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Brother, Close the Gate, Will You?

by The Yehla Collective

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Brother, Close the Gate, Will you? was written to protest the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia.

Plamen Press has teamed up with the Washington DC Chapter of the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences and Baltimore-based Sun King Records, , and a group of international musicians (The Yehla Collective) to record an English version of the legendary song by legendary singer-songwriter and poet Karel Kryl: Bratřícku, zavírej vrátka ...which translated to English is "Brother, Close the Gate, Will you?"

The song is reflective of Kryl’s initial shock, disbelief, and later anger triggered by the 1968 Soviet-led invasion of his country, Czechoslovakia. Karel Kryl was forced into exile in West Germany where he continued to perform and produce songs smuggling them into occupied Czechoslovakia and distributing them through Samizdat. Brother, Close the Gate, Will you? became a symbol of resistance during the 23-year occupation.

It was the same shock, disbelief, and later anger that the free world felt on February 24, 2022, when Russia’s forces invaded Ukraine, a country that represented no threat to the Russian Federation. And like Karel Kryl, millions of Ukrainians have been displaced from their homes, relocated to unoccupied territories, or exiled to neighboring countries, such as Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Moldova, Romania, the Czech Republic, and more.


released December 10, 2022

Musicians: Jael (Yaya) Patterson (Puerto Rico), Christina Kharasian (Armenia), Cyndy Elliot (USA), Tomáš Drgoň (Slovakia), Bob Rychlík (Czech Republic), Stephen Christoff (USA)

©2022 Karel Kryl
℗2020 Roman Kostovski


all rights reserved



The Yehla Collective Washington, D.C.

The Yehla Collective is an eclectic group of Czech, Slovak, Armenian, Moravian and American musicians and has recorded new renditions of these passionate, political and existential songs. These recordings incorporate gypsy jazz, western swing, folk guitar, violin and trad. fujara and koncovka overtone flutes.

This album released/distributed under license to Morphius,
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