Dusseldorf. Regina Spector

European Diary, 18.2.2021: Regina Spector was born in Moscow 41 years ago today. When she was nine years old, her family emigrated to the United States via Austria and Italy. Spector grew up in the Bronx, was trained in classical music, and recorded her first self-produced album in 2001, with enchanting, absurd, idiosyncratic songs. Her third album, “Soviet Kitsch,” brought her together with the band “The Strokes.” But she continued to go her own way. Here’s a foray through Europe: “Düsseldorf”.

And the text:


In Dusseldorf I met a clown
His nose, it was red
In Gelterkinden I forgot to frown
Then remembered again
In Paris I saw a big fish
Swimming slow in the Seine
It made me hopeful that someday our
Water will be breathable again
In Frankfurt I heard ein zwei drei
Counting cookies and no one was shot
In Berlin stopped by the polizei
For drunk driving and everyone smiled
In Prague I knew I’d been a witch
Burnt alive, a pyre of Soviet kitsch
It made me miss my Moscow mother
It made me miss my New York nothing
In Montpellier I stayed in a chateau
A boy climbed into my bed and he knew no boundaries
And in Amsterdam I got quite crazy
Might have been all the tulips and canals
Or it might have been all that hash, and in
Barcelona, buenos dias, chocolato, le Picasso
And in Brussels, clean-cut hostel
And in London, me and the French existentialistâ?
In Corsica I floated away
All the way to Marseilles
I should have held an afterparty
For all the thoughts I didn’t say
In Dusseldorf I met a dwarf
With bad breath and a really good tan
In Gelterkinden I remembered how to laugh
And I never ever forgot it again?