Archive | January, 2013

Hana a Petr Ulrychovi a Vulkán: Sen (Supraphon, 1967)

6 Jan

This is a very early song by Petr Ulrych, performed with Hana Ulrychova and Vulkán, that predates the more famous collaborations with Atlantis of the following year. Sen (Dream) is the b-side of a 7″ single issued on Supraphon in 1967, the a-side being Seď a Tiše Poslouchej (Sit Quietly and Listen). Sen explores a theme of insomnia while hinting at a love story in the background, as though the song’s protagonist conflates sleep and the dreams it might bring with an absent lover who, like the branches of those trees, fails to knock at the door as she hopes and so, paradoxically, keeps her awake by not disturbing the silence or appearing at her window: that curiously aural image of the ‘angelus bell’ underscores this atmosphere of expectation by registering as sound even as it goes unheard. The Czech lyric can be read on the Ulrychovis’ own website here and the song itself, with its hypnotic sleepwalking twang and touch of Roy Orbison’s In Dreams about the arrangement, can be listened to here.

Sen (Dream)

(after Petr Ulrych, 1967)

Come the evening, everything turns to a dream.
Everything turns to a dream when evening comes.

These branches at my window, like an angelus bell,
do not come knocking or press their leaves to glass,
do not fall straight into the room where I’ll sleep.
How can I sleep when it starts to seem like this?

I don’t even look: if sleep doesn’t stay, I’m alone, afraid.
Everything turns to a dream when evening comes.

The day has been waiting. All day the evening comes.
I wait so long for the dream that evening brings
but these branches at my window, like an angelus bell,
do not come knocking or press their leaves to glass.

They do not lean on shadows in the room where I’ll sleep.
How can I sleep when it starts to seem like this?
When, in the moment I dream, I wake and want to talk?
So I wait again today, and then again all day, and then?

Then, come the evening, everything turns to a dream.
Everything turns to a dream when evening comes.

Do I sleep, after so long waiting, so long alone, afraid?
It seems these branches at my window, like an angelus bell,
will not come knocking or press their leaves to glass,
will not fall through the room where I’ll sleep tonight.

Come the evening, everything turns to a dream.
Everything turns to a dream when evening comes.

generic-sleeve-supraphon-5