Boldog születésnapot, ‘Sunny’ és ‘Čekám’!

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!!!

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