* I am going to do something really bold here and that is adjusting English vocabulary to my own taste. This post is about the lyrics of a song that plays a lot with Czech diminutives. There is no other way I can think of which English uses to express such diminutives other than the suffix “-let” as in piglet or booklet. “Little book” isn’t fine for me because Czech diminutives are formed by a cute-sounding suffix, usually “ček” for masculine gender, “čka” for feminine gender and “čko” for neuter. Why is this suffix cute-sounding: because Bulgarian (my native language) makes use of very similar diminutives but not that excessively. And diminutives are cute, right? I realise this post might not be of any interest to people who aren’t interested in Czech but I guess this applies for my whole blog (right now). I’m sorry. I do think and experience other things, too but I write about them in my diary. 🙂 So, enjoy this post and never mind the let-s! And if everyone has a better idea how I can translate these diminutives, please, do contact me. :)*
I’m not sure but I’m probably the first Bulgarian woman in the world who’s become a fan of the Czech song Love, humility and sunlet by the performer Captain Demo. Of course, I might be just terribly underestimating the world and in fact the song in question might have a lot more girl fans from my home country. This isn’t important anyway. I’ve never craved being first in anything.
I feel it, however, as my duty to note this song in my blog because it’s the first Czech song I like to such extent that I play it over and over again and I even sat down and tried to translate its lyrics. The only other Czech song I like is called Cow by Barbora Poláková. You can hear it below; it’s really nice. If Lukash hadn’t got so nervous while we were both translating Love… I’d have surely translated it, too but I guess I’ll leave it for another time when the level of my Czech will be high enough to allow me to translate lyrics unassisted.
Both my favourite Czech songs prove that my love for this country’s local music can be based only on the lyrics of the songs and, more specifically, on two elements of theirs: the degree to which I understand them and the degree to which they’re interesting. For some reason I don’t like Czech music at all – the language sounds too funny for me when it’s used for singing to make me take the songs seriously, to fall in love with them, to imagine I perform them in front of an audience while I’m listening to them on my way to Kaufland and so on. It’s not like that with Bulgarian music. For example, I often listen to Ostava or P.I.F* (*both band actually perform in English, too, you can hear them here and here) although a great part of their lyrics: a) make no sense at all b) are impossible for me to understand or c) both. I have no problems with French songs – they all sound equally beautiful no matter what they’re about. And as far as English-language songs go – yes, I do listen to them closely and, honestly, every time I hear the word “tonight” in a song I cringe (does anything worth singing about happens during the night, for God’s sake, or is it just because that word rhymes very easily?) but, for example, I like Baker Man.
And so… I suggest you play my favourite Czech song. The photo you see below isn’t suggestive for the song. It’s just Captain Demo – its author. I apologise for the imperfectness of the translation but I remind you that 1) I’ve been studying Czech “seriously” only since September and 2) Lukash got very nervous while we were listening to it. Have a nice listen.
P.S. Bear with this post until its end to understand why I like this song!
Love, humility and sunlet
Aaaaaaaa-ya-ya-ya-ya ya-ya-ya-ya yaaaaaa-ya-yaaaaaaaaa (x2)
Each morning I take a bath
And then I do the Five Tibetan Rites
And before I go into the bathtub
I play Čtyři dohody*
I lie in the bathtub approximately for an hour
I light myself some candles
And an incense stick
My legs are like quark**
And my hands – like paper
I think about nature
I thank the Universe
Love, humility and sunlet
Lentils, chickpeas and applelet
I drink cafelet and also tealet
And some saladlet like slicelet bread to the side
Love, humility and sunlet
Soya or tofu meatlet
Basillet and also corn saladlet
And the sunrise is my alarm clocklet
I grow everything myself
I’m Mr. Organic, the biggest man
I hoe my garden
Barefoot, in a tie dye T-shirt
I’d never kill even a mosquito
(I leave them buzzing) like a country guitar all night long
The next morning I’m all swollen, I have wounds everywhere
And because of that I start dancing
Chorus x 1
(I stink so much) it can’t get any worse
Because (generally) I don’t wash myself with soap
No shampoos, no perfumes
What I love the most is sleeping on the ground
My child goes to forest school
I only travel and look at bugs (?)
I carry beans and a bit of kefir
Seedlet and (ambassadorlet) of the Universe
* It turned out it’s a book by someone called Don Miguel Ruiz who believes the Toltec wisdom can be applied to our daily life in order for us to achieve personal freedom and some other stuff the Czech Wikipedie says that I don’t understand.
** Quark (in Czech “tvaroh”) is a very delicious thing, similar to curd but smoother and neutrally flavoured that’s very often used as filling for strudels or other sweet doughy things.
And finally: I like this song because I understand it, because of the rhythm, because of the almost incessant Aaaaaaaa-ya-ya-ya-ya ya-ya-ya-ya yaaaaaa-ya-yaaaaaaaaa, because it calms me but mainly because it plays with the nicest part of Czech grammar – the diminutives. That’s enough, isn’t it? I’m yet to find out whether the rest of Captain Demo’s songs are as good as this one.
And now, Cow. 🙂