Love like a "beam"


You are listening to SoundCzech, Radio Prague's original Czech language programme which explores Czech idioms through song lyrics. Today's featured song is "Červená řeka" or "Red River Valley" in the original, sung by Czech pop singer Helena Vondráčková. The phrase we'll be paying special attention to is "láska jako trám". Here is the song for you.

The lyrics are about a young girl somewhere in the American Wild West who is in love with a cowboy. Helena Vondráčková sings that the man of her heart will easily promise great love to anyone and soon forget about them. "Vím, že lásku jak trám lehce slíbí." I know it is easy for him to promise "love like a beam" - lásku jako trám - meaning big, great love.

The Czech word "trám" means a beam, as in a long piece of timber. Metaphorically the word is used to refer to something big, large or strong. Most often it is used to describe strong love - "láska jako trám", "a love like a beam". Less frequently you can hear people liken their thirst to a beam - "mám žízeň jako trám", or even their head cold - "mám rýmu jako trám". But let's stay with the more romantic use and listen once more to Helena Vondráčková's rendering of the Red River Valley.

Today we have learnt the phrase "láska jako trám" - "love like a beam". Here are another handful of idioms about love: "láska na první pohled", "love at first sight", "láska nebeská" or "heavenly love" and finally "láska kvete v každém věku", "love blooms at every age". And we could go on and on. Thanks for listening today and if you'd like to practice today's phrase some more, you can find this episode as well as all our previous lessons on Radio Prague's website Now, a few more bars of "Červená řeka" sung by Helena Vondráčková.