Pop Culture

Pope rocks Polishpop music charts

One of the year’s more unlikely chart acts in Poland is Pope John Paul II.

On the top 50 earlier this month, no fewer than seven albums featured the late pontiff.

Most prominent was veteran singer/songwriter Stanislaw Sojka’s 2003 album, “Jan Pawel II -- Tryptyk Rzymski” (A.A.J. Brize/EMI), which climbed to No. 1. The 10-track album features musical settings of poems by Pope John Paul II. It has shipped more than 40,000 copies, according to the label.

Sojka recalls playing songs from the album for the pope in the Vatican in November 2003. “The words are so powerful, I felt I had to put them to music,” he says. “I’m proud I had the opportunity to perform the songs for him.”

The other albums are live recordings made during papal visits to Poland between 1979 and 2002.

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