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Translation of the Week – Karel Kryl : Little Brother, Close the gate, will you?

Czech Singer-songwriter icon Karel Kryl was author of many protest songs in which he attacked the absurdity of the Communist regime after the 1968 occupation of Czechoslovakia. His first album was recorded at home and included songs such as The Angel and Morituri te Salutant. After being forced into exile his later albums were smuggled into his homeland, creating a nationwide underground following. His songs were a vital inspiration for the movement that triggered the Velvet Revolution that ended Communism in Czechoslovakia.

 

Little Brother, close the gate, will you?

 

Little brother, don’t you cry

Those aren’t ghosts you fear

We’ve both learned to realize

They’re just soldiers marching here

They came in their full-metal

Rumbling green circus vans

With a stream of tears in our eyes

We keep close to one another

Walk closely by my side

I fear for you little brother

On this plundered old road

We’ll stumble upon this cursed land

 

The rain and the darkness cloaked the land

This night will be long hard and cruel

The wolf took a craving for a little lamb

Brother please, close the gate will you?

 

Little brother don’t you cry

Don’t waist your tears on them

Bury it deep inside

Save all the strength you can

Please don’t condemn me

If we don’t make it alive

I’ll teach you another song

It isn’t so hard to learn

Little brother come along

This road offers no return

We have to keep going

There’s nothing for us left behind

 

 

 

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