A Famous Czech Song

 

By Erin Naillon

Most people outside the Czech Republic would draw a blank if asked to name a Czech song.

A Czech Melody

However, there is one little tune that was written by two Czech men, Jaromír Vejvoda and Eduard Ingriš, in 1927. It remained instrumental only until 1934, when Václav Zeman added lyrics. At that time, the song was known by the title “Škoda Lásky”, or “Wasted Love”.

Česky Krumlov Tours from Prague

Outside Czechoslovakia

Five years later, the song was recorded in English for the first time. With lyrics by Lew Brown and Wladimir Timm, it was a Number One hit. That same year, and during the 1940s, it was recorded by various American artists, including The Andrews Sisters and Billie Holiday. During World War II, the song was popular among troops throughout the world.

The United States

The song became a huge hit in the States, and is a very popular song in Wisconsin to this day. Most people who have heard the tune will recognize it instantly, though few of them know the origin; many think it’s a German song.

The tune? “The Beer Barrel Polka”, also known as “Roll Out The Barrel”.


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