In this series we present 100 songs which have gone down in the history of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic. They became widely popular, were played during important time periods, and some even won the hit parade of the year. Today we continue with the year 1942.
In our last segments we discussed the increasing importance of operetta, beginning in 1930 and continuing throughout the first Republic and protectorate periods. Ordinary people from all walks of life began to appear in place of princes and handsome Austrian officers. The contrast proved to be important. It caught the interest of visitors and as a result, shows were sold out not only in Prague, but even in small villages like Husí Lhotě – a village more than fifty kilometers from Prague.
The enormous box-office success was also due to the music itself. The shows no longer revolved around complex scenes and arduous arias. Instead, the important thing was the handful of imaginative and easy to learn songs accompanied by dance worthy rhythms. Some ballets even adopted similar music, as traditional polka and waltz no longer sufficed for the new operetta. Writers began to be inspired by modern dance, usually specific Czech waltzes and folk-song tangos. As a result, the songs were distinctively melodic and rhythmic. This is apparent in Josef Stelibský’s hit “Blackbird Fox,” from the film “Arthur and Leontine,” about a blackbird who is courting his future bird bride.