Kai Normann Andersen
Born 1900, Copenhagen Denmark; died 1967, Copenhagen, Denmark
The Danish composer Kai Normann Andersen (1900-1967) must be said to have left a strong imprint on Danish popular consciousness. Throughout the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s several of his works were used in Danish films, musicals and revues, where his cheerful, swinging music proved particularly suitable. Hits like “Titte til hinanden” (Peeping at each other), “Gå med i lunden” (Into the green grove) and “Undskyld hr. – må jeg byde dem et kirsebær” (‘Scuse me, Sir – can I offer you a cherry, Sir?” represent just a small selection of Kai Normann Andersen’s extensive repertoire, which included over 900 songs. Timeless classics which to this day are still played on the radio and TV, and which exist in many interpretations. Kai Normann Andersen composed much of his music to texts by Mogens Dam and Poul Henningsen (PH). During the German Occupation in the 1940s his cooperation with PH was manifested in a number of revue songs sung by Liva Weel. Among these was the tango by Normann Andersen to PH’s controversial text “Man binder os på mund og hånd” (Our lips are sealed, our hands are tied), which was used in the play “Dyveke”. The text bears clear marks of PH’s ideas of freedom of thought and speech, and went right to the limit of what the censors of the German Occupation permitted. The text of the third verse is therefore omitted in the original recording. Nevertheless the song is just one of several works that resulted from a close collaboration where getting the notes and rhythm to follow the content of the text was in focus, and where the spirit of the Danes was pivotal.