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Thomas Holm – Nitten


Pop music is a bit of an international form of communication isn’t it? A catchy tune is something that everyone can enjoy, regardless of language or cultural differences. Of course that doesn’t stop us Brits rejecting 99.9% of non-English language pop, but then I suppose we do it so well that only the very best get through customs. Like The Ketchup Song and Macarena, for example.

What this means is that we sometimes miss out on completely amazing songs from countries we would happily buy cheese from, but not pop. Back in the day canny music industry people would scour the near continent for quality pop (often at the Italian Song Festival in San Remo), nab it, quickly dash off a few English lyrics and give it to someone like Dusty Springfield (You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me) or Laura Branigan (Gloria) with hugely successful results. It doesn’t really seem to happen nowadays, which is a bit of shame if you ask me. If it did, we might have been more aware of Denmark’s Thomas Holm and the brilliant Nitten.

I know practically nothing about Mr Holm, other than that he’s Danish, sings in Danish and has a very nice beard. All of these are quite valuable commodities in pop music, though obviously not if you want to have a hit in the UK. Nitten translates as “the shortest straw” and is an absolutely glorious and hugely endearing, bouncy, squelchy record.

Nitten sounds really happy with it’s jolly beat and lovely plucky bits, but if you read an English translation of the lyrics – and I really recommend that you don’t – you’ll find it’s actually about someone having a really bad time of it, and it includes slightly unpleasant scatalogical references that I won’t go into. This may well be acceptable in Denmark but here in Britain this obviously Will Not Do – we like our chart hits to be about more everyday things – falling in love, falling out of love, personal struggles, and of course what it’s like to be a ghost who’s come back to haunt a cruel former lover on the Yorkshire moors. With a little tweaking of the words though, this is a ready made hit, surely.

Entered chart did not chart

Who could sing this today and have a hit? Why not Thomas Holm himself? He’s got all the right qualities and we have a dearth of decent pop boys at the moment.

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