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Karel Kryl Anděl
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dzurisova
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Joined: 13 Apr 2006
Posts: 1710
Location: Michigan, USA

PostPosted: 03-Dec-10 5:25  Reply with quote

Can someone please translate this song. I have a feeling the phrases mean more than the collection of words because when I translate it with the help of google and slovnik, the words aren't making much sense. Also, when you watch the video and look at the faces of the listeners, you'd think Karel Kryl is singing about their salvation. I've not seen faces like that when listening to a singer, except in church where one is singing about the listener's Lord and Savior, the One they deeply love and appreciate for saving them from eternal damnation. Goodness, these people are REALLY into this song - one grown man looks as if he's going to cry so I'm quite curious what he's singing about and why it seems to touch the hearts of the listeners so much.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9ouKCi7_fQ[/url]

Z rozmlacenyho kostela
v krabici s kusem mydla
prinesl sem si andela
Polamali mu kridla
Dival se na mne oddane
ja mel jsem trochu tremu
tak vtiskl jsem mu do dlane
lahvicku od parfemu
A proto prosim ver mi
chtel jsem ho zadat
aby mi mezi dvermi
pomol hadat
co me ceka
a nemine
co me ceka
a nemine
Pak hlidali sme oblohu
pozorujice ptaky
debatujice o Bohu
a hrani na vojaky
Do tvare jsem mu nevidel
pokousel se ji schovat
To asi ptakum zavidel
ze mohou poletovat
A proto prosim ver mi
chtel jsem ho zadat
aby mi mezi dvermi
pomol hadat
co me ceka
a nemine
co me ceka
a nemine
Kdyz novinky mi sdeloval
u okna do loznice
ja kridla jsem mu ukoval
z mosazny nabojnice
A tak jsem pozbyl andela
on oknem odletel mi
vsak pritel pri mi udela
novyho z moji helmy
A proto prosim ver mi
chtel jsem ho zadat
aby mi mezi dvermi
pomol hadat
co me ceka
a nemine
co me ceka
a nemine
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Alexx
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Location: Karviná & Praha, Czech Republic

PostPosted: 03-Dec-10 5:44  Reply with quote

I of course know the song, everyone here knows it, but I have never given it much thought.

I think you are trough, "angel" represents faith, in both God and better future, while "nábojnice (shell, catridge)" represents communist fight against it.

Most of Kryl's songs (we call them "protest-song" in czech) have anti-regime political meaning, this is why he was banned during communism and then emigrated to West Germany.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karel_Kryl
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wer
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Location: East Bohemia

PostPosted: 03-Dec-10 14:35  Reply with quote

I don't think it's about communism, in my opinion it's solely about tedious military service.

Quote:
Z rozmlácenýho kostela
From a church in ruins
v krabici s kusem mýdla
in a box with a piece of soap
přinesl jsem si anděla
I brought home an angel
Polámali mu křídla
they broke his wings
Díval se na mne oddaně
He gazed at me devotedly
já měl jsem trochu trému
and I was a little jittered
tak vtiskl jsem mu do dlaně
lahvičku od parfému
so I pressed in his hand
an empty parfume bottle


A proto prosím věř mi
And therefore please believe me
chtěl jsem ho žádat
I wanted to ask him
aby mi mezi dveřmi
pomohl hádat
to help me, right in the door (~ instantly),
to foretell

co mě čeká
a nemine
what's awaiting me
and can't be avoid

co mě čeká
a nemine
what's awaiting me
and can't be avoid


Pak hlídali jsme oblohu
Then we observed (~guarded) the sky
pozorujíce ptáky
watching birds
debatujíce o Bohu
a hraní na vojáky
dabating about God
and about playing soldiers


Do tváře jsem mu neviděl
I could not see into his cheek (~ through him)
pokoušel se ji schovat
he tried to hide it
To asi ptákům záviděl
As he likely envied the birds
že mohou poletovat
that they can flit freely.

A proto prosím věř mi
And therefore please believe me
...
...

Když novinky mi sděloval
When he was telling me news
u okna do ložnice
at my bedroom window
já křídla jsem mu ukoval
I forged him new wings
z mosazný nábojnice
out of a brass cartridge case.
A tak jsem pozbyl anděla
And this way I lost my angel
on oknem odletěl mi
he flew away through the window
však přítel prý mi udělá
novýho z mojí helmy
nathless a friend promised me
a new one made of my helmet.


A proto prosím věř mi
And therefore please believe me
...
...


Two explanatory notes:
  • Most of the soldiers served in spacious proving grounds made of forcedly depopulated territories, hence the churches (and whole villages) in ruins.
  • Forging souvenirs of empty cartridges was common amusement of soldiers.
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dzurisova
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Joined: 13 Apr 2006
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Location: Michigan, USA

PostPosted: 03-Dec-10 15:55  Reply with quote

Thanks for the translation. So please explain (if you know) why these listeners look at him so intensely like they are about to cry - like he's singing about some thing so dearing to their heart?

I figured it had something to do with a future hope (salvation), but the words and Wer's explanation don't really convey that. *shruggs*
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wer
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PostPosted: 03-Dec-10 17:06  Reply with quote

dzurisova wrote:
Thanks for the translation. So please explain (if you know) why these listeners look at him so intensely like they are about to cry - like he's singing about some thing so dearing to their heart?

For they were listening to an iconic singer who was for the first time after two decades in exile allowed to sing freely in public?

The record is from some of the Kryl's concerts during Velvet Revolution. Compare it with this record from the concert on December 3, 1989.

Kryl was on the list under communism, but he was always very popular (suprisingly also in Poland). People copied records from before he exiled, smuggled his records across the Iron Curtain or listened to him on Svobodná Evropa. Most of the other protest singers were openly his epigons (including your favorite Nohavica Wink).

The Velvet Revolution happened accidentally when Kryl was allowed to stay in Czechoslovakia for a few days because of the funeral of his mother, so he could appear in front of the revolutionary crowds as a kind of revelation from behind the Iron Curtain.
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dzurisova
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Joined: 13 Apr 2006
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Location: Michigan, USA

PostPosted: 03-Dec-10 19:31  Reply with quote

Just to clarify, when I used the term "salvation" in talking about the future hope, I was making the analogy to salvation from the communist party and salvation from hell. I figured the listeners were thinking of salvation from communism.

Couple questions though Were:
wer wrote:
Most of the other protest singers were openly his epigons (including your favorite Nohavica Wink).


I had to google the word "epigon" Smile I've heard often that Nohavica is an inferior version of Karel Kryl which is why I was trying to listen to some Karel Kryl last night. However, after a few songs, I had to switch to my favorite Nohavica. Although Kryl is little easier on the eyes than Nohavica (I hate looking at Nohavica because he always looks so unkept and unbathed), Kryl's music just isn't as entertaining. Even Nohavica's slow songs grab one's emotions better and Nohavica has a better signing voice. I think Nohavica is considered an inferior version because his words and personal actions weren't as "protesting" as Kryl's. Perhaps Kryl's songs have more depth, but since I never had to live in Communism and I really don't understand the words anyway, I'll favor voice and music or depth and significance. Razz


wer wrote:
The Velvet Revolution happened accidentally when Kryl was allowed to stay in Czechoslovakia for a few days because of the funeral of his mother, so he could appear in front of the revolutionary crowds as a kind of revelation from behind the Iron Curtain.


This statement probed the curiousity in me. Although I had previously read about the Velvet Revolution, I just went back and read wikipedia and the entire time line. However, it doesn't mention Karel Kryl at all. I'm curious about it though. So how did it happen?

Kryl came back for his mother's funeral and was allowed to hold concerts, despite that he was banned? (Were tickets sold or free?) Then the concerts themselves inspired the group of protestors to begin protesting.

or

Kryl came back and secretly spoke with and inspired the protestors to protest and the concerts were held after the protests and after the Velvet Revolution?

I'm leaning toward the second scenario because, one - it makes more sense and two - the concerts appear to have the Channel # in the corner Smile But I also know (through the wikipedia time-line) that TV started broadcasting things that weren't normally allowed during the Velvet Revolution. And your statement (see quote below) confuses me as well, making me think it could be the first option.
wer wrote:
so he could appear in front of the revolutionary crowds as a kind of revelation from behind the Iron Curtain

What does this exactly mean?
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dzurisova
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PostPosted: 03-Dec-10 20:06  Reply with quote

On second thought, perhaps there's a 3rd option - a mixture of the first two. -- Kryl came back for his mother's funeral, began to secretly speak with and inspire protestors, protests formed and in the midst of the protests, Kryl held a large concert, in which the TV broadcasts because the TV employees had also risen against communism and joined in the protests. (see Nov. 22nd in the Wikipedia timeline http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velvet_Revolution which talks about the TV employees making demands)

Anyhow, previously, when reading about the Velvet Revolution, I always questioned what it was that finally gave them the courage to protests. I'm sure it had mostly to do with political changes around them but it would be interesting to know if and how music played a significant role in motivating them to finally take a stand after all those years of living under oppression.

Also, when reading the timeline, I was amazed that how those peaceful protests could make such significant changes. It begs the question, why didn't the people protest years previously. Obviously, the answer lies in the political atmosphere surrounding the protests. Perhaps, there must be more than simply a peaceful protests to make a change. There must be other forces and muscle behind the protests such as a hero of mine declaring "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

Or maybe not. Perhaps if none of the other outside political events had occurred, and the protests broke out, communism in Czechoslovakia would have fell? I doubt it, but what do you all think?
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dzurisova
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PostPosted: 03-Dec-10 20:31  Reply with quote

I know I just keep posting, but this is so interesting to me. My favorite subject to study in history was the American Civil Rights Movement. This is pretty much the same thing - people fighting for their individual freedom. And peaceful fights are more interesting than any of them. Music played a significant role in the American Civil Rights movement as well - mostly by shaping the minds of the Vietnam war objectors who also became involved in the Civil Rights Movement. Unfortunately, those war objectors were defending communism then and some of them still spend their days defending today's communist leaders. Too bad they can't make the connection of the oppressed black Americans and oppressed individuals living in communism. Confused

Anyway, I'd love to get my hands on some videos of the Velvet Revolution. Were there many people in Czechoslovakia then with home video cameras? I know in 1989 in the States many homes had one, but it was probably not the case in communism. Is there much home video footage of the movement out there? What about TV footage once the TV employees took a stand and started filming - are those available these days? What about newspaper photos? I have a friend in Prague who was one of the protesters there. I'll ask him if he knows of anything as well.
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dzurisova
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PostPosted: 03-Dec-10 20:33  Reply with quote

I'm figuring one of you administrators need to move most of this post to culture or something. Sorry I got off topic Smile
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wer
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PostPosted: 03-Dec-10 21:02  Reply with quote

dzurisova wrote:
I had to google the word "epigon" Smile I've heard often that Nohavica is an inferior version of Karel Kryl which is why I was trying to listen to some Karel Kryl last night. However, after a few songs, I had to switch to my favorite Nohavica. Although Kryl is little easier on the eyes than Nohavica (I hate looking at Nohavica because he always looks so unkept and unbathed), Kryl's music just isn't as entertaining. Even Nohavica's slow songs grab one's emotions better and Nohavica has a better signing voice. I think Nohavica is considered an inferior version because his words and personal actions weren't as "protesting" as Kryl's. Perhaps Kryl's songs have more depth, but since I never had to live in Communism and I really don't understand the words anyway, I'll favor voice and music or depth and significance. Razz

You have to put it into the right time context. Nohavica was young promising singer of the last years of cummunism while Kryl was seasoned singer. Kryl and Vysocký were Nohavica's idols in this era and influenced most of his early songs. Nohavica naturally devoloped in different way after the revolution and you judge him based on his post-revolution works.

Today's Nohavica is definitely more multifarious musician than Kryl ever was. Kryl was better lyricist, poet and political and social critic, but he was always somehow one-sided.

But Kryl could be funny as well, see this or this. He only took the fun music more carelessly than Nohavica.

(If you want some primarily funny dissident singers, try Pepa Nos' I'm an agent of CIA. Twisted Evil)

Quote:
Kryl came back for his mother's funeral and was allowed to hold concerts, despite that he was banned? (Were tickets sold or free?) Then the concerts themselves inspired the group of protestors to begin protesting.

or

Kryl came back and secretly spoke with and inspired the protestors to protest and the concerts were held after the protests and after the Velvet Revolution?

No, the revolution started independently of Kryl, but Kryl was by coincidence in Prague during it because Red Cross helped him to attend the funeral. (I should write "while" instead of "when", right?) Other people in exile were not able to arrive so quickly.

Practically all the mass demonstration during the revolution were mass concerts as well and nobody asked for permission. It was spontaneous. When I write in front of revolutionary crowd, I mean it literally.

Quote:
I'm leaning toward the second scenario because, one - it makes more sense and two - the concerts appear to have the Channel # in the corner Smile

The TV logo is from later TV broadcasting of the old records. After all, it's Czech TV logo, not Czechoslovak TV.
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