Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Don cossacks and Italian children

The song's contents:

In boundless steppe, with –40 degree temperature, Tzar's cossacks are travelling. In woolly hats and in boots, they are trying to get towards river Don. But one of them, Popov, is sniffing, sniffing, and gets stuck in the snow. Popov has everything: woolly hat and boots — but, it turns out this is not enough.

Brave cossacks with curly mustache keep walking forward, but Popov is not among them. He lies breathless, curled up. What a loser is this poor Popov! But, Popov does not give up; he lies a little and then starts going on his stomach towards river Don.

Hey, Popov! Cossacks don't travel this way!

But, the cossacks are tired. Their mustache are frozen. And they haven't reached river Don. In the boundless steppe, with the –40 degree temperature, they turned to stone from the frost.

But Popov did not lose heart. Like a snowball, he rolled towards the river. And was the only one to reach river Don.

And now the song, in Italian:



[Source]

Interestingly, the little boy is now a member of Italian parliament. I guess he took to heart the idea of hopeless enterprises in a company of idiots.

Here is a cartoon version of this song, in which Popov (called Popoff by the Westerners) is, for some reason, a dog:



More on Don Cossacks: "Brotherly Love".

And the pseudo-karaoke that I had promised (the karaoke's joke makes sense only to those who know Russian, Soviet songs, and Russian history, so basically almost nobody who reads this blog, but that's fine, since I post these things for myself anyway):

16 comments:

e said...

Hey! I read this blog!

i've recently gotten into Russian music. I'm making everyone here crazy with my incessant singing of Katyusha and the Soviet anthem. Katyusha is getting boring (I memorized all the lyrics last night and have been singing it all day). The anthem is getting tough, because the words are too difficult for me. So maybe now I'll try to learn about popov.

e said...

subscribing

e said...

do you know where I can find the lyrics (besides for the subtitles of the last video).

Certified Ashkenazi said...

http://www.karaoke.ru/song/683.htm

Certified Ashkenazi said...

But usually it's sung slowly. And the music he is playing is from a very different song. But, if fits the lyrics.

Certified Ashkenazi said...

Different versions (and some history): http://a-pesni.golosa.info/popular20/izzaostrova.htm

Certified Ashkenazi said...

The song about Popov is in Italian, though.

e said...

Wait. The Popov song is originally in Italian or Russian?

Certified Ashkenazi said...

Afaik, the song about Popov is only in Italian; tThe song about Stenka Razin is only in Russian.

Certified Ashkenazi said...

If you want a song that is in both Russian and Italian, you can try Bella Ciao.

http://crawlingaxe.blogspot.com/2010/05/bella-ciao.html

e said...

This is getting too complicated. And the people here are getting REALLY sick of Russian songs, so I think I shan't be getting to know Popov.

Certified Ashkenazi said...

My wife was forced yesterday by my mom and my grandmother to watch a concert of Russian music. I think she knows how you feel.

Maybe you should start singing Yiddish songs. E.g.: http://youtu.be/zUt9N1mLjdw

Make sure to sing it with thick Russian accent.

Certified Ashkenazi said...

I mean, she knows how your roommates feel.

Certified Ashkenazi said...

This past Shabbos I heard Rabbi Shlomo Yaffe singing a Jewish niggun which started something like "Vos zol man yorgen..." ("Why should man worry..."). He said there were two versions (or interpretations) of the niggun: the Ukrainian and the Lubavitch.

At first, when he started singing, I thought he was singing the Popov song.

Certified Ashkenazi said...

(I wanted to answer your last comment, but I can't find that post for some reason.)

e said...

I can imagine what the Ukrainian version is (Let's drink away our credit!) But what's the Lubavitch version?