Cabaret Songs

- Ach, pardon [Ah, pardon], words by Marian Hemar, 1931

- Nie chcę więcej [I want no more], words by Marian Hemar, 1931

Ach, pardon (sung by Adolf Dymsza)

Before in 1932 Andrzej Panufnik could again become a student at the Warsaw Conservatory, he spent hours diligently practising at the piano. He would often veer towards improvisations, including jazz improvisations. Soon he also began composing short jazz pieces, inspired by the work of Duke Ellington and George Gershwin. One day Panufnik’s mother showed one of these pieces to the owner of a music shop in which she bought sheet music for herself. A few days later he informed the Panufniks that the well-known poet Marian Hemar liked Andrzej’s composition, that he was writing lyrics for it and that he would include it in the programme of a revue on which he was working at the time.

This is how the simple, joyful song Ach, pardon came into being. It was performed before the war by a popular comedy and revue actor, Adolf Dymsza. Dymsza also sang it during the premiere, which the still underage Panufnik was not allowed to see. In vain did he try to explain that he was the author of the music; he was not let in and had to wait for his family’s report:

They came back captivated, and triumphant on my behalf. Dymsza had been superb; the audience had 'shaken their sides' at his hilarious acting and the words he sung to mu music. The song was about an uneducated boor of a man: desperately trying to be polite and elegant, he used the French word pardon to cover up his lack of culture, manners and education.

The song was recorded and quickly became a great hit. It brought Panufnik not only his first artistic success, but also the first money earned from record sales. The success was followed by another commission – a song composed for Hemar as the author of the lyrics and Dymsza as the performer. There emerged another hit, Nie chcę więcej, though it was not as successful as Ach, pardon.