Wind sweeps through the desert,
along the sand is chasing a hat,
chased it into a shrub,
an old, black hat.

Where is the head,
which wore the hat?
Was it black, was it fair?
To whom did it belong?

Who was he, disappearing in the desert?
Where was he coming from, and to where was he headed?
What troubled him,
that he walked alone in the desert?

Only blown-over footprints,
an old hat in the shrub.
No one will understand,
no one will find out.

translated from the Czech by Motýlí Voko

Klobouk v křoví

Vítr vane pouští,
po písku žene klobouk,
zahnal ho do houští,
starý a černý klobouk.

Kdepak je ta hlava,
co ten klobouk nosila,
byla černá či plavá,
komu asi patřila.

Kdo to v poušti zmizel?
Odkud šel a kam?
Jaký to měl asi svízel,
že byl v poušti sám?

Jen zaváté stopy,
starý klobouk ve křoví,
nikdo nic nepochopí,
nikdo se nic nedoví.

About the poem:“Hat in the Shrub” was composed in 1934 by the artistic trio Ježek, Voskovec, and Werich as a theme song for a play performed in their own Osvobozené Divadlo (Liberated Theatre), the most playful and daring cultural institution in the interwar Czechoslovakia.

Listen to the Pražský Hradčanský Orchestra interpreting the song:

Jan Vihan is a contributing writer for In The Fray.

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