Guest Author - Barbara Swiech
The band “Fasolki” (what means in Polish: “The Little Beans”) was created In 1980s within the TV show for children called „Tik-Tak”. At the beginning the programme included only the puppet show to become one of the most popular educational show that merged humour and music for the youngest audience. The characters playing in the this TV programme entertained the children with a big colourful clock. Television studio was always filled with children who danced and sang. They were all the members of “the Little Beans” group that was created in Warsaw by Polish public television to take part in the show. The band owns over 200 songs that are sung live within their performances.
“The Little Beans” is probably the most popular Polish group singing songs for the youngest. The band consists of children between 6 and 13 years old. Throughout years of their existence they gave couple of thousand concerts on the biggest and the smallest stages of Poland and abroad. They performed in the USA, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Latvia and Lithuania – each time having been enthusiastically welcomed. “The Little Beans” recorded over 10 CDs and cassettes with songs that were sung not only by children but also by the adults. “Tik-Tak” show – where the group started – got in 1984 the most important award that was at that time awarded television programmes – “Gold Screen”. Soon after the “Bean” programme was created – the first hit list with songs for children. As other music bands’ songs were played there too, “Tik-Tak” was also enriched with them to offer variety of music for children.
The songs are cheerful and full of simple joy of everyday life. In some of them children advise on using soap, brushing the teeth or eating things full of vitamins. In other songs the children share with us their world of dolls, “childish” problems (as for example strange hair-cut), hobbies or fantasies. The video clips are colourful and full of children. Probably many of them seemed to be filmed in an advanced way as for 1980s. The songs, however, differ from the ones we can hear on the radio nowadays. The children do not forger adults, have no make up or fancy dresses – they are who they are: children who love to run, get dirty, play dolls or simply wear a strange pony tail embellished with loads of elastics. The children are not sold as copies of pop stars who will soon have numerous plastic surgeries but are promoted together with their extraordinary world where childish problems seem to be huge and in which simple teeth brushing can be an important issue.
I guess I still remember lyrics of most of the songs of “Fasolki”. Their sound brings back the memories of childhood and small-big problems that children usually have. The songs are different than those that children listen to nowadays as they seem to be innocent and foolish (in a positive meaning). They were remembered so well, that those who used to listen to them (and now are adults) wish to entertain their own children with them. I still hear about recent immigrants from Poland who buy “Fasolki” CD to get their child acquainted to how their life looked back in the homeland.
What is also worth mentioning, the adults take out the old cassettes from cupboards to listen to the songs of “The Little Beans”. During one of the most popular festival for students, their music was often used to entertain the crowds while the three-day-party. One of the songs, called “Fantasy”, with a little bit of changed words was treated almost as a hymn of “Juvenalia” (student festival) in Krakow what proves that those pieces are unforgettable.
How many new generations will be brought up with the “Fasolki” songs in the background?