Boldog 45. születésnapot ‘Proč si to brát’, ‘Démantová zem’ és ‘Byl’s má bój’!

A week down the line from the recordings of ‘Koňskou dráhou’ (‘On The Horse Tram’) and ‘Žokej’ (‘Jockey’) and a day less than a week after the recordings of ‘Námořník šel cik cak’ (‘The Sailor Went Zig-Zag’) and ‘Šer-chán’ (?) Valinka was back in action in the recording studio in Dejvice for the recordings of ‘Proč si to brát’ (‘Why Get Married To That’), ‘Démantová zem’ (‘Diamond Earth’) and ‘Byl’s má bój’ (‘You Were My Buoy’) for her eponymous LP of 1975.

These tracks have now had the ‘super-woofer treatment’ on my hi-fi system and can now be enjoyed at ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’, together with the recording details and credits.

I have hitherto been under the impression that the title of ‘Byl’s má bój’ was something to do with a fight, but ‘fight’ is ‘boj’ (without the acute accent over the ‘o’), so I think I have now changed that opinion to being something to do with a ‘buoy’, so, when I have more time, I’ll have to revise the lyrics I have for the song.

Furthermore, I thought I’d do a blow-up of what I think of as Valinka’s ‘Blingy Platforms’, referenced at ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Pictures’, to accompany the ‘Démantová zem’ video, in view of the meaning of the title and in the process of that I became somewhat doubtful about my ‘good story’ about the objects in the heels and soles being crystals. I now think they may well be a sort of ‘Swiss Cheese’ and also may well have been hollow to make them light as air.


Finally, in the ‘Proč si to brát’ video, there are three photos (taken by a photographer unknown to me) of Valinka’s wedding to Dr. Jaromír Langer. I still cannot pretend to keep up with the Czech lyrics as they are sung, but I do wonder, taking into consideration the meaning of the song’s title, if Petr Janda, on accompanying vocals duty, may have been expressing the probable thoughts of much of the general public of Czechoslovakia vis-à-vis Dr. Jaromír Langer – “How did he manage that???”

Oh well! We can all dream!

…and I’ll keep on dreaming that those really were crystals in Valinka’s platforms, even though holes would have been more practical and would have been a built-in air-conditioning system to keep one’s feet cool on the sort of hot, sunny days on which one would wear shoes like that!

If they were holes that would itself be a neat reference to portholes, to keep the nautical theme going…what with sailors and buoys!







Boldog 45. születésnapot ‘Námořník šel cik cak’ és ‘Šer-chán’ és Boldog születésnapot ‘To je zvyk’ és ‘Návrat uvítám’!

The multi-layered significance of today’s date to the world of ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ is spelled out in this post at ‘Girls Of The Golden East’.

I am also continuing the process of uploading to YouTube, four-and-a-half decades to the day down the line, tracks off Valinka’s eponymous LP from 1975, today with the magnificently (and appropriately!) rambling ‘Námořník šel cik cak’ (‘The Sailor Went Zig-Zag’), complete with a bottle of rum for the drunken sailor in question in the video (sorry it’s nearly empty!) and ‘Šer-chán’ – for which I have had endless difficulty in trying to find a suitable translation into English, but which I think I have finally worked out is the Czech-language rendering of the name of the Bengal Tiger character in ‘The Jungle Book’, Shere Khan – which is another one of those Valinka songs from the Early Mid-1970s with a vibe to it like those swinging 1970s sitcom signature tunes, like ‘Spousta příběhů’ (‘Lots Of Stories’), which was also to the accompaniment of Karel Vlach se svým Orchestrem (Karel Vlach and His Orchestra).

‘Šer-chán’ was, incidentally, used as the background music during a scene in the Moskvanka restaurant at the still-extant Hotel Imperial, Ostrava, very early on in the 1975 crime film ‘Město nic neví’ (‘The City Knows Nothing’). If, indeed, the title is a reference to a ‘Jungle Book’ character, maybe the placing of that song at that juncture was a way of saying to those watching, “welcome to the ‘Urban Jungle’!”

Both ‘Námořník šel cik cak’ and ‘Šer-chán’, together with recording details and credits, are now at the ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’ page of ‘Bananas For Breakfast’.

Quite a date!

I might raise a glass of that rum, to polish it off, to Valinka in ‘Musical Heaven’ later!

Boldog 45. születésnapot ‘Koňskou dráhou’ és ‘Žokej’!

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!

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

I promised, in this ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ Blog post exactly a year ago, that there’d be a YouTube video uploaded on this day to complete the duo of recordings by Valinka on 10th February 1976 – ‘Správnej hoch’ (‘Office Boy’) and ‘Mám už toho dost’ (‘I’ve Already Had Enough Of That’). The latter made it to YouTube on 10th February 2018. Now the former has made it on 10th February 2019!…and can now be enjoyed, together with the recording details and credits, at the ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’ page of ‘Bananas For Breakfast’. The video would have been shot, incidentally, using my now-defunct record player at my old address, since which time quite a lot of water has passed under my personal bridge! I find it almost impossible to believe that the Winter Olympics events alluded to in the aforementioned post were just twelve months ago!

It is rather interesting to note that there was this sporting ‘thing’ going on on this date a year ago, since today has seen the wonderfully-named ‘Old Farm Derby’ between my beloved Norwich City and their deadly rivals, Ipswich Town, ending in a 3-0 scoreline to the Canaries! It is all the more fitting that this date should be so closely identified, in my mind, with the Canaries, since I think Valinka’s stylish checked jacket she wore for her performance of ‘Správnej hoch’ on the TV show, ‘Našich deväť’ has a clear touch of the Canaries about it, as can be seen below in this caught-in-the-moment still where we see a highly seductive look come over in Valinka’s eyes!


Here are Karel Šíp’s lyrics for ‘Správnej hoch’, together with an ImTranslator-based translation.

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

Office 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

Maybe the ‘Office Boy’ in question had been somewhere in the German Democratic Republic in 1974, when Valinka dropped in on ‘Our Boys in East Germany’! 😉


Boldog 45. születésnapot, ‘Dál než nejdál’, ‘Padal déšť’ és ‘Píseň o kraji’!

On this day exactly four-and-a-half decades ago Valinka commenced the recording of her eponymous LP, which was to be released in the subsequent year, so it is a ‘Happy 45th Birthday!’ in Valinka’s native Hungarian to the following fabulous tracks.

The recording session of the day was for ‘Dál než nejdál’ (‘Further Than The Furthest’), ‘Padal déšť’ (‘The Rain Was Falling’) and ‘Píseň o kraji’ (‘Song About The Region’). These can all be played at the ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’ page, where the recording details and credits can be found.

I have previously featured the first and the last of these tracks on ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ and it is on the middle one on which I shall be concentrating today, especially as it maybe could be – as well as ‘Léta letí’ (‘Time Flies’) – some sort of ‘signature tune’, given the bars of the song played near the beginning and towards – and at – the end of the ‘Příběhy slavných – Léta letí’ (‘Stories Of The Famous – Time Flies’) documentary on Czech Television.

Here are the snippets of Vladimír Poštulka’s lyrics from the transcript, together with an ImTranslator translation.

Padal déšť do větví…

Rain fell into branches …

…padal déšť do větví,
chodil tmou po špičkách…

… rain fell into branches,
walked by in the darkness …

Fittingly, I sorted out some seasonally bare twigs from the garden and arranged them in my amber-coloured Czechoslovakian-made glass vase and sprinkled them with water to replicate the fallen rain in branches Valinka references in this song of breathy sophistication, grandeur and glamour, also – since, during the singing of those lyrics in the ‘Léta letí’ documentary, Valinka’s mortality is alluded to – reflecting the immortal cover shot by Vladivoj Burjanek…


…to say nothing of the rear cover shot, also by Vladivoj Burjanek, in which case I – maybe somewhat cheekily! – often think to myself that the emphasis is indeed on the ‘rear’! 😉


Is this one of those ultra-rare cases where the quality of the contents Valinka began to lay down on record forty-five years ago today can, for once, be judged by the cover?

It is also hoped that my three-tweeter, three sub-woofer, one super-woofer hi-fi system fully does justice to the grandeur of ‘Padal déšť’.

After all, glamour and grandeur were what Valinka ‘did’…so well!

Boldog 67. születésnapot, Valinka

Half a century ago today, Valinka would have become the age at which she would make her first recordings for vinyl and today she should have become sixty-seven, so, recalling that (accidentally!) I took her – or rather, her eponymous LP! – on a walk in the beautiful Derbyshire countryside on what just happened to be her ‘name day’ of 18thApril last year, I thought I’d do likewise, by way of a birthday treat, on the first of what should have been her birthdays at my new address. Here are the photos I took of that LP posed, the second pair of which, rather opportunistically, have a Derbyshire flag in the background!


Whenever thinking about Valinka and the countryside I am inevitably reminded of Petr Markov’s words to Valinka’s ‘V poschodí pátém’ (‘On The Fifth Floor’). Here they are with a couple of versions of an ImTranslator-based translation.

1. Z okna se dívám, v poschodí bydlím pátém

Jak sem a tam lidé chodí blátem

V městě k zbláznění plném aut

Když sama bývám, moc se mi stýská, po rodných loukách v dáli

Kde chlapec píšťalu z proutí píská

A kde zní chóry ptačích flaut

R: Bráním se bráním, bráním se přání

K lesům a stráním, zpátky se vrátit zas k nám

Kde snad každý kámen znám

Čistému dni vstříc brouzdat ránem

Vědět že čas víc není mým pánem

Prostě jen tak žít a šťastná být

Třeba jenom pár dní

3. Z okna se dívám, v poschodí pátém, u nás jsou domky nízké

A táta plot dávno už spravil drátem

Mně však zdá se teď hezčí tím

Nádraží blízké, proč na ně koukám a nejdu si koupit lístek
Když výpravčí mává a rychlík houká
Ach jak ráda bych jela s ním


1. From the window I watch on the fifth floor where I live

As here and there people walk in mud

The city full of maddening cars

When I live alone, I’m really homesick for its native meadows in the distance

Where the boy whistles with a straw whistle

Where choruses of birds sound

R: the gateway to the goal, the defending card

The forests and hillsides, before returning again to us

Where I know almost every stone

Clean day meet browse morning

Knowing that more time is not my master

Simply just live and be happy

Maybe just a couple of days

3. From the window I watch the fifth floor, in our houses are low

Dad has made a long wire fence

But to me it seems nicer now that

Station nearby, why I look at them and I’m not going to buy a ticket
When the dispatcher waving and hooting express
Oh how I would go with him


1. I look out of the window, on the fifth floor where I live

how to get here and there people go in mud

in maddening full of cars

I’m usually by myself
when I miss, too, the native pastures far away

where the straw whistle of the boy whistles

and where sounds choruses of birds

R: resist resist, resist the wishes of

to forests and hillsides, back to go back again to us

where I know every stone

Neat day toward a morning surf

Know that more time is not my master

just to live and be happy
only a few days

3. I look out of the window, in the fifth floor, in our low houses

and my father a long time ago already fixed wire fence

To me, however, now this seems to be nicer

Station nearby, why them and I’m not going to buy a ticket
when the dispatcher waving and express train there
Oh how I’d love to go with him

To play ‘V poschodí pátém’ and for the recording details and other performing/composition credits please go to the ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’ page of ‘Bananas For Breakfast’.

Next time – all being well! – I’ll actually have a copy of that single to take with me to places ‘where I know every stone’!