Atlantis/Hana a Petr Ulrychovi: Za Vodou Za Horou (Trezor, 1969/1990)

8 Jul

Not much need for explanation in this hymn to a landscape, beautifully sung by Hana Ulrychova and – like Ticho initially recorded for Odyssea, the shelved 1969 debut LP by Atlantis and brother and sister duo Hana & Petr Ulrychovi (the LP finally saw the light in 1990 on Supraphon’s Trezor imprint, set up mainly as a home for the reissue of long-banned and previously unreleased titles from the label’s late sixties and early seventies catalogue). A version of the song recorded for TV broadcast in the early 70s can be seen here, and the original Czech lyric can be read here.

Za vodou za horou (For Water, For Mountains)

(after Petr Ulrych, 1969)

for water for mountains it slowly dawns
that water and mountains house singing birds
for water and mountains grant us views
for water and mountains sound with trains

you find the water-shadow of an innocent girl
ghost-herds and gold-mines goat-herds and grass

soft wedges and echoes flood the glassy hours
when light breaks on sleep and you calmly rise

for in water and mountains gods might live
for in water and mountains is soft grass grown
for in water and mountains it slowly dawns
that water and mountains sound with trains

in all these white distances your sleeping face
is all the innocence I’ll know or might hear sung

you trace a wet shadow at the river’s edge
a young girl’s footprint pressed in water on stone

for in water and mountains it slowly dawns
that water and mountains house singing birds
for water and mountains might grant us views
where water and mountains sound with trains

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