March 15, 2012

Toma Bebić, For my paradise you ask me

Taxi for tomorrow

It is a cruel injustice to the world how some people, some thoughts they left behind, never get out of local boundaries. There is a language barrier, use of specific dialect, local issues, which may loose their power when translated into another language, or transferred to another part of the world. Toma Bebić shared the same destiny. This will be an insane attempt to bring it out , or even translate into English some of his poems/songs. So god help me.
Toma somehow, in his rich life, managed to be a navy officer, teacher, secretary, journalist, football coach, mechanic, musician, writer, actor, painter, aphorist, poet, I may have dropped something out. In his autobiography stated that he first wanted to be a pilot, but he was thrown out. Than wanted to be a sailor and become an officer; then wanted to be a football player and become a sailor; then wanted to be a poet and ended up doing court seizures; then wanted to be a teacher and become a professional musician; then went to become an official and become a teacher; then got mad and started composing, and so become a journalist; then started to write a novel and become a compositor....never becoming what he wanted, There was some more wantings and becomings, so he sad he stopped arguing with himself, even stopped talking to himself. What bought him down was that in his news office he tried to rear himself in the spirit of justice, truth and humanity, but the unfortunate tradition of unfulfilled wishes had to interfere so they proclaimed him to be a humorist.
Toma was a gentle giant with fiery spirit and immense sense for humor. My ex colleagues used to tell me stories how he would send them his text on a paper with stains marked; this one is from red wine, and this one from cuttle fish brodeto .
He was an experienced and educated in healing with herbs, claiming he can prevent any form of cancer, except lung cancer, if it is treated in the early faze. It was on our great sadness that on February 4 1990 Toma lost his battle with this illness. He was one of few man I meat I can say were a living legends. After the death of this, as many time said anarchist and humanist, his work was republished and recognised by a wider audience, and titles like book of aphorisms Volite se ljudožderi (Love each other, cannibals), Primitivci moji dragi(My dear Primitives), U sakatu vremenu (In the lame times), Volio sam da me vole (I loved to be loved)... were out again along with some of his music works.

One of my most favoured short songs:
Da ne gubimo koliko bismo tek izgubili (If we wouldn't lose how much more would we lose than)
trenutak sa Slobodanom Šalebajem dok je pio(a moment with Slobodan Šalebaj while he was drinking)
Niad mi nitko(Never will someone)
neće moći ukrsti(be able to steal)
ovu nebesku plavet(this hevenly blueness)
ovo lišće(this leaves)
ovaj život(this life)
što ču ga zaključati u sebe (that I will lock inside myself)
i ponjeti u beskraj (and take to infinity)
a taj se zbog toga(and that someone, because of that)
neče smatrati (want consider himself)
osiromašenim (depleted)

Or two that can be translated with a little luck:

Vijetnam kroz vjekove (Vietnam through ages)
Okončan je rat (The war is ower)
moj (ne)znani brat (my (un)known brother)
silom vojnik (perforce a soldier)
pretvoio se u spomenik (converted into a statue)

Morski pas na kopnu (A shark on dry-land)
jučer je morski pas pojeo kupača (Yesterday a shark eat a swimmer)
i sve novine donijele su (and all the papers brought)
tu groznu vijest (that horrible news)
s dužnom poštovanja količinom ( with respectful amounth)
g r o z e... (of h o r r o r..)
danas sam uhvatio (today I caught)
ženku morskog psa (a female shark)
malu životinju ( a small animal)
nešto veću od pola metra... (something above half meter long)
uzvanici su se tukli po trbusima (guests have bean beating their bellys)
"brodetto od morskog psa (brodetto from shark)
iznenađujuće je ukusan..." (is surprisingly teasty)
a novine nisu ništa pisale (and the papers said none)

Za moj raj pitajte mene (For my paradise you ask me)

U mećavama života vrelog (In the storms of life boiling)
Gube se moje misli od tijela (My thoughts are drifting away from the body)
Svoga vodiča, svjetionik tražim (My guide, a lighthouse I seek)
Postajem leden, pahuljica bijela (I become frigid white flake)

Moja je ljubav crna (My love is black)
Crnina zgusnuta u kuglu svijeta (Blackness condensed into a ball of the world)
Pod maskom tinja i leži tvrdom (Under a mask it smolders, lies hard,)
Kamen (a stone,)
Kamen što posta od cvijeta (a stone, that grew from a flower)

Prokleta da si moja snago muška (Damn you my male strength)
U besciljnim noćima bezglavo trošena (In aimless nights mindlessly consumed)
Od pijanih tijela uz smijeh isprošena (From drunken bodies in laughter scrounged)
Suzama bijesa i kletvom oplakana (In tears of rage and lamented with curse)

Što vrijedi dozivati bogove (What is it worth calling the gods)
Što vrijedi htjeti bjelinu u noći (Why want whiteness in the night)
Kad su mi ruke u najvećoj moći (When my hands in their full might)
Tim istim bogovima pružale rogove (To these same gods offered the horns)

I neću, (And I will not,)
Neću vam bogovi moliti milost (I will not beg mercy of the gods)
Milost užitka vašeg raja (The mercy of content of your paradise)
Za moj raj pitajte mene (For my paradise you ask me)
Spavao sam na prsima zadovoljene žene (I slept on the chest of a woman well pleased)

I ako mi sad zato nećete naći (And if therefore you will not find me)
Tiho mjestašce u vašem kraju (Quiet litle place in your area)
Pljujem na sve milosti svijeta (I spit on all the graces of the world)
Vraćam se svome raju (and I am hading back to my paradise)
Vraćam se svome raju (I am hading back to my paradise)
Vraćam se svome raju (I am hading back to my paradise)

Tu-tu auto vrag ti piz odnija (honk honk car, may the devil take you away)

Jo ca letidu isprid nosa (Flying in front of our noses)
Ove rugobe tonobili (These monsters cars)
Svu su nan arju usmrdili (They made our air reek)
I tisinu prikinili (And broke our silence)

Di mi je sad moj tovar Sivac (Where is now my donkey Gray)
Di su njegove drage usi (Where are his beloved ears)
Miga bi s njima i zareva (He would wink them and bray)
Najlipju pismu vrilog lita (The moast beautiful song of the summer)

I boje da si mi krepa Sivce (It is better that you died my Gray)
Sican se kad si na misec vika (I remember how you used to bray at the moon)
Evo su niki dani (Just a few days ago)
Njegovu lipost razotkrili (They exposed it's beauty)

Nista mi vise nije ostalo (Nothing has remained)
O cista zvuka, loze i jutra (Of pure sound, of grape vine and morning)
Ne cujen tvoju pismu Sivce (I don't hear your song Gray)
Kvragu oni i oktan super (Damn them and their octane super)

This out of print, 1980 vinyl rip, was the couresty of, now gone from his blog, big thanks to them I hope they don,t mind me using it.

Toma Bebić
Oya noya
word thegoodone might help when others fail

On exyuraremusic and jugorockforever
you can find some more...


  1. I wonder why some of these donkeys in the video looked so familiar ?...

    Ne cujen tvoju pismu Sivce
    Kvragu oni i oktan super !!!
    sweet presentation kokolo.

    1. Thanks dear friend, a hard task, mission impisssible, bu had to do it, now I can rest for a while.
      Yes there is a resemblance, more than you imagine, In avatar and differently, only my beard is blond with more gray hair.
      So nice to hear from you.
      Damn them and their octane super!!
      I am hading back to my paradise!!!

  2. Di mi je sad moj tovar Sivac...

    He is here with us!

    Thank you Kokolo for making me listen to one of us I did not know... soo much I don't know...

    one more reason to go on forward...

    your brother bull...

    1. I am so glead you gave it a listen, very special one for me, very special one.

  3. He seems like a very interesting man. I was trying to find his poems in English online as my Croatian is not very good (eeeeh....not good at all actually) but it's an impossible task. Happy to have found your site!