Boldog születésnapot, ‘Belfast’!

In a remarkable case of ‘fair exchange’, Valérie Čižmárová’s first single – a Jazz-style treatment of Bobby Hebb’s ‘Sunny’ – was a song later also covered, in Disco style, by Boney M, whose ‘Belfast’ was, in turn, covered by Valinka and recorded on 2nd January 1978. The music was by Drafi Deutscher and the Czech-language lyrics were by Jaroslav Machek, with the musical accompaniment coming from Pražské smyčce.

While the emerald-toned outfit Valinka is wearing in the photo associated with the video is entirely fitting for a song entitled ‘Belfast’, judging by the images I have encountered of Valinka I would say that that would probably date from some three years previously.

To get a better picture of what Valinka would have looked like at the time of the recording of ‘Belfast’ one would have to take a step back a couple of days to the New Year’s Eve TV special from 1977, (which I missed marking on New Year’s Eve…so I’ll have to make up for that omission next year on its fortieth anniversary!) ‘Silvestr na přání, aneb – čí jsou hory Kavčí’, on which she had performed a rendition, in Hungarian, of Kati Kovács’ ‘Rock and roller’ – here speaking with the show’s presenter, Vladimír Menšík, the popular Actor (mostly, apparently, in roles of a comic nature) and Entertainer who had appeared in such well-loved films as ‘Dívka na koštěti’ (‘Girl On A Broomstick’), starring the multi-talented Pop Star, Petra Černocká, as the teenage witch, Saxana and also ‘Jak utopit Dr. Mráčka aneb Konec vodníků v Čechách’ (‘How To Drown Dr. Mráček, Or The End Of The River Sprites In The Czech Lands’) in which Valinka had had a minor on-screen role as a singer and in which Valinka’s ‘Tak měj mě rád’ (‘So Just Love Me’)  and ‘Koňskou dráhou’ (‘On The Horse Tram’) were played as background music. Like Valinka, Vladimír Menšík was an Entertainer who departed this Earth still in his fifties and he was a huge admirer. I always think to myself, though, “how could anybody fail to be an admirer of Valinka?”


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