Hello, It's Me, Picasso

Don't know if you've seen this yet: This summer, the #1 song on the European charts was "Dragostea din Tei" (literally, "Love from the Lindens") from a Romanian boy band named "O-zone" - the first Romanian single ever to reach #1. This would be exciting except for the fact that the number #2 song on the charts was "Dragostea din Tei" by Haiducii, an Abba-styled Italian pop starlet who'd covered the track. That's right, the same song was number #1 and #2 on the charts.

Repetitiveness aside, the song's awfully catchy and you can see why it was so sucessful, despite the fact that no one outside of Romania knows what the hell it means. To be fair, it's a pop song, and as Dan Balan of O-zone points out "One doesn't have to understand the words. Our song is fun and has a cool rhythm. That's the whole secret of the song." I couldn't have said it any better myself, Dan.

The boy band version's awfully catchy, plus the band's so dorky in that "my idea of cool comes from what I've seen on Romanian TV, which apparently is mostly old 'Miami Vice' re-runs" sort of way that you become oddly attached in a pitying sort of way, as if they were a three-legged dog, or Strom Thurmond. You can catch the Window's Media Player version here, or the Real Player version here.

Haiduicii's a bit less of a visceral thrill, though she's easier on the eyes in a "Farrah Fawcett lookalike sings your Romanian pop favorites" sort of way. She's only available in Windows Media Player, but you can catch her both live in concert, and in her music video, which features what appears to be Gregg Allman wandering a hotel room in drugged confusion (for all I know, it might actually be Gregg Allman).

And, if you need to know just what "love from the lindens" means, or see the lyric from the title in context, check out the lyrics.