Tuesday, January 09, 2007

My 7,000th iTunes Song & The Czech Blind Date It Brings to Mind

This evening, I ripped my 7,000th song onto iTunes.* No. 7,000 comes from Cechomor's 2002 live album (called, simply, Live).

The CD is a Christmas gift from the Hrabaneks (my former landlord's family, specifically his daughter Michaela) in Prague and it arrived on my doorstep yesterday. Since the 7,020 tracks I now have include some podcasts and some spoken word stuff and the like, let's just give every track on this album credit for being No. 7,000.

Cechomor is a Czech folk group who sing exclusively in their native language, although their 2001 album Promeny contains an English version of the title track, which was all over the radio when I was living in Prague. I remember singing along with Promeny, in Czech, and having no idea what the words meant until I got the English version: Promeny translates as "Transformations" and it's a Czech folk song about a woman changing into different shapes in order to escape some poor sonofabitch who's hopelessly in love with her and doesn't want to take no for an answer.

"I'd rather turn myself into a squirrel and run across high branches, to get away from you," sings the female character in one part of the song, "I'll never give myself to you; I'll never give my body to you." Replies the man: "And I will get my sharp axe from my little woodshed, and cut down those branches and you will fall to my arms. Sure as the sun shall rise, I know God will make you mine." Great song.

Why does this bring a blind date to mind? Was I stalking some poor Czech girl? No. Actually, the CD I ripped earlier is culled from the band's two-night stint at Sky Club Brumlovka in Prague in April of 2002. On one of those nights, I was in the front row, on a blind date with a Czech girl who looked a little bit like Sloth from Goonies.

I really shouldn't be so mean - she was an incredibly sweet girl. The ugliest girl I met while living in Prague, yes, but I don't regret going out with her one bit. The concert was great and even though some of my Czech friends thought I was lame for liking a radio-friendly local folk group, I could get away with it because I was a foreigner. While I lived in Prague, I was all about Czech and Slovak pop music - easy to sing along with and easy to form emotional attachments to.

* With apologies to the thousands of songs I've deleted (purposely and otherwise) or just never ripped.

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