Boldog születésnapot, ‘Správnej hoch’ és ‘Mám už toho dost’!

On this day in 1976 Valinka recorded the aforementioned tracks at Mozarteum – the one of Polish origin, the other of Hungarian – especially fitting, given Valinka’s Hungarian-speaking background – so it’s a very appropriately ‘Hungarian Happy Birthday!’ to those two tracks.

There has been an awful lot on today and I was intending doing a YouTube upload of ‘Správnej hoch’ (I had recorded a video of it), but I think that’ll have to wait until this time next year! It’s something to look forward to for all you ‘Valinkers’ ‘out there’, at any rate. As a Norwich City fan maybe I should have been at the match at Pride Park, in my home city of Derby, for the Derby County – Norwich City match earlier today, but there was some preparation I had to do for this uploading, which was successfully achieved in the case of ‘Mám už toho dost’, including getting sidetracked by various matters like – to keep a sporting theme going – keeping up with the achievements or otherwise of a couple of today’s sporting ‘Girls Of The Golden East’, Slovakia’s Biathlete, Anastasia Kuzminová and the Speed Skater from Valinka’s famous fan, Aleš Korábek’s home town of Žďár nad Sázavou, Martina Sáblíková – in both cases, unfortunately, being a case of ‘otherwise’ 😦 However, looking into what was going on at this time of year in 1976, which, it occurred to me, could have been Winter Olympics time, it was indeed correct that the Innsbruck Games were in progress on 10th February 1976 (a Tuesday) and there was sporting success for Czechoslovakia in the shape of a thumping 7 – 1 victory against Poland in the Ice Hockey, so that would not have been such good news for the Polish composers of the music for ‘Správnej hoch’, therefore!

There might be nothing new sound-wise at ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ regarding ‘Správnej hoch’ today, but I am sure that some very attractive stills of Valinka performing the song on ‘Našich deväť’ will be of interest at ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Pictures’. However, the previously unheard-on-YouTube, ‘Mám už toho dost’ is a new addition and can be found at ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’, together with recording details and credits.

‘Mám už toho dost’ is one of those illustrations that the Soul Girl that Valinka very much was could also turn her very able hand to being a Rock Chick and I suppose that ‘Správnej hoch’ shows Valinka in a relatively unaccustomed Country and Western-flavoured light.

What they both illustrate is that it is a great pity that not more studio recordings of Valinka went on in between the post-album period of the Spring of 1974 and the recording of ‘Tikot všech hodin’ in January 1977, since she was clearly in the form of her life at this time!

Advertisements

Boldog 45. születésnapot, ‘Pojď jen dál’ és ‘Sbohem, školní bráno’!

On 29th January 1973 Valinka had reached that lifetime milestone of twenty-one years of age. Ten days later, on 8th February, she recorded her first post-21 songs – ‘Pojď jen dál’ (‘Just Come On’) and ‘Sbohem, školní bráno’ (‘Farewell, School Gate’), the latter being a cover of Melanie’s ‘Stop! I Don’t Wanna Hear It Anymore’, so, on a half-decade on from 1973, we are today celebrating the 45th ‘Birthday’ of those two recordings.

With one of those songs singing about how desperate Valinka was for a reticent suitor to cast off their foolish inhibitions and fears of appearing ‘wicked’ for daring to make a move and the other about pupils leaving school to face the challenges of adult life it could probably be said that Valinka at this time was certainly leaving childish things behind and being very grown-up. Indeed, if the stills from Valinka’s performance of‘Pojď jen dál’ later that year (28th June) on the TV show, ‘3. program Orchestru Karla Vlacha’, as seen at ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Pictures’ are anything to go by, without a doubt, Valinka demonstrated that she had blossomed into a veritable, very grown-up, but at the same time almost girly, ‘bombshell’ of a young woman – a highly intoxicating mix!

Here are Petr Markov’s lyrics to both ‘Pojď jen dál’ and ‘Sbohem, školní bráno’, with a translation for each adapted from ImTranslator.

I like the very ingenious device in the lyrics to the former of ‘váhá’ (the third person singular) becoming ‘váháš’ (the second person informal singular), thereby directing the lyrics more personally at the aforementioned suitor later on in the song. This is one of those instances which illustrate that Czech can be a brilliantly economical language in which to sing Pop – just one letter changing the entire direction of the song. This device would have been much more unwieldy to render in English…and much less subtle!

‘Pojď jen dál’

Přichází každý večer před půl šestou a potom jako věrný pátek nesměle bloumá prašnou cestou u našich vrátek

He comes every night before half past five, and then faithfully every Friday timidly wanders into a dusty road near our gate

Proč je mé srdce náhle uspěchané proč do mých očí stoupá vláha proč jenom má obavy planné proč stále váhá

Why is my heart suddenly racing why are my eyes suddenly moistening why is he only worrying about seeming wicked, why is he still hesitating

Toužím řict: ‘Tak pojď jen dál a nebuď ke mně skoupý proč by ses bál najít cestu k nám pojď jen dál a zanech venku ostych hloupý já tě ráda já tě ráda mám…’ a vím,

I long to say: ‘Come on, just don’t be mean to me why were you afraid to find your way to our house come on and forsake stupid modesty I love you I love you …’ and I know,

že láska není věnec vavřínový jen prostá kytka lučních máků přichází jako úsměv nový na křídlech ptáků

that love is not just a simple laurel wreath or a bunch of meadow poppies it comes as a new smile on the wings of birds

Proč je mé srdce náhle uspěchané proč do mých očí stoupá vláha proč jenom máš obavy planné proč stále váháš

Why is my heart suddenly racing Why are my eyes suddenly moistening why are you just worrying about seeming wicked why are you still hesitating

Toužím řict: ‘Tak pojď jen dál a nebuď ke mně skoupý proč by ses bál najít cestu k nám pojď jen dál a zanech venku ostych hloupý já tě ráda já tě ráda mám, mám..

I long to say: ‘Come on, just don’t be mean to me why were you afraid to find your way to our house just come on and forsake stupid modesty I love you I love you, I do. .

Pojď jen dál a nebuď ke mně skoupý proč by ses bál najít cestu k nám pojď jen dál a zanech venku ostych hloupý já tě ráda já tě ráda mám, mám…’

Come on, just don’t be mean to me why were you afraid to find your way to our house just come on and forsake stupid modesty I love you I love you, I … ‘

‘Sbohem, školní bráno’

Jak příjemná se náhle zdá být vůně školních škamen.
Jak náhle toužíš vrátit zpět pár let kterým je ámen.

How pleasant is the smell of school it suddenly appears to be over.
How suddenly you want to roll back a couple of years to when it was Christmas Day.

Je čas sbohem školní bráno,
sbohem školní bráno musím jít.
La, la, la, la

It’s time to say farewell, farewell school gate
the school gate I have to go.
La, la, la, la

Bylo nám spolu fajn
a co víc můžem chtít,
sbohem školní bráno musím jít.

We were good together
and what more could I want,
Farewell school gate I must go.

Nač marný pláč už přišel den kdy život strhne roušku.
Teď studente buď připraven na nejtěžší zkoušku.

Why cry in a futile way there will surely come a day when life pulls the veil.
Now sophomores be ready for the toughest test.

Je čas sbohem školní bráno,
sbohem školní bráno musím jít.
La, la, la, la.

It is time to say farewell school gate,
Farewell school gate I must go.
La, la, la, la.

Bylo nám spolu fajn
a co víc můžem chtít,
sbohem školní bráno musím jít

We were good together
and what more could I want,
Farewell school gate I must go

To play these songs – the one achingly romantic, the other slightly haunting – and to get information on recording details and credits, please go to the ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’ page.

If Valinka had wanted to start her musical full adult life in serious style I don’t think she could have chosen a better way than with ‘Pojď jen dál’ and ‘Sbohem, školní bráno’!

Boldog születésnapot, ‘Dál než nejdál’, ‘Padal déšť’ és ‘Píseň o kraji’!

On 1st February 1974, the recording of Valérie Čižmárová’s one and only LP (eponymously titled) commenced – at the Studios in the Prague suburb of Dejvice, as opposed to the Mozarteum, in this instance – with the recording of three tracks: ‘Dál než nejdál’ (‘Further Than The Furthest’), ‘Padal déšť’ (‘The Rain Was Falling’) and ‘Píseň o kraji’ (‘Song About The Region’).

In the case of the first-mentioned of these tracks the music was composed by Jaromír Klempíř, with lyrics by Jaroslav Šprongl with musical arrangement by Jiří Svoboda. In the case of the second, the music was composed by Karel Svoboda, with lyrics by Vladimír Poštulka, also with musical arrangement by Jiří Svoboda. In the case of the final one of the three the music and lyrics were composed by Jan Hrábek, who also provided the musical arrangement. In all cases the musical accompaniment was by Karel Vlach se svým orchestrem (Karel Vlach and his Orchestra) and in the case of the last of the three backing vocals came from Sbor Lubomíra Pánka (The Lubomír Pánek Singers).

To play these three astounding tracks please go to the ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’ page.

If one has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to record a studio album – as it was a ‘once-only’ in Valinka’s case, unfortunately! – this is one heck of a way to kick off that journey!

…not to mention that similarly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pose for a rear cover shot like Vladivoj Burjanek’s!

VČ_LP_Rear_Recording_Still

Well and truly grabbed by both hands!

…although, after a photo like that, maybe that should be re-phrased! 😉

Boldog ’66. születésnapot’, Valinka

Today should have been Valinka’s 66th Birthday, so, naturally, ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ will be marking this important milestone in the year.

Births are about beginnings, so it would seem pertinent, on this auspicious occasion, to consider Valinka’s beginnings with Otakar Krásenský’s band at a lakeside Jazz and Swing club by Lake Zemplín at the incredibly young age of fourteen – probably, therefore, sometime in the Summer of 1966 – when she would be on stage in the earlier part of the evening, while nervously keeping an eye out for anybody who might have been something to do with the Gymnázium Pavla Horova – the school Valinka was attending at the time – in case she ended up in trouble, for, say, not devoting more time to her homework!

If Valinka were performing at such a location, it is highly likely that the venue would also have been experiencing its own beginnings, since take a look at the following videos of the construction of this artificial body of water from two years previously and on the year itself.

In this context, it could almost be said that Valinka was performing in a sort of ‘Wild East’, as this new frontier near the eastern extremity of Czechoslovakia took shape, which would have been decidedly fitting for the future of Pop Music in Czechoslovakia that she would go on to represent.

Considering Otakar Krásenský himself, it is of particular note that he is – the present tense, for, unlike the tragically prematurely departed Valinka, he is still very much with us and performing beyond his 80th Birthday – a native of Kolín, in the present-day Czech Republic and moved, as a young man, to Michalovce, in the east of present-day Slovakia, after marrying a woman from the Slovak portion of the former Czechoslovakia, making him the Czech who became a Slovak, while Valinka was the (Hungarian)-Slovak who effectively became a Czech.

This seems to be essence of Valinka – the other side, whether that be the aforementioned, developing such a close relationship in her early career with the Czech Jitka Zelenková – herself, apparently, having relatives in the Slovak part of the former Czechoslovakia – being (so I think) the non-Jew who married a Jew (again, so I think) in the shape of the doctor, Josef Langer, being the woman who could be quite masculine, in Marlene Dietrich-like trousers at some stages in her career, while unquestionably being astonishingly feminine and attractive at others, being the petite, blue-eyed blonde with the huge, deep, ‘Black’ voice, being a very grown-up teenager while later being a quite childlike woman, in a way, being, at heart, a big city girl in a small town, while later being the embodiment of Slovak rurality in the heart of Prague, being a comic character, who can make one laugh, while being able to bring heart-tugging intensity to some of her performances, being cool and contained at some times while being a fiery soul at others and finally – and this is where I come in! – being the woman from the far east of a country east of the former Iron Curtain who came over as the most ‘Western’ of the lot.

If one believes in such things – which I do to a very limited extent – some very remarkable alignment must have been going on on 29th January 1952 to create this little bundle of contradictions!

Boldog születésnapot, ‘Sněhová vločka’!

In the midst of the relative hiatus that appeared to happen in Valinka’s recorded music output in between the immediately post-album period of the Spring of 1974 and the steady picking-back-up that followed the recording of ‘Tikot všech hodin’ (‘Ticking All The Time’) on 3rd January 1977, ‘Sněhová vločka’ (‘Snowflake’) was recorded – at a very appropriate time of year, for a song of that title – on 24th January 1975, appearing on the Various Artists album, ‘Ve společném rytmu’ (‘Together, In Rhythm’).

To play the song and for details and credits please go to the ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’ page. Also, to see stills of Valinka in action – in glorious green! – on TV, performing that song on the show of the same name as the aforementioned album, on 15th November 1974, one can go to the ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Pictures’ page.

As befits a song at a ‘strange’ juncture in Valinka’s recording career I think there’s something low-key about the offering. Maybe that also reflects the sound-deadening effect of lying snow, making everything seem just that little bit quieter.

Talking of lying snow, ‘Sněhová vločka’ inevitably takes me back to just over a year ago (by three days) in Valinka’s No. 1 Fan, Aleš Korábek’s home town of Žďár nad Sázavou.

Here are my favourite three photos from that unforgettable visit on a record-breakingly cold day!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The park beside the River Sázava, with children sledging and the Farní kostel sv. Prokopa (Parish Church of St. Procopius) in the background.

Valinka’s LP (front and rear) by the sign that points to her way to stardom – Jihlava, where she was in ‘Talent 68′ performing her version of The Kinks’ ‘Sunny Afternoon’ as ‘Slunný podnebí’ (‘Sunny Weather’) (which is ironic inasmuch as the lyrics of the song complain about the cold Winter’s weather!)

The next time I’m in the Czech Republic I may well follow that sign to Jihlava!

Boldog 40. születésnapot, ‘Tak se pozná dáma’!

Four decades ago to the day, on 10th January 1978 – continuing the theme of covers of originals by classic Disco artists and acts that was, at that time, informing Valinka’s work: ‘Tikot všech hodin’ (‘Ticking All The Time’) – a cover of Donna Summer’s ‘Wasted’ – and Valinka’s covering, under the identical title, of Boney M’s ‘Belfast’- Valinka covered Baccara’s ‘Sorry, I’m A Lady’, as ‘Tak se pozná dáma’ (‘So You Know I’m A Lady’). For details and to play the song please go to ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’. The video comes from ‘Chvíle pro písničku – Valerie Čižmárová’ (‘A Short While Of Song – Valerie Čižmárová’), broadcast later that year on the Feast Day of St. Valérie, 18th April, on which Valinka also performed the aforementioned ‘Tikot všech hodin’.

Boldog 45. születésnapot, ‘Tak měj mě rád’ és ‘Mít aero a létat’!

In the context of the celebration of Valinka’s recording anniversaries, with 1973 having been such a notably productive year in the recording studio, 2018 will be an especially significant year, being on a half-decade on from 1973. Therefore, we will specifically be celebrating the Forty-fifth Anniversary of any recordings taking place in 1973 in the course of this year.

On 9th January 1973, the flurry of recordings that blew through that year was initially whipped up by the recording of ‘Tak měj mě rád’(‘So Just Love Me’) and ‘Mít aero a létat’ (‘To Have A Plane And To Fly’). To play the songs and for recording details and credits please go to ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’.

It is very welcome that – in the case of the latter – Petr Markov’s full lyrics are available. Here they are together with an adapted translation courtesy of ImTranslator.

Mít éro a létat a zákonům tíže se od srdce smát.
Všem výškám se rouhat,
je má tajná touha.
Mít éro a létat a s větrem si hrát.

To have something to fly and to laugh from the heart at the laws of gravity.
To blaspheme from all the heights,
is my secret desire.
To have something to fly and to play with the wind.

Mít éro a létat a koukat jak nízko je Lomnický štít.
Jak náhle je blízká,
má víska i Kréta.
Mít éro a létat a s sebou tě vzít

To have something to fly and to see how low the Lomnicky peak is.
How suddenly is near,
my village and Crete.
To have something to fly and take you with me

Nebuď hochu bázlivý,
svěř svou ruku mé dlani.
Dřív než chvíle bláznivý,
překazí nám svítání.

Don’t be timid boy,
entrust your hand to my palm.
Before the crazy moment,
dawn is approaching us.

Mít éro a létat nad městem i loukou kde rozkvétá mák.
Nad tečkami stříšek,
bez závratí z výšek.
Mít éro a létat tak hojně jak pták.

To have something to fly over the city and the meadow where poppies bloom.
Above the dots, pots,
without dizziness from the heights.
To have something to fly as frequently as a bird.

Mít aero a létat a koukat jak nízko je Lomnický štít.
Jak náhle je blízká,
má víska i Kréta.
Mít aero a létat a s sebou tě vzít.

To have a plane and to fly and to see how low the Lomnicky peak is.
How suddenly is near,
my village and Crete.
To have a plane and to fly and take you with me.

Nebuď hochu bázlivý,
svěř svou ruku mé dlani.
Dřív než chvíle bláznivý,
překazí nám svítání.

Don’t be timid boy,
entrust your hand to my palm.
Before the crazy moment,
dawn is approaching us.

In the case of both ‘Tak měj mě rád’ and ‘Mít aero a létat’ I think we get a sensation of something exciting beginning and the lyrics to ‘Mít aero a létat’ certainly back that up. Also, with the half-spoken lyrics in ‘Tak měj mě rád’ from Valinka herself and Sbor Lubomíra Pánka, it could almost be said that this is an early contribution to the world of Rap.

1973 – an epic journey over mountains, up mountains, down rivers, in the desert, in the stars, away from school, by lovers’ gates. Valinka took us all over and thought that throwing in a seventeen-second-long note might be fun too.

She clearly laughed in the face of the laws of musical gravity that year!