Join me in learning Russian via the euphoric effervescence of Russian music!

Well hello there. As this is my first post of my first blog allow me to introduce myself. I’m just one lost soul who’s lookin to make some sense of this shitstorm in a teacup we call ‘the world.’ I’ve recently moved to a place known by many names, but for now let’s just call it Saint Petersburg. The greatest city on Earth. Host to more cataclysmic events than you can shake a koryushka at. But how best to delve deep into the sweating bowels of this bizarre yet soulful stronghold of exuberant melancholy, this ornate tombstone erected at and for the birth of modern optimism? How best to grasp it tightly by the hair of it’s baroque, porcine teats and, nose to venous steaming nose, acrid rot-gut breath to acrid rot-gut breath, seize its heart deeply by the eyes and claim, ‘I know ye?’

The answer can of course only be, by song. To know the devil one must dance with him. Language comes not without culture nor culture without language. Ergo I make it my task to learn and translate the songs of this peculiar native tribe, the Russians, and regularly post my efforts here for your delectation. Only thus, I argue, may the enigma be unwrapped, exposing its mystery, naked for all to see, though of the riddle therewithin, I make no presumptions.

Our first song touches on the baleful matter of illegal narcotics. The group is called Ноль (Nol’), meaning null, naught or zero. Lead singer and accordionist Fyodor Chistyakov is intimately familiar with illegal narcotics, indeed, one two many teaspoons of magic pixie dust once earned him an extended vacation from his senses, which he spent in the rejuvenating comfort of a Russian mental hospital. This song elucidates the naiivity of his grim march down this road of vice and iniquity.

Ноль – Иду, Курю (Null – I’m Going, Smoking)

Возвращаюсь раз под вечер, обкурившись гашиша,
Vozvrashhayus` raz pod vecher, obkurivshis` gashisha,
As I return once again beneath the evening, I’ve smoked some hash

Жизнь становится прекрасна, и безумно хороша
Zhizn` stanovitsya prekrasna, i bezumno xorosha
Life becomes wonderful, and madly good

Иду, курю, иду, курю
Idu, kuryu, idu, kuryu
I’m going, smoking, going, smoking

И в ушах звон шелестит листвою, и стоит туман над рекой Невой.
I v ushax zvon shelestit listvoyu, i stoit tuman nad rekoj Nevoj
And in my ears is the sound of the foliage rustling, and a fog hangs over the river Neva.

Над рекой Невой стоит туман, над дурман травой стоит туман
Nad rekoj Nevoj stoit tuman, nad durman travoj stoit tuman
Over the river Neva hangs a fog, over jimson weed hangs a fog

Над рекой Невой стоит туман, над дурман травой пам-парам-пам
Nad rekoj Nevoj stoit tuman, nad durman travoj pam-param-pam
Over the river Neva hangs a fog, over jimson weed pam-param-pam

А я иду – а-а-а, курю – а-а-а, иду, курю
A ya idu – a-a-a, kuryu – a-a-a, idu, kuryu
And I’m going – a-a-a, smoking – a-a-a, going, smoking

Пройду по абрикосовой, сверну на виноградную
Projdu po abrikosovoj, svernu na vinogradnuyu
I’ll walk down Apricot, make a turn at Grape

И на тенистой улице я постою в тени.
I na tenistoj ulice ya postoyu v teni.
And on a shadowy street I stop in the shadow.

Иду, курю, иду, курю
Idu, kuryu, idu, kuryu
I’m going, smoking, going, smoking

Translations may improve with time.

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