Why I am a ‘Valinker’

(Introductory ‘Sticky’ Blog post – Links also here)

For about a year and a month (as at the time of the original posting) I have been running a WordPress.com Blog entitled ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ devoted to the subject of Female and Female-led Pop Music coming out of the Former Eastern Bloc in a period running from the latter stages of the 1960s to the beginning of the 1980s, ending up concentrating especially on the early to mid-1970s – with a long introduction made up of partially redacted E-Mails (mostly sent to my older brother) that I wrote in between the end of May 2015…

…when I first started really digging into the world, on YouTube in particular and the Web in general, that was to become ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ that I had initially glimpsed via Hana Zagorová’s cover of Middle Of The Road’s ‘Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dum’, ‘Pan Tydlitýt a pan Tydlitát’ (‘Mr. Tydlitýt And Mr. Tydlitát’), of which I had been aware on YouTube for two or three years, but it was only an off-the-cuff remark by a careers advisor at that time that the future of careers using Modern Foreign Languages lay in the languages of Eastern Europe that suddenly brought my thoughts back to Hana Zagorová (that I initially pronounced to myself as ‘Za-guh-ROH-vuh’, before I knew better about how Czech and Slovak female surnames should be stressed!)…

…and the time around my first-ever visit, in early March 2016, to a part of the Former Eastern Bloc (Slovakia) that wasn’t the former German Democratic Republic. This was with the intention to attend a concert in Petržalka, Bratislava, as part of the events marking forty years since the tragically early passing of Eva Kostolányiová (through which I unfortunately slept in my hotel room as a result of underestimating how physically shattered I would be after an overnight sailing and another overnight rail journey!) with the additional bonus of the prospect of visiting the birthplace of Valérie Čižmárová, Michalovce.

Although Hana Zagorová had been my ‘entry point’ into this hitherto completely unknown world, amongst all the to me exotic-sounding names that I encountered in my initial period of discovery running, on and off, through the Summer of 2015 to early 2016, it was Valérie Čižmárová that was ‘the one’ who – towards the end of August 2015 – really leapt out at me via her photo on the Discogs site, the discovery, in very short order, that she originated from such a remote place as Michalovce, in the then-unexplored Slovak part of the former Czechoslovakia, had sadly passed away at just fifty-three and had apparently just released one LP, with some of the most astounding photography of young womankind I had ever encountered on the front and rear covers, taken by the very fortunate Vladivoj Burjanek.

Valerie_Discogs_Portrait

cizmarova-lp11

Valerie_1975_LP_Cover_Rear

Within a matter of two-and-a-half months I finally took the plunge and ordered a copy of the LP on-line, thus opening my account of tracking down the vinyl that the record industry of the Former Eastern Bloc turned out. I had checked out a few of Valérie Čižmárová’s material out there on YouTube – most notably her covers of Boney M’s ‘Belfast’, under the same title as the original and of The Sweet’s ‘Co-Co’, with the title slightly modified to ‘Koko’, which was also included in the medley of ‘oldies’ on the first track of the LP, that I had also checked out on YouTube, but the rest of the LP arrived with my knowing nothing of how this stunning-looking young lady might sound on vinyl, so one can well imagine my reaction when I heard this for the very first time – the one and only ‘Koňskou dráhou’, which I subsequently discovered meant ‘On The Horse Tram’.

‘Bananas For Breakfast’ readers will need to know here that I am enthusiast – amongst a whole raft of apparently mutually contradictory genres – for what is known as Northern Soul – danceable music based on the music of Tamla Motown and everything that was influenced by that, that has historically had a very strong presence in the clubs of the Northern half of Britain, where I live, hence the name. I thought, “you know what…you could dance Northern Soul-style to that hook line. It’s sensational!”… and the discovery that the composers of the tune were native and that this was no cover of Western material – Vítězslav Hádl and Ladislav Pikart – added to that sense of wonder at what Eastern Bloc Pop Music could produce without any prompting from the West. Regarding the lyrics, by Petr Markov – here translated by IMTranslator, with suitable modifications to make better sense of them – I think it can be detected that the Eastern Bloc was no different from the West at the time of the recording of the track (6th March 1974) in that feeling of nostalgia for the ‘olden days’ that seemed to descend on the World.

Jedu městem tramvají jak v divokých snech
Auta kolem houkají a kdekdo má spěch
Město známé kouzlem svým
Souží rámus, smog a dým

I’m going to the city by tram in wild dreams
Cars honk their horns around me and everybody is rushing
A city known for its magic spell
Pesters with noise, smog and smoke

Kde je něžná poezie prastarých míst
Dnes už o ní jenom v knihách můžeme číst
Město známé kouzlem svým
Souží rámus, smog a dým

Where is the gentle poetry of ancient places
Only read about in books today
A city known for its magic spell
Pesters with noise, smog and smoke

Koňskou dráhou toužím jet
A mít bílý klobouk do očí
Koňskou dráhou zašlých let
Kde můj děda býval průvodčím
Koňskou dráhou šťastných dní
Kdy pan Kašpar hlásil – poletím
Koňskou dráhou parádní
Slavně vítat konec století a snít

I long to go on the horse tram
And wear a white hat over my eyes
On the horse tram, bygone years
When my grandfather used to crew
On the horse tram, happy days
When Mr. Kašpar reported – I will fly
On the horse tram, wonderful
Gloriously welcomed the end of the century and to dream

Po chodnících proudí lidí neklidný proud
V přeplněných tramvajích se není kam hnout
Město známé kouzlem svým
Souží rámus, smog a dým
Kde jsou kola nejistá a slamáčky dam
Čas, kdy pojem turista byl nepříliš znám
Město známé kouzlem svým
Souží rámus, smog a dým

On the pavements a torrent of people flows
In the crowded trams there is nowhere to move
A city known for its magic spell
Pesters with noise, smog and smoke
Where the wheels are uncertain and slamáčky dam (this bit didn’t automatically translate!)
The time when the concept of a tourist was not too well-known
A city known for its magic spell
Pesters with noise, smog and smoke

Koňskou dráhou toužím jet
A mít bílý klobouk do očí…

I long to go on the horse tram
And wear a white hat over my eyes. . .

I had also, via YouTube, been aware, in the Summer of 2015, of Valérie Čižmárová’s brief interview with the Presenter, Eduard Pergner, on the talent show, ‘Talent 68’, but it was only in January 2016, when I caught up on the Czech TV site on the documentary on Valérie Čižmárová’s life and work, ‘Příběhy slavných – Léta letí’  (‘Stories Of Fame – Time Flies’) that it was revealed to me that what she was singing on that show was a version of The Kinks’ ‘Sunny Afternoon’, which utterly flabbergasted me. However, it was only in the Summer of 2016, when I’d attended an event at my local cathedral in Derby celebrating fifty years since England won the World Cup, at which ‘Sunny Afternoon’ had been played as part of the ‘mood music’, that, inspired by that, I took another look at ‘Příběhy slavných – Léta letí’ and accidentally turned on the Czech subtitles that it was further revealed to me that (a) she grew up speaking Hungarian in her early years, not Slovak, as I’d imagined (an education in itself on minorities in the former Czechoslovakia) and that (b) amongst her lyrics for what turned out to be entitled ‘Slunný podnebí’ (‘Sunny Weather’), she replaced Ray Davies’ sentiments of a man losing everything after an acrimonious split with his girlfriend with a teenage girl dreaming – on a cold Winter’s day, frantically trying to warm herself up with hot cups of tea – of ‘breakfasting on a kilo of bananas’ on a ‘hot beach’ – thereby chiming with The Mamas & The Papas’ ‘California Dreamin” – hence the title for this Blog….

…which is intended to be the first UK-based Fan Blog of Valérie Čižmárová, to complement Aleš Korábek’s Valérie Čižmárová Fan Site – the man of whom I first became aware thanks to the aforementioned documentary – and the ‘Valérie ČIŽMÁROVÁ’ Facebook Group.

Given that the title of this Blog includes the name of a fruit closely associated with primates it is perhaps fitting that what has emerged as an all-time favourite, as time has gone on since my initial Valérie Čižmárová-related discoveries – and it took until well into the Summer of 2016 to do so – is, despite (a) the aforementioned sense of wonder at what the Eastern Bloc could produce all of its own accord and (b) the song in question not having been recorded in what transpired to be her ‘Glory Year’ of 1973, her cover version (‘Dávno nejsem hloupá’ – ‘I Haven’t Been Crazy For A Long Time’ – recorded on 5th December 1970 – the year she’d only turned eighteen) of a song composed by Harvey Price and Daniel Walsh (‘Sha-La Love You’) improbably for the novelty Bubblegum Pop act of ‘chimpanzees’ played by session musicians, Lancelot Link and The Evolution Revolution. If ever there were any proof that the tired, old, lazy assumption that the Eastern Bloc Pop of that era (if it even existed!) must have involved shabby, poor-quality substitutes of Western originals was so wide of the mark it was untrue, ‘Dávno nejsem hloupá’ is it. This utterly charming performance of ‘Dávno nejsem hloupá’ comes from the 1972 TV show, ‘Písničky ke kávě’ (‘Songs For Coffee Break’). The moment, at the beginning of the song, when Valérie Čižmárová turns to face the camera with a slight smile is one that will live long in the memory and one that would melt even the hardest of hearts.

Here is that moment frozen in time.

VČ_DNH_YT

The one bug is that my Czech is not yet quite up to keeping up with Mirek Černý’s lyrics in real time and there is nowhere on the Web where they are written down, so any ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ readers ‘out there’ who have access to those lyrics?

‘Bananas For Breakfast’ will run concurrently with ‘Girls Of The Golden East’, since I have long felt uncomfortable that so much of ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ has been devoted to Valérie Čižmárová….or, to use the more familiar form of her name, as she is affectionately known, Valinka.

So, if you are a ‘Valinker’, as I’d like to coin as the name for a Fan of Valinka, welcome and if you are not, you probably soon will be!

Celý život ve pouhých roku…

…at least, that’s what I think ‘a whole life in just one year’ might be in Czech!

First of all, welcome back to ‘Bananas For Breakfast’, after some time away – reassessing where all my ‘Girls Of The Golden East’/’Bananas For Breakfast’-related discoveries leave me in terms of the blogs themselves and my wider life in the ongoing history of me and Pop Music, where what I have termed my ‘Seventies-ness’…’sedmdeset-nost’ in Czech, for example? – definitions on a postcard, please! – has very much come to the fore, to the extent that when I go into a shop selling records, books and memorabilia, whereas it used to be the case that it was the 1960s that got me going it is now overwhelmingly the 1970s.

I had a very pleasant reminder just yesterday that I have now passed one year of on-line friendship on Facebook with Aleš Korábek, the journey towards which was set off by the following still from the ‘Příběhy slavných – Léta letí’ documentary on Valinka’s life and work – captioned ‘fan and friend’.

Screenshot 2016-09-18 16.51.37

The ‘see your memories’ feature has been a doubly pleasant reminder, since it was about a year back that I thought I’d better start waking up my Facebook friends to what really had been going on behind the former Iron Curtain in the former Czechoslovakia, thinking that the following set of photos of Valinka from the front cover of ‘Zpíváme s kytarou’ (‘Singing With The Guitar’), originating from one of Aleš’s fellow members of the inner sanctum that is ‘Valérie ČIŽMÁROVÁ’ Facebook Group, Jana Bajerová, with the text…and I quote…”Some pics of my favourite ‘Girl Of The Golden East’, thanks to a connection of Aleš Korábek, who runs the Valérie Čižmárová Fan Club. 1970s Czechoslovakia had a Pop Star like this…..Yes, I know!” might arouse interest.

I don’t think that anybody would gainsay that Valinka could make a good photo and show that ‘sedmdeset-nost’ has a lot to recommend itself! These are fantastically engaging photos in their own right. When – as it was increasingly becoming obvious to me at the time – one knows how she could sing they take on an almost mesmerising aura.

VČ_Zsk_Covers

Of course, all this was just around the corner from my sorting out Valinka’s recording dates thanks for Aleš’s handy guide on his fan page, which would thoroughly bring her career to life – especially 1973, so, I am eternally grateful to Aleš – whom I am proud to call a friend – for (talking of memories) taking me back to what I think may, after all, have been one of the best years in my life, when I  – like Britain as a whole, as we were joining the then European Economic Community – was spending my first and only full calendar year at a wonderful school like Herbert Strutt, learning exotic things like Modern Foreign Languages, thus beginning an exciting journey into the wider world, where, until Brexit finally happens, the United Kingdom would inhabit the same body politic as an independent Czech Republic and Valinka’s home country of Slovakia.

Imagine if I’d have known about Valinka then. My two academic years at Strutts could have been a yet more incredible experience…feeling all that ‘sedmdeset-nost’!

 

Boldog születésnapot! x 2

Had it not been for ‘Dávno nejsem hloupá’ (‘I’ve Not Been Crazy For A Long Time’) it is highly likely that either one of the two songs recorded by Valérie Čižmárová on this date at Mozarteum in her big year of singles recording, 1973, may well have been my Slovak No. 1 at my article for the ‘Englishman In Slovakia’ blog – original, full version here…

Englishman_In_Slovakia_Article

Vítězslav Hádl and Ladislav Pikart – the creators of two of Valinka’s other classic tunes, ‘Tak měj mě rád’ (‘So Just Love Me’) and ‘Koňskou dráhou’ (‘On The Horse Tram’) supplied Valinka with ‘V poschodí pátém’ (‘On The Fifth Floor’) and the prodigiously young Zdeněk Němeček (just eighteen at the time) provided the other side to this highly impressive two sides of a 45 R.P.M., ‘Malý princ’ (‘Little Prince’). In both cases, the lyrics were by Petr Markov, the thrilling instrumental accompaniment came from Skupina Svatopluka Čecha (The Svatopluk Čech Group) and the beautiful backing vocals came from Jezinky.

Also in both cases, just as the songs seem to be coming to an end, things are taken up a notch.

Check out these two pieces of musical heaven and I am sure the listener will agree that there is nothing much finer than Valinka plus all this creative talent in the High Summer of ‘that’ year, 1973.

‘Dávno nejsem hloupá’ was an example of a stunning ‘upgrade’ of a cover version of a song from the English-speaking World. Maybe a lyricist in the English-speaking World would care to return the compliment in the case of ‘V poschodí pátém’ and ‘Malý princ’, since they are clearly both tunes deserving of more exposure.

I wrote some time back in BFB that readers might find ‘Malý princ’ just a little bit nice!

And now, from Hnúšťa, it’s…

Over on ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ the theme of television coming from outside of the nation’s capital was touched upon via ‘Vzpomínková směs ze Slaného’ (‘Nostalgic Assortment From Slaný’) being recorded at the Městské Divadlo (Municipal Theatre) in Slaný, to the north-west of Prague.

Thanks to a recent YouTube uploading – coming to my attention via the ‘Valérie ČIŽMÁROVÁ’ Facebook Group – and subsequent communications with Aleš Korábek, I can say that the Saturday, 12th June 1976 edition of the celebrity game show, ‘Vtipnejší vyhráva’ (‘The Wittiest Wins’) – a show from the Slovak part of the former Czechoslovakia – the basic premise of which was to take a group of four celebrities from the world of comedy and have them recite funny stories sent in by viewers and being scored out of twenty-five by a panel of the local great and good, with a bouquet of red roses being awarded to the winners of each round, recorded, on-the-road, at the social club of a factory, or similar, with a guest appearance by a Pop Star, featured Valérie Čižmárová, performing three songs – ‘Jeho laskominy’ (‘His Fancies’), ‘Veterán’ (‘Veteran’) and ‘Správnej hoch’ (‘Office Boy’) – from Slovenské lúčobné závody š.p, (now known, post privatisation, as Slovenské lučobné závody a.s.), in Hnúšťa, in the south-central area of the Slovak part of the former Czechoslovakia.

The music for ‘Jeho laskominy’ (originally ABBA’s ‘So Long’) was composed by Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Goran Andersson, with Czech-language lyrics by Michael Janík. The music for ‘Veterán’ was composed by Zdeněk Barták, with lyrics by Jaroslav Machek. The music for ‘Správnej hoch’ was by the Polish singer-songwriter, Krzysztof Krawczyk, alongside Ryszard Janusz Poznakowski (originally as Krzysztof Krawczyk’s own ‘Hallo, co ty o tym wiesz’ – ‘Hello, what do you know’), with Czech-language lyrics by Karel Šíp.

What follows are the lyrics, plus translations into English.

Michael Janík’s lyrics for ‘Jeho laskominy’

Počkej ještě chvíli s plánovanou oslavou
Nechci abys probudil se ráno s hlavou bolavou
Tak směj se, vyhrožuj mi nebo plač
Já konečně vím co jsi zač
A nechci Tě víc znát, už znát

Wait a while longer for your planned celebration
I do not want you to wake up this morning with a sore head
So, laugh, or cry or threaten me
I finally know what you are
And I don’t want to know you any more, I know

Buď zdráv hochu milý
A vychutnej tuhle chvíli
Nejsi, už prostě nejsi
Všech dívek ideál

Hello dear boy
And enjoy the moment
You are not, you just are not
God’s gift to the girls

Buď zdráv hochu milý
A vychutnej tuhle chvíli
Bude jich možná víc
Buď zdráv, buď zdráv

Hello dear boy
And enjoy the moment
There will be maybe more
Hello, Hello

Mou adresu zapomeň a k nám už nevolej
A svoje kytky jinam posílej,
Ty pro svý laskominy musíš snad
S každou volnou chvílí počítat
Já nechci Tě víc znát, už znát

Forget my address and do not call us now
And send my flowers elsewhere.
You have to for your fancies perhaps
Make every free moment count
I do not want to know you more, I know

Buď zdráv hochu milý
A vychutnej tuhle chvíli
Nejsi, už prostě nejsi
Všech dívek ideál

Hello dear boy
And enjoy the moment
You are not, you just are not
God’s gift to the girls

Buď zdráv hochu milý
A vychutnej tuhle chvíli
Bude jich možná víc
Buď zdráv, buď zdráv

Hello dear boy
And enjoy the moment
There will be maybe more
Hello, Hello

Jaroslav Machek’s lyrics for ‘Veterán’

Není už nejmladší
Přesto mám nejradši
Jeho vzhled ze všech stran
I když mám křížků pár
To je glanc, to je žár
Umí to, můj veterán

He is not the youngest
Nevertheless, I prefer
His appearance from all sides
Even though I have a pair of crosses
It’s glory, it’s glow
He knows, my veteran

Veterán v zatáčkách
Je doma, nemá strach
Vzlétl by možná, kéž by křídla měl
Děda ho zajížděl
Ne tempem hlemýždě
Dnes by ho možná zpátky chtěl

Veteran coming round the corner
He is home, no fear
He might fly, if only he had wings
Grandpa pulled him
No snails pace
Today, he might want to go back

Není už nejmladší
Přesto s ním vystačím
Nezklamal, co ho znám
I když je letitý
Ani já, ani Ty
Nesvedem, co veterán

He is no longer the youngest
Still, I make do with him
Disappointed, I know him
Although he is aged
Neither I nor you
I can do what veteran

Veterán s kuráží
Soupeře poráží
Vzlétl by možná, kéž by křídla měl
Děda ho pokud vím
Zvykl na plný plyn
Dnes by mi možná záviděl

Veteran with courage
beats rivals
He might fly, if only he had wings
Grandpa that I know him
Accustomed to full throttle
Today, I would perhaps have envied

Karel Šíp’s lyrics for ‘Správnej hoch’

Pátý den zvoní telefon
A v něm jen brouká ten známý bas
Pátý den stejný basbaryton
Ty můj typ nejsi a ztrácíš čas

On the fifth day the phone rings
And it just hums the familiar bass
The fifth day, the same baritone
You’re not my type and wasting time

Správnej hoch
Má snědou pleť
Máchův Máj zná nazpaměť
Zná tanců pár obstojně
Správnej hoch byl na vojně

Office boy
He has dark skin
Macha’s Maj knows by heart
He knows a few fairly dances
Office boy was in the army

Správnej hoch
Má pevnou dlaň
Vousy jak sám D’Artagnan
Na toho já čekám dál
No čekám dál

Administrative boy
He has a firm hand
Has D’Artagnan’s beard
The one I keep waiting
Well, keep waiting

Pátý den stejné legrácky
Jsem z nich už málem šílená
Vím, jak jsi světácký
Ty Don Chuany už dávno znám

The fifth day of the same horseplay
I am of those who are almost crazy
I know how you are urbane
You Don Juan had long known

Lyrics courtesy of the song lyrics section of Aleš Korábek’s Valérie Čižmárová Fan Site

Translation (in places, suitably modified) courtesy of IMTranslator

It is quite remarkable that, despite ABBA’s landmark success with ‘Waterloo’ at the Eurovision Song Contest of 1974, in the British South Coast resort of Brighton and subsequently reaching No. 1 in the UK Charts, ‘So Long’ (released in that year) did not even get into the Top Forty. It evidently made a stronger impression over on the other side of the Iron Curtain!

Also, what shines through is Valinka’s theatrical background and – fittingly, in the context of a comedy show – obvious sense of the comic.

Boldog születésnapot!

As well as it being Helena Blehárová’s 30th birthday (marked today at ‘Girls Of The Golden East’)  one shouldn’t also forget that 28th June 1973 was the day on which ‘Pojď jen dál’ (‘Just Come On’) was broadcast on ‘3.program Orchestru Karla Vlacha’ (‘3rd Programme Of The Karel Vlach Orchestra’), in which Valinka rarely looked and sounded much lovelier, making that day quite an occasion for the two great Soul Ladies with a Jazz-singing background from the Slovak part of the former Czechoslovakia who went away to make their musical fortunes in the Czech part thereof.

Despite the very attractive ‘visuals’ in the video, now I actually have this record on vinyl it’s beginning to leap out at me what a fabulous tune and song this is, even without the aforementioned – very good keyboard work from the player in the Karel Vlach Orchestra in the closing stages of the song.

Boldog 40. születésnapot! x 2

‘Čas má rychlý krok’ (‘Time Has A Quick Step’) and ‘On se ti vráti’ (‘He’s Coming Back To You’) are both turning forty today! –  Valérie Čižmárová having recorded these songs at Mozarteum on 18th June 1977.

In the case of the former, the music was composed by Zdeněk Barták, with lyrics from Jaroslav Machek. Instrumental accompaniment came from Studiový orchestr (The Studio Orchestra), under Jan Hrábek, with backing vocals from Bezinky.

In the case of the latter, the music was composed by Miroslav Paleček, with lyrics from Vladimír Poštulka. Instrumental accompaniment came from Pražské smyčce (The Prague Strings), also under Jan Hrábek.

The following two videos featuring ‘Čas má rychlý krok’ come, variously, from ‘Jak se vám líbí’ (‘How Do You Like’), originally broadcast on 5th September 1980 (with an introductory interview with Valinka’s famous fan, the actor, Vladimír Menšík) and ‘Muzikanti, co děláte?’ (‘Musicians, What Are You Doing?’), originally broadcast on 4th November 1995 (with Valinka being interviewed about her life and work by that contemporary female star, Petra Černocká).

It is interesting to note that, if I am translating the Czech correctly, one of the interviewees on ‘Jak se vám líbí’ makes reference to Valinka’s Hungarian-speaking heritage, remarking that she was a pleasant enough singer but that she was Hungarian, surely!

I am wondering how common an impression that was about Valinka amongst the general public of Czechoslovakia – that she somehow wasn’t a ‘proper Czechoslovak’.

Boldog születésnapot! x 2

How can I start today?

Every recording career has got to start sometime and somewhere.

Valérie Čižmárová’s started – aged just seventeen – on 26th May 1969, at Studio Smečky, Prague.

As somebody with a background singing Jazz and who was also a Soul fan, what better way of starting it could there be other than a Jazz treatment of a Soul classic like Bobby Hebb’s self-composed ‘Sunny’?

Valinka would go on to perform virtually all of her recorded repertoire in Czech, but her ‘Sunny’ would kick off proceedings in the language of her native Slovakia, the Slovak-language lyrics being by Ali Brezovský, with instrumental accompaniment coming from the studio’s orchestra under Ivo Moravus.

I would advise BFB readers to check back to see that they weren’t imagining things when they read ‘seventeen’ above after listening to this.

If it were possible, the other very Jazz-flavoured (Czech-language) side of the record, recorded at the same venue with the same personnel, ‘Čekám’ (‘I Am Waiting’) probably makes that ‘seventeen’ yet more unbelievable. The music was by Mojmír Smékal  and the lyrics were by Rostislav Černý and for both ‘Sunny’ and ‘Čekám’ the Producer was Ivan Štědrý.

Here they are, complete with a suitably modified, IMTranslator-based translation.

Řekl, že mě vezme někam, kde prý voní vřes,
a já tady na něj čekám, věrně jako pes.
Slíbil, že mě vezme s sebou
kam se vítr hnal.
Přesto, že mě uši zebou, já čekám dál.

He said he would take me somewhere where the heather smells,
And I’m waiting for him, faithfully like a dog.
He promised to take me with him
Where the wind was blowing.
Despite the ears of my ears, I am waiting.

Proč bych měla nevěřit, když mi řekl, že chce jít,
když mi řekl, že chce jít,
třeba na kraj světa jen a jen se mnou,
on jenom a já, jenom on a já.

Why should not I believe when he tells me he wants to go,
When he told me he wanted to go,
Maybe on the edge of the world just and only with me,
Only him and me, just him and me.

Nejde, ale to se stává, třeba nemá čas,
třeba někde vyběhává na kraj světa pas.
Třeba shání plachetnici
nebo drezínu
a tak čekám na stanici ať ho neminu.

It is not, but it happens, it does not have time,
Maybe somewhere passes to the edge of the world passport.
Maybe sailing a sailboat
Or sailing
So I’m waiting for the station to miss him.

Proč bych měla nevěřit, když mi řekl, že chce jít,
když mi řekl, že chce jít,
třeba na kraj světa jen a jen se mnou,
on jenom a já, jenom on a já.

Why should not I believe when he tells me he wants to go,
When he told me he wanted to go,
Maybe on the edge of the world just and only with me,
Only him and me, just him and me.

Když mi řek, že na kraj světa, nevadí mi mráz,
nejsem ještě plnoletá, mám na všechno čas.
Slíbil, že mě vezme s sebou
kam se vítr hnal.

When I tell you that on the edge of the world, I do not mind the frost,
I’m not yet of age, I have all the time.
He promised to take me with him
Where the wind was blowing.

Ať mě třeba nohy zebou, já čekám dál.
Já, já čekám dál,
já, já čekám dál,
já čekám dál.

May my legs be like me, I’m waiting.
I, I’m waiting,
Me, I’m waiting,
I’m waiting.

Listen and be amazed!

By the way, long before I was fully aware of Valinka’s recording dates (the ‘Čekám’ video is the work of Valinka Fan No. 1…no, it’s no quite yours truly!…’591010710′, AKA Aleš Korábek) and I was listening to this I just assumed that this must have been much later in her career, until that year that was staring me in the face finally dawned on me and I thought, “she’s seventeen!!!”

That’s one serious-looking seventeen-year-old captured by Petr Polák on André Černoušek’s cover!

What have we just discovered???…in Michalovce, of all places!!!

Boldog születésnapot! x 2

Today’s recording date in 1972 marked the beginning of the transition in Valérie Čižmárová’s career from her early days, that happened to coincide with the four academic years of my own junior school days at Long Row School (1968 – 1972), to the peak of her recording career, coinciding with my two academic years of ‘Tom Brown’s Schooldays dreamland’ in the ‘cloisters’ of Herbert Strutt School (1972 – 1974), before the serious business began again at Belper High School. It was also another one of those cases where there was a marked contrast between one side of the record and another.

On one side of Valinka’s sixth single was the seasonal Summery jauntiness of ‘To je léto’ (‘It’s Summer’). On the other, although the sentiments of the lyrics of the original may have been changed substantially, one cannot imagine that her cover – with lyrics by Michael Prostějovský – of Paul McCartney’s protest song, ‘Give Ireland Back To The Irish’, ‘Synu můj’ (‘Son Of Mine’), would have been anything nearly as happy-go-lucky! It also probably showed that the ‘little girl’ was growing up.

I cannot embed ‘Synu můj’ here, unfortunately. I have still not got to hear it even, since it is on nothing playable on-line, although it is featured in the ‘Československé zpěvačky’ series at (please click on the ‘československé zpěvačky’ link down the right-hand side)  ‘Sixties Emporium’ (The third of the series – ‘Halabala’). However, ‘To je léto’ very much is and what is more, there are lyrics…which I shall ‘IMTranslator-ise’, as always, with suitable modifications, if necessary.

The recording venue was  Čs. rozhlas Praha (Czechoslovak Radio Prague),  past which I walked to and from Prague city centre from my hostel during my stay in the country.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The music was composed by Vladimír Rukavička, with lyrics by Miloslav Procházka. Instrumental accompaniment came from Taneční orchestr Čs. rozhlasu (The Czechoslovak Radio Dance Orchestra), under Josef Vobruba, with backing vocals coming from Sbor Lubomíra Pánka (Lubomír Pánek Singers).

Here are those lyrics by Miloslav Procházka.

Slunce vodu zlatí,
tělu bronzem platí
za důvěru

The sun is burnishing the water,
plating the body with bronze
For trust

Malíř z dětskou školkou
natře nebe šmolkou
bez úvěru

A painter from a kindergarten
Is painting the sky with a slush
Without credit

Řeka loďky houpá
a rtuť líně stoupá
v teploměru

The river boat swings
And mercury rises lazily
In the thermometer

Tlustej pán se potí,
fotí dítka s chotí
dokud loďku nepřekotí.

The drunken man is sweating,
She takes pictures of children with her husband
Until the boat breaks.

REF
To je léto, to je léto, léto v povltaví
To je léto, to je léto, léto mladý věčně hraví
To je léto, to je léto, léto s vůní jív
To je léto, to je léto co má být

REF
It’s summer, it’s summer, summer in the bed
This is summer, summer is summer, summer is always playful
It’s summer, it’s summer, summer with a scent of java
It’s summer, it’s summer to be

Ryby všude berou
jak čerti se perou
o návnadu

Fish take everywhere
How to drain a pen
About bait

Parník vodu čeří
kuchař terce měří
na náladu

The steamer rigs the water
The cook cooks the course
On request

Někdo jede lodí
někdo líhat chodí
na zahradu

Someone is going by boat
Someone is going to mow
In the garden

Kluci jsou tu bosí
nosí písně kosí
dokud louky nepokosí

The boys are barefoot
She wears the song
Until the meadows are intact

REF
To je léto, to je léto, léto v povltaví
To je léto, to je léto, léto mladý věčně hraví
To je léto, to je léto, léto s vůní jív
To je léto, to je léto co má být

REF
It’s summer, it’s summer, summer in the bed
This is summer, summer is summer, summer is always playful
It’s summer, it’s summer, summer with a scent of java
It’s summer, it’s summer to be
It’s summer, it’s summer to be