Russian song of the week

Russia - Igor Talkov

Россия – Игорь Тальков (1989)

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The song “Russia” became widely known as an acute social song that touches on the problem of the history of Russia after it was performed by Igor Talkov in 1989 at the festival “Song of the Year”. In December 1989, a video clip was shown on Central Television, and after that in other television programs.

Igor Talkov in his book “Monologue” described the idea of ​​the song:

“I really tried in vain to understand at the time when I wrote “Russia” how such a mighty power with high cultural and economic potentials, with a model army, one of the best armies in the world, headed by real officers, for whom the concepts of duty, honor and the fatherland was above all, a true Russian intelligentsia, permeated with a deep spiritual and innate culture, how such a power could give itself to be torn by vandals.”

The song was written by Talkov overnight in 1989.

With the participation of the editorial team of Vladimir Molchanov, the video clip was filmed for the song “Russia”, which was then shown on Central Television in December 1989. At that time, such overt anti-communism and blasphemy against Lenin were beyond of what was permitted, so Molchanov took a great risk. Igor Talkov on the pages of his book “Monologue” thanked Vladimir Molchanov and his entire team for creating a video for the song.

Below is an amateur clip for Igor Talkov’s song “Russia”:

Lyrics and translation

  • Листа́я ста́рую тетра́дь
    Расстре́лянного генера́ла,
    Я тще́тно си́лился поня́ть,
    Как ты смогла́ себя́ отда́ть
    На растерза́ние ванда́лам.

  • Leafing through an old notebook
    Of a shot general
    I tried in vain to understand
    How could you give yourself
    To the vandals to be torn apart.

  • Из мра́чной глубины́ веко́в
    Ты поднима́лась исполи́ном,
    Твой Петербу́рг мири́л враго́в
    Высо́кой до́блестью полко́в
    В век золото́й Екатери́ны.
    Росси́я! Росси́я!

  • From the dark ages
    You rise as a giant
    Your Petersburg reconciled enemies
    With the high valor of the regiments
    In the age of golden Catherine.
    Russia! Russia!

  • Свяще́нной му́зыкой времён
    Над златогла́вою Москво́ю
    Струи́лся колоко́льный звон,
    Но да́же са́мый ти́хий, он
    Кому́-то не дава́л поко́я.

  • Like the sacred music of time
    Over the Golden-headed Moscow
    The ringing of bells flowed,
    But even the quietest, it
    Did not give piece to somebody.

  • А золоты́е купола́
    Кому́-то чёрный глаз слепи́ли:
    Ты раздража́ла си́лы зла
    И, ви́дно, так их доняла́,
    Что ослепи́ть тебя́ реши́ли.
    Росси́я!

  • And the golden domes
    Were blinding someone's black eye:
    You annoyed the forces of evil
    And, it seems, you got them so bad,
    That they decided to blind you.
    Russia!

  • Разве́рзлись с тре́ском небеса́,
    И с ви́згом ри́нулись отту́да,
    Сруба́я го́ловы церква́м
    И сла́вя но́вого царя́,
    Новоя́вленные иу́ды.

  • The heavens cracked open,
    And they rushed from there screeching,
    Cutting down the heads of churches
    And glorifying the new king...
    The newfound Judas.

  • Тебя́ связа́ли кумачо́м
    И опусти́ли на коле́ни,
    Сверкну́л топо́р над палачо́м,
    А пригово́р тебе́ прочёл
    Крова́вый царь, вели́кий... ге́ний.
    Росси́я!

  • You were tied up by red bunting
    And knelt down,
    The ax flashed over the executioner,
    And the verdict was read to you
    By the bloody king, great ... genius.
    Russia!

  • Листа́я ста́рую тетра́дь
    Расстре́лянного генера́ла,
    Я тще́тно си́лился поня́ть,
    Как ты смогла́ себя́ отда́ть
    На растерза́ние ванда́лам.

  • Leafing through an old notebook
    Of a shot general
    I tried in vain to understand
    How could you give yourself
    To the vandals to be torn apart.

  • О, генера́льская тетра́дь,
    Забы́той пра́вды возрожденье,
    Как тяжело́ тебя́ чита́ть
    Обма́нутому поколе́нью.
    Росси́я!

  • Oh general's notebook,
    The revival of the forgotten truth,
    How hard it is for the deceived generation
    To read you.
    Russia!

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