In this series we introduce 100 songs that have gone down in the history of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic. Vote in the big poll of the 100 Hits of the Republic and pick the greatest hit today. We continue with the year 1935.
The Czechoslovak Republic’s Parliamentary elections took place on May 19th. The most votes were given to the Sudetenland, and the most mandates were received by the Republican Party of Farmers and Peasants.
On December 14th, at the Chateau in Lány, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk abdicated as President of the Czechoslovak Republic due to health reasons.
On December 18th, a new president, Edvard Beneš, was elected.
On January 13th Jan and Kaja Saudek were born (a world-famous photographer and a renowned comic book author).
Jára Beneš, the composer of today's hit, was our most successful operetta composer during the First Republic and the Protectorate period. His "Our Old Imperial and Royal Field Marshal" was already introduced as a hit in 1930 and it was followed by a number of other operetta and film triumphs. As a music writer he worked with the most successful Czech film directors of the time and many of his songs are well known to this day. Another of Beneš’s well-known operettas is “On That Green Meadow” from 1935. The lyrics of one of the songs from that performance goes “…he who becomes accustomed to love finds it hard to quit." The phrase may also apply to the marriage of Jára Beneš to a German woman. His admiration towards everything related to Germany and the Nazi party could have stemmed from this mixed marriage.
In the spring of 1945, the composer, whose operettas were playing all over Europe, emigrated to the war torn city of Vienna to escape post-war investigations. He soon found work as a pianist in a wine cellar. In post-war Czechoslovakia, his name and melodies were considered taboo for many years. His songs were not allowed to be played again until the end of the 1960’s. Here is one of them - again from the operetta “On That Green Meadow.” It still remains the most successful Czech operetta from pre-war Czechoslovakia with 2700 repeats. That's also where the popular hit song, “I would like to have your photo in a golden frame,” comes from.