Olympic: Pták Rosomák (Supraphon, 1968)

2 Mar

A version of the title song from Olympic’s 1968 album  Pták Rosomák (The Wolf-Bird), whose history and significance in Czechoslovakia’s musical history have already been discussed in earlier posts.  The rather surreal song, comparable in many respects to similarly eccentric recordings made by British and American psychedelic bands of the same era, can be listened to here, and a version of the Czech lyric can be read here. Intriguingly, an English language version of the song also exists, with somewhat differently inclined lyrics to those of the Czech release: this version, I’m Stupid, can be heard here, and is accompanied by film footage of the band larking about, in a manner derived fairly clearly from A Hard Day’s Night, while in Paris circa 1969.

Pták Rosomák (Wolf-Bird)

(after Pavel Chrastina/Petr Janda, 1968)

I have a cold today Wolf-bird.
God sent me this blow.

My keys are in God’s hand.
I can’t continue, can’t go on.

Wolf-bird, fear is in my throat.
I can’t go on or take a breath.

Wolf-bird eyes stare me out,
stalk and scare me, catch my keys.

Wolf-bird has my keys in its beak.
I see it. Fear is in my throat.

Wolf-bird eyes stare me out.
My keys are heavy, hurt its teeth.

Drop them, Wolf-bird. I’ll give you…
something. Or something else.

I’ll give you a grain of opium.
The shock! A Wolf-bird blink.

My keys swing in Wolf-bird’s beak.
I have a cold today. I’m down.

Wolf-bird’s beak is in my throat.
My keys are lost. I can’t go on.

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