Spitalul de Urgenţă

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Spitalul de Urgenţă, literally "Emergency Hospital", is a Romanian pop band, integrating elements of traditional Romanian music into a sometimes hard-edged rock sound,[1][2] although also incorporating influences as diverse as Balkan folk music,[2][3] European classical music,[4] and cartoon soundtrack music.[5]

The group was formed 2000 in Bucharest.[6] Spitalul de Urgenţă is also the Romanian title of the American television show ER, but band leader Dan Helciug says that the name actually derived from a time they were playing a concert and "all the musicians arrived injured… we looked like a band from a hospital."[2] Helciug has now worked with quite a range of musicians and continues to release music in this style under the name Spitalul de Urgenţă more or less regardless of exactly who he is playing with. He also plays in the more rock oriented band Nod, which he describes as a blend of Rammstein, Depeche Mode and Korn.[1]

Helciug's lyrics often feature a bitter wit that does not lend itself to easy translation,[citation needed] especially because of his tendency to paraphrase (both musically and lyrically) pieces of well known traditional songs. For example, the chorus of their song "Trăiască Berea" ("Long Live Beer") uses a phrase from a traditional song, "Foaie verde şi-o lalea" ("Green leaf and a tulip"):[7]


Trăiască berea in care ne-am născut
Traiăscă berea că tare ne-a durut
Foaie verde şi-o lalea
Fie pâinea cât de rea
Chiar aici in ţara ta
Tot ţi-o fură cineva.
- "Trăiască berea", Dan Helciug
Long live beer in which we were born
Long live beer, for we've suffered much
Green leaf and a tulip
However bad the bread may be
Even here in your own country
Someone will steal it [the bread] from you.
- "Long live beer", Dan Helciug

The album Alcool Rafinat ("Refined Alcohol", 2005) includes a number of covers and parodies including a reworking of the Judas Priest song "Breaking the Law" as "Caut un bou" ("Looking for an Ox"), in which a cow wanders through Bucharest looking for love, and a more straightforward translation of the Tiger Lillies' song "Whore" as "Curva".[8]

Band members[edit]

Original lineup[edit]

  • Dan Helciug (vocals) [6]
  • Viorel Preda[6]
  • Adrian Chepa (bass)[6]
  • Catalin Dalvarea[6]

Other members[edit]

  • Emil Chican (guitar)[1]
  • Vladimir Sergeyev (drums)[1]
  • Vali Craciunescu (accordion) [1]
  • Claudiu Stoica (ţambal)[1]

Discography[edit]

  • Trăiască Berea (2000, EP)
  • Să Cânte Muzica! (2001?)
  • Spitalomania (2002)
  • Stupefiant (2004)
  • Alcool Rafinat (2005)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Ale house rock, The St. Petersburg Times, Issue #1008(75), October 1, 2004. Accessed on line 2 July 2006
  2. ^ a b c Sergey Chernov, Spitalul De Urgenta…, Go Magazine (Moscow Times) Issue 10 October 7 - November 4, 2004, accessed on line 2 July 2006 specifically cites "Western punk and East European folk" influences.
  3. ^ The album notes of Să cânte muzica! (CAT Music #101 2154 2, Romania, 2002) credit the song "Nuntă în Balcani" ("Balkan Wedding") as containing"elemente de natură folclorică" ("elements of a folkloric nature").
  4. ^ The album notes of Să cânte muzica! explicitly credit the song "Lume, Lume" as containing a theme by Schubert.
  5. ^ The album notes of Să cânte muzica! explicitly credit the song "Barbut" as containing elements of "muzica de desene animate amaricane" ("music from American animated cartoons").
  6. ^ a b c d e Official Spitalul de Urgenţă page on A&A Records, accessed 2 July 2006.
  7. ^ For "Foaie verde şi-o lalea" being a recurring phrase in traditional Romanian songs, see Marin Marian Balasa, Economia Erosului (1), ("The economy of Eros"), Septămăna Financiăra, Nr. 66, 26 June 2006. Accessed online 2 July 2006. The phrase "Foaie verde" is common to the point where, for example, Dorel Livianu's 2002 album in the EPM (France) Songs From Romania series, there are three song titles containing the phrase. (Song list accessed on line 2 July 2006.) On the Maria Tănase compilation Magic Bird - The Early Years, there are two. (Album notes accessed on line, 2 July 2006.) For the matter of musical paraphrase, the album notes of Să cânte muzica! explicitly credit "elemente de natură folclorică" ("elements of a folkloric nature") for the bulk of the songs.
  8. ^ The Judas Priest and Tiger Lillies songs are explicitly credited in the album notes of Alcool Rafinat, CAT Music 101 2502 2, Romania 2005. "Caut un bou" contains the lyrics "Sunt o vaca plictisita…De taur sunt mult iubita" ("I'm a bored cow…Much in love with a bull"). Besides the explicit mention of Bucharest as a locale ("să mă ia la Bucureşti"); there is also "Să mă plimbe pe Magheru", the Magheru boulevard being one of Bucharest's main boulevards.

External links[edit]