In 1979, Havel was arrested, tried, convicted and sentenced to five years in prison for the crime of trying to monitor human rights in Czechoslovakia. During his imprisonment, he was allowed to write letters only to his wife, Olga Splichalova Havlova. These letters were collected in a book called "Letters to Olga." This is the blues that Havel might have sung back then, with words much like his own in the letters.




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Songs for Vaclav Havel




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Letter to Olga




Oh, Olga won't you help? Oh, Olga won't you write?

Anything you say will make me feel bright.

Olga please communicate for goodness' sakes.

I don't care if your letters have grammatical mistakes.

Write about the things you do on weekends.

Tell me all the little stuff that's happening with our friends.


I can't wait until you come to visit me.

Hope that you can bring a two-pound tin of tea.

I've just got to have some of that Earl Grey,

along with lots of vitamins: D, C, B and A.

And don't forget to bring three hundred cigarettes.

I know it's not too healthy but I have no regrets.


Please, dear Olga, bring me a notebook and a pen

when you come to visit me here in prison again.

You could also bring me a hard case for my shades,

a razor, and a box of the better razor blades.

And just one more thing I see as necessary:

a pocket-size German dictionary.


Olga won't you sit down and write me a note.

I am feeling, oh, so distant and remote.

It doesn't have to be a lyrical poem.

Just describe how things are going there at home.

A letter from you would really make my day,

even if you don't have very much to say.


I hope that you're O.K. I wonder where you are.

I just got your letter saying that you totaled the car.

I'm always worrying that something might happen to you.

If something did, what would I ever do?

Olga, please be careful you're my only hope,

And I'm at the end of my rope.