It is exactly four-and-a-half decades ago to the day, today, when Valinka recorded ‘Koňskou dráhou’ (‘On The Horse Tram’) for her eponymous LP and – continuing the equestrian theme – ‘Žokej’ (‘Jockey’), dedicated to the brave participants in the Velká Pardubická steeplechase, for later single release.
I have previously had a critical remark on YouTube that my version of ‘Koňskou dráhou’ was far too fast. Now I have at last sorted out a way of channeling Valinka’s huge voice through my ‘famous’ ‘super-woofer’ from a turntable that plays at a more accurate speed there is now a new version on YouTube and it is now at the ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’ page of ‘Bananas For Breakfast’. It can also be enjoyed in a larger format – together with lyrics and translation – at the ‘The wider context surrounding BFB: Why I am a ‘Valinker’ (Plus Links)’ page of ‘Bananas For Breakfast’.
While studying Geography with German at the University of Derby for my Final-Year Project I investigated the possibilities of comparing the public transport system in and around my home city of Derby with three cities in Germany of a comparable population. These were Aachen, Hagen and Krefeld. One of the souvenirs of that project is the book ‘Die Pferdebahnära: Die Geschichte der Hagener Straßenbahn 1884 – 1898’ (‘The Horse Tram Era: The History Of Hagen Tramways 1884 – 1898’). It seemed quite fitting to feature that book in the video, which I hope is another improvement on the original ‘Koňskou dráhou’ video.
Finally, in the ‘wrong speed’ video of ‘Koňskou dráhou’, the view of Vladivoj Burjanek’s stunner of a photograph of Valinka on the rear of her LP – ‘riding’ the back of a park bench, as it were 😉 – was, to say the least, ‘murky’.
We can enjoy it in all its clarity now, while also enjoying what was one of Valinka’s very best releases!