1989: I knew immediately that Sľúbili sme si lásku would be a hit

People in the streets weren’t damaged by the regime; it rather annoyed, tired and disgusted them, said the singer songwriter of the 1989 revolution anthem.

Ivan Hoffman (Source: SME)

The anthem of the November 1989 revolution, Sľúbili sme si lásku (We Promised Love to Each Other), was inspired by a phrase its author, Ivan Hoffman, heard in the crowd during one of the demonstrations. It was created within an hour, and quickly became a hit.

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In an interview, Hoffman talks about the atmosphere in the square, his short performance with Joan Baez, and why he doesn’t plan to return to street protests any time soon.

We are meeting in the Moravian countryside, near Kroměříž. When we were arranging the interview, you said you have to take care of the animals in the morning and evening. What is your life like here?
Ivan Hoffman (IH):
Great. I bought one hectare of land with my wife about 10 years ago, and we built a house here. We take care of trees, a garden, and animals who keep us company. We’ve had sheep, now we have goats, some give us milk. We don’t sell anything. I make my living with journalism.

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Journalists usually want to be where the action is, and Kroměříž does not seem to be such a place. Do you miss it?

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