begins to shine!

“The background chorus is comprised of all kinds of different people including friends from Portland who I’ve known for years like Kay Hutchinson (who works on affordable housing in Portland), my dear friend Karen Early, our patron saint from New York Paige Powell and former Oregonian editor-in-chief Sandy Rowe, as well as members of the Arts Committee of the Oregon Community Foundation, including the president of OCF, Max Williams, and Michelle Boss Barba, who heads the arts committee…people who never imagined they would ever be in a recording studio. And so it was like a gigantic party when we recorded this song,” adds Lauderdale.


“The last song on the album is ‘Serenade’ by Franz Schubert. Vika Shaulskaya introduced my boyfriend Hunter Noack and myself to this song. Hunter is a fantastic pianist who has been working on a solo album the last few months. This is one of the pieces he has recorded. I loved it so much that I arranged it for Hunter and me on the piano accompanying China. It is a beautiful, bittersweet, melancholy lullaby and coda to this album,” Lauderdale concludes.

For more information, please contact Chris Schimpf, Louis D’Adamio or Carla Sacks at Sacks & Co., 212.741.1000.