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Šumaři, Šumaři


For most musicians, checking their musical instrument is unthinkable. It's like taking your baby as checked luggage—you just can't do it! Instruments require special care and are often valuable sentimentally as well as monetarily. It was already inconvenient to travel on commercial airlines with an instrument before last week's terrorism scare. Now, it's even worse: due to new baggage restrictions at Heathrow, passengers are not allowed to take any in-cabin baggage. Musicians cannot take their instruments with them as carry-ons even if they buy a seat for the instrument.

The BBC carried a few stories that would disturb any musician who's travelled by plane with an instrument. Musicians from Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra are reportedly forced to travel home from London by train. The musicians, who play on instruments that belong to the state, cannot part with their instruments "under any circumstances." The BBC also carried the story of Julia Morneweg, a London-based cellist. "These restrictions are a disaster for me," she said, and related the story of checking her cello (valued at 19,000 USD) from London to Zurich. Yikes. At the end of the journey, the instrument was placed on the conveyor belt (!), and upon opening the case, Morneweg found scratches on the varnish.

I guess more musicians will be travelling by ground transport from now on (when possible). It reminded me of this comic poem from Czech poet Vítězslav Nezval. The craziness continues, as we find new and improved methods of transit, particularly over holidays and other prime travel times! The version below is my transcription from the album Šumaři by the Czech group Javory (music by Petr Ulrych, Venkow Records 986 586-9, 2003).


Šumaři

Jedou jedou šumaři
šumaři šumaři
na zeleným trakaři
trakaři trakaři

silnice je velmi pestrá
jako vždycky na Silvestra
a ten holub na báni
vrká že jdou cikáni
jdou za nima psi a děti
čarodějky na koštěti
na hlavy jim hustě sněží
kdo nevěří ať tam běží



Wandering Musicians (rough translation, suggestions welcome)

The wandering musicians are coming
On a green wheelbarrow

The way is very festive
As always on New Year’s Eve
And the pigeon on the cupola
Is cooing that gypsies are coming
After them dogs and children are coming
Witches on brooms
With thick snow on their heads
Anyone who doesn’t believe it should go look.


Article: BBC NEWS | Europe | Cabin baggage ban hits musicians
About Nezval: Wikipedia, Twisted Spoon Press.

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Comments:

Blogger P'tit-Loup said . . .

May I suggest "troubadour?" They were wandering musicians in the middle age. I'm not sure if it is an english word as well, but is widely used in french.    

5:46 AM, August 15, 2006


Blogger Karla said . . .

It works well in English except that we use it primarily in reference to the medieval period. Perhaps buskers?    

9:19 PM, August 16, 2006


Blogger dodgystereo said . . .

"Troubadour" is used in one of my favourite 'They Might Be Giants' songs.

Was looking for Czech blogs (I'm moving to Brno soon) and I found this, good stuff.    

12:49 AM, August 17, 2006


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