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Zdeněk Svěrák to lead Czech Republic in nationwide sing-along against coronavirus tomorrow

Don't be alarmed to hear your neighbors and people across the Czech Republic break out in song tomorrow - join in with them, at least in spirit

If you hear your neighbors break out in song tomorrow shortly after 12:30, don’t be alarmed.

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In fact, you can join in along with them as the country stands in solidarity against coronavirus.

Czech Television channels, Czech Radio stations, municipal radio stations and streaming channels across the internet will broadcast a short speech from iconic Czech actor Zdeněk Svěrák tomorrow at 12:30.

Following a short countdown, he and Jaroslav Uhlíř will then lead the country in singing the song Není nutno, which roughly translates as No Need. According to organizers, millions of people around the Czech Republic are expected to join in singing.

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The song was composed for the 1983 Czech comedy Tři veteráni (Three Veterans), and has since become a classic sung by old and young alike, reflecting the Czech spirit and positive attitude that has persevered for the past tumultuous 100 years. Uhlíř wrote the music for the song, and Svěrák the lyrics.

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The event has been organized by Ondřej Kobza, who is also responsible for the project that brought pianos to the streets of Prague.

“People sit in their living rooms, watching the news of the number of dead and infected. We would like to create a wave of one big collective energy, when at one moment a million people will sing one song,” Kobza told local media.

“For joy, for encouragement, and for those out there who care. As the virus spreads, so does the sadness. With this happening we would like to inject a vaccine into our veins, which will create a sense of belonging.”

Svěrák may be best-known to non-Czech speakers for his lead role in the Oscar-winning film Kolya. He’s also one of the minds behind legendary fictional Czech Jára Cimrman, who he has portrayed on stage for decades; the plays have recently been translated into English and performed both in Prague and abroad.

These are the lyrics in Czech so you can sing along tomorrow:

Není nutno, není nutno,
aby bylo přímo veselo,
hlavně nesmí býti smutno,
natož aby se brečelo.
Chceš-li, trap se, že ti v kapse
zlaté mince nechřestí,
nemít žádné kamarády,
tomu já říkám neštěstí.

Nemít prachy – nevadí,
nemít srdce – vadí,
zažít krachy – nevadí,
zažít nudu – jó to vadí, to vadí.

Není nutno, není nutno,
aby bylo přímo veselo,
hlavně nesmí býti smutno,
natož aby se brečelo.

Není nutno, není nutno,
aby bylo přímo veselo,
hlavně nesmí býti smutno,
natož aby se brečelo.

And the song sung together by Uhlíř and Svěrák for the children’s program Vadí, nevadí:

And here’s a literal English translation that won’t earn points for flair but hopefully gets the point across:

There’s no need, no need,
to be happy,
above all, you must not be sad,
let alone cry.
If you want, you can worry, that in your pocket
gold coins do not rattle,
but to have no friends,
that’s what I call misfortune.

Don’t have money – doesn’t matter,
don’t have a heart – matters
experience failure – doesn’t matter,
experience boredom – yeah it matters, it matters.

There’s no need, no need,
to be happy,
above all, you must not be sad,
let alone cry.

There’s no need, no need,
to be happy,
above all, you must not be sad,
let alone cry.

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