In my recent Valérie Čižmárová-related research I have been reminded that – in like manner to the way in which the up-tempo Soul of ‘Důkaz mi dej’ was backed by the mournful ‘Huascarán’ – the flip side to one of Valérie’s ‘fluffier’ offerings, ‘To je léto’ (‘It’s Summer’) was ‘Synu můj’, which was a covering of Paul McCartney’s protest song, ‘Give Ireland Back To The Irish’. (Unfortunately, ‘Synu můj’ is neither available on YouTube, nor Spotify, nor via my Myspace account). One has to keep reminding oneself that a song like ‘Synu můj’ was recorded by a twenty-year-old and the premier little blonde poppet of the Czechoslovak record industry of the time, but if one does look at the cover shot one can tell that the sentiments are more to do with the shade of the B-Side than with the sunshine of the A-Side. Nobody could level their eyes at the camera quite like Valérie could. She might be cute, but she can also bite! Can anybody think of a more compelling-looking young lady in Pop than this? Hypnotic!…and the Socialism of the former Eastern Bloc was supposed to be all about happy, shiny people and ‘anodyne’ Pop Stars, wasn’t it? I can think of few people any less ‘anodyne’ than Valérie. Helena ‘Vanilla-dráčková’ – which, relative to the likes of Valérie, I have perhaps unkindly thought of the biggest name of the lot, Helena Vondráčková, at times over this past year or so – she was not!