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28. 11. 2023
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    Divadelní noviny >

    Joan Baez: Havel

    Praha, říjen 2006 (v době konference Forum 2.000). Snímek archiv




    A hotel in Bratislava

    On a concert day.

    The evening will be televised,


    Vaclav Havel and his fellow dissidents will come tonight.

    They are driving down from Prague.

    The hotel phone rings at last and I jump

    Only a little jump, but the chair falls over

    Me, Hello?

    A voice, Hyello. Hmmm. Dis is Havel. I am in Lobby. Hmmm. Very myenny police.

    My room fills with dissidents

    All wrapped in cigarette smoke

    Havel looks like a kid

    He is smiling a humorous, pleased smile.

    Live Television?

    We agree to make mischief.

    Havel speaks syllables into my cassette recorder.

    I write them out in phonetics on scratch paper.

    The words say

    I’d like to welcome to this evening’s concert

    my good friend Vaclav Havel!

    In Czech.

    I with an earpiece in my ear

    And my notes

    I will slowly repeat the syllables into the microphone.

    But first

    More mischief? I ask

    Yes, yes. More mischief!

    We decide he will carry my guitar to the entrance of the hall

    And we will tell the police he is my road manager.

    He will hand it to someone else and we will all lock arms to get him to the relative safety of the balcony, in the middle of the crowd..


    – More mischyef. Hmmmmm. Dere is guy, hmmmm singer. Ivan Hoffman

    He lives here in Bratislava hmmmm

    Can not sing in public for several years


    Tell him to bring his guitar,

    You can feel it in the air

    The unrest,

    The undaunting feeling of

    „change is gonna come“

    The people will be unstoppable now.

    They wade forward

    Into the tide

    As it sucks itself out to sea

    Gathering strength

    For the coming storm

    While the spotlights beam and dance on the crowd

    I say my little piece and gesture in a tall wide arc to the balcony.

    … to my good friend Vaclav Havel!

    And the crowd explodes.

    The officials cut the sound off.

    So I stand there facing upwards and sing

    Over the crowd

    Swing Low, Sweet Charriot

    Without a microphone,

    And the hall goes silent

    As that song soars up and seeps into his soul

    And stays there forever.

    That’s what he’s told me anyway,

    Over the years when I have gone back to visit and chat,

    In the theatre where the new constitution was written

    By poets and writers and mathematicians,

    All wrapped in cigarette smoke

    Or in the palace

    In your office

    Heavily decorated with grand gifts

    From grand people of the world

    And where the statue of the Golden Lady

    Looks on when you perform your presidential duties

    Signing things and answering the phone…

    And you are both

    all wrapped in cigarette smoke.

    There is one room in the palace

    Cloaked in gloom.

    Exactly the way the Communists left it.



    All wrapped in meanness.

    After the storm,

    After the victory,

    After the lights of the fireworks dim,

    No one has slept

    When the dawn comes in

    There is a shiver of disbelief as the sun comes up on a new world

    The silent ones, like moles, come up from their pitch black warren

    Squinting at the sun

    You see there? They say, pointing, The risk takers!

    You knew there would be no real change

    Without the risks,

    And you took them all.

    I’m so glad you went on smoking

    After the doctors told you to quit,

    You loved it so!

    The Dali Llama will agree

    You’d had the ten thousand sorrows

    It is time for the ten thousand joys


    Joan Baez, December 22, 2011

    Národní třída, 17. listopad  2009. Snímek archiv

    • Autor:
    • Publikováno: 27. prosince 2011

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