Russian song of the week

Under the Caress of a Plush Blanket, Cruel Romance (1984)

Под лаской плюшевого пледа, Жестокий романс (1984)


“Under the caress of a plush blanket” is one of the most famous songs on the verses of Marina Tsvetaeva. For the first time this song was heard in the movie “Cruel Romance” which was released in 1984. The song was performed not by the actress that you see in the movie (Larisa Guzeeva), but by Valentina Ponomareva.

Interestingly enough, the romance was based on a poem from the cycle “Girlfriend” which Tsvetaeva dedicated to her mistress Sophia Parnok. The intimacy between two women is a fairly common phenomenon these days, however, in pre-revolutionary Russia, such relationships were extremely condemned. Nevertheless, they brought to life many beautiful poems about love which later sounded in Soviet movies. The lyrics of the song could be dedicated to a man, as it is done in the movie “Cruel Romance”.

Unfortunately, Mosfilm has blocked the ability to display videos from the its movies on other sites, so if you want to see the original scene from the movie, you can do it here.

Alternatively, we offer you this song performed by Ani Lorak, which we found quite good too.

Lyrics and translation

  • Под ла́ской плю́шевого пле́да
    Вчера́шний вызыва́ю сон.
    Что э́то бы́ло? — Чья побе́да? —
    Кто побеждён?

  • Under the caress of a plush blanket
    I recall the yesterday's dream.
    What was it? - Whose victory? -
    Who is defeated?

  • Всё переду́мываю сно́ва,
    Всем перему́чиваюсь вновь.
    В том, для чего́ не зна́ю сло́ва,
    В том, для чего́ не зна́ю сло́ва,
    Была́ ль любо́вь?

  • I'm thinking about it over and over,
    I'm tormented again and again.
    About something I don’t know the word for,
    About something I don’t know the word for,
    Was there love?

  • Кто был охо́тник? — Кто — добы́ча?
    Всё дья́вольски-наоборо́т!
    Что по́нял, дли́тельно мурлы́ча,
    Сиби́рский кот?

  • Who was the hunter? - Who is the prey?
    Everything is devilishly mixed up!
    Siberian cat, purring for a long time,
    What did he understand?

  • В том поеди́нке своево́лий
    Кто, в чьей руке́ был то́лько мяч?
    Чьё се́рдце — Ва́ше ли, моё ли,
    Чьё се́рдце — Ва́ше ли, моё ли
    Лете́ло вскачь?

  • In that duel of self-wills
    Who was just a ball in whose hand?
    Whose heart, yours or mine,
    Whose heart, yours or mine,
    Was jumping and flying?

  • И всё-таки — что ж э́то бы́ло?
    Чего́ так хо́чется и жаль?
    Так и не зна́ю: победи́ла ль?
    Побеждена́ ль?

  • And yet - what was it?
    What do I want and feel sorry about?
    I still don’t know: did I win?
    Am I defeated?

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