1949 - 32nd Segment “With Song and Laughter”


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. Now it is up to you, our listeners, to vote for the best Czech song of the century. We continue with the year 1949.

Collective farming began.
On April 4th, the NATO alliance was established.
On June 21st, General Heliodor Píka was hung in the Pilsen jail of Bory.

According to today’s historians, the 1948 Czechoslovak coup d'état was a well-prepared uprising of the totalitarian minority against the surprised and unaware democratic majority. During the Communist regime, entire generations were taught to celebrate the triumphs of the working class. This reflected in the work of the hundreds of youth groups from that era.

Many of their songs were very successful and they were often sung in polyphony. Who could have known that the paths that they “walked to greet the sun” would instead lead to oppression and profound injustice? Not even the authors themselves knew what was to come, and as a result their work was full of optimism and pure joy.

Following the coup, one of the most frequently heard songs was composed by Josef Stanislav and accompanied by text written by Olga Rambousková. It was titled “With Song and Laughter.” It was mostly sung with guitar and harmonica accompaniment, since only the most well-known youth groups had their own small orchestras. As years went by, illusions faded and there was a tendency to try to disguise disappointment with music.

Vote for the best song of the century!