ZLOTNGYSBJZ, Freedonia. This industrial city is often referred to as the “Liverpool of Freedonia” because of the number of famous musicians who have plied their trade here before moving on to bigger venues in the nation’s capital, Dronskvb.
Freedonian Idol Season #2 Winner Nilo der Vrsdorfk
“Music is in our hearts, also in our spleens,” says Doron “Tony” Vlazchjk, a booking agent. “Still, there has been no Freedonian Invasion of America as with Beatles, so our singers are unknown in the West and often must go mousse-less for weeks at a time, they are so impoverished.”
But jumping the line of wanna-be Rod Stewarts and Stevie Nicks is a state-funded group, the Freedonian State Radio & Television Female Vocal Choir, or “FSRTFVC” (pronounced “ABBA”) for short, whose fresh-faced innocence has captured the hearts of music fans around the world who’ve grown tired of rock star arrogance that has infected even such easy listening favorites as Susan Boyle.
FSRTFVC: “Dome-vi-donc, divvi divvi dome, dome-vi-donc!”
“These women, they speak to me,” says Claude Drayze of Aresnault, Oregon, a recently-divorced licensed appraiser who left Freedonia for America in 2012. “When the heart has been broken, it is important that the mouth take revenge.”
The choir’s CD, “Songs of Romantic Remorse,” has gone a long way towards reversing the nation’s chronic balance-of-payments and foreign reserve problems, which undermine a standard of living that is based almost entirely on sales of flax, cardamom and commemorative postage stamps to wealthier nations.
“I need a man like a bison needs bicycle!”
“All of a sudden, we have a hit in the west,” says Choir Director Alzkgzyz Lumpunhara. “There are so many women here who would like to be rid of the man they have, our virginal–or semi-virginal–singers really strike a chord with them.”
The songs that form the base of the choir’s repertoire are choral versions of “kale,” a traditional form of peasant song sung by Freedonian women while they work and their husbands loaf. “The term ‘kale’ can be translated loosely as ‘bitch,’” says ethnomusicologist Harrison Latimore of the University of Illinois in Chicago, which has a large expatriate Freedonian population. “Freedonian men are known for their commitment to camaraderie and goofing off. In America they would drink beer and watch football, in Freedonia they must content themselves with the Kazriyn Game of the Week.” “Kazriyn” is a game in which mounted horsemen try to propel the severed head of a boar through a car wash.
Kazriyn: “Be sure to get the rust-repellent undercoating!”
“Ol-ol-ol,” the choir intones as Lumpunhara warms them up for their sequel album, which includes both new material and old chestnuts such as “Laililoluhlay,” a lament traditionally sung by a young woman on the eve of her wedding. “You say you wonder why I refuse to dance,” sings Dina Ghrghkzski. “If only you could see the okra stains on your pants!” the chorus behind her blasts in a call-and-response reminiscent of African-American spirituals.
“Hey, hey–what’s that odor? Smells like manure in a front-end loader!”
After eleven more songs are “in the can” Lumpunhara announces “It’s a wrap” and the group repairs to a local tavern, where the men at the bar eye them warily and give them a wide berth. “Yes we are proud of the fame they have achieved for our country,” says Tlak Vulgark, an apprentice electrician. “That doesn’t mean we have to kiss their zlotkys.”
Available in Kindle format on amazon.com as part of the collection “Hail, Freedonia!”