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Russian War Song


m3838
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Here again.

Another Gem of song. WWII song called "Casual Waltz".

Please review this video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMXbU_Qw8gA

 

Then this text:

 

Stars shining bright
Clouds are so light
And we'll spend our casual meeting
Hand in hand, dancing waltzes tonight

Bombers are gone
Town's sleeping on
I was walking to my disposition (we were marching to our disposition?)
When I heard sound of your Grammophone

Though we're strangers, together we roam
Roads of War far away from our home
Feels like your silent hand
Brings me back to my Land
In this old dancing hall there's no brightness at glance
We are keeping our dance
Saying nothing at all

Please be my friend
Don't take your hand
And forgive me, I'm terribly clumsy
But I hope that you will understand

Guns' closing roar
Can stay no more
Duty calls, but I promise 
Tomorrow, 
I'll be passing by your open door

Though we're strangers, together we roam
Roads of war far away from our home.
Feels like your silent hand
Brings me back to my land
In this old dancing hall
There's no brightness in sight
But we're dancing inspite
Saying nothing at all

 

 

Then, if you are incliined, give me your critique.

A friend of mine, reviewing my translation of a russian folk tale, called it "delightfully bad English".

So I'm a bit humbled now.

Still, would like to continue with my casual translations of great gems from the best era of Russian popular song.

I think this song is rather international, from the perspective of a simple man, drawn into war, regardless of side and ideology. It's about we start digging these themes, as it seems to me the world is ready for yet another clash.

I'm familiar with great American songs from the same era, but still would like to get hints at British and French, German and Dutch songs of the same feel: melancholy and dolefullness, grief, letter home. Something clear from ideology and commendable optimism.

Thanks.

Edited by m3838
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I've often wondered how lyrics or poetry can be translated into another language and still rhyme?

Surely the Russian words for "Roam" and "Home" or "Hand" and "Land" don't rhyme.

 

You don't translate word for word; instead, you try to keep the sense of the song while fitting the meter and rhyme scheme in the new language. Consider this, the first stanza of a well-known song by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill:

 

Und der Haifisch, der hat Zaehne

Und sie traegt er im Gesicht

Und MacHeath, der hat ein Messer

Doch das Messer sieht man nicht.

 

A (rough) literal translation would be:

 

And the shark, that has teeth

And those it carries in its face

And MacHeath, he has a knife

But the knife one does not see.

 

The actual translation you hear, either in a cast recording (or performance) of The Threepenny Opera or from Bobby Darrin, is:

 

Now the shark has pretty teeth, dear

And he shows them, pearly white

Just a jackknife has MacHeath, dear

And he keeps it out of sight.

 

It's nowhere close to a word-for-word translation, but it's the same general idea as the original (I'm not sure, but I think Brecht had a hand in the translation).

 

jdms

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I've often wondered how lyrics or poetry can be translated into another language and still rhyme?

Surely the Russian words for "Roam" and "Home" or "Hand" and "Land" don't rhyme.

 

You don't translate word for word; instead, you try to keep the sense of the song while fitting the meter and rhyme scheme in the new language.

....

jdms

 

 

That's right. when it works it's quite fun, but like a Rubik's cube, you sometimes get to a point where the last line just won't work and you have to redo a whole verse!

Hey, Misha, where can I find the Russian words of the song you translated?

Samantha

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Hey, Misha, where can I find the Russian words of the song you translated?

 

Right here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMXbU_Qw8gA

 

or

 

 </P> <P>Ночь так легка
Спят облака
И лежит у меня на ладони
Незнакомая ваша рука</P> <P>После тревог
Спит городок
Я услышал мелодию вальса
И сюда заглянул на часок.</P> <P>Пусть я с вами совсем незнаком
И далёко отсюда мой дом, 
Я как будто бы снова
Возле дома родного.
В этом зале пустом
Мы танцуем вдвоём,
Так скажите ж хоть слово.
Сам не знаю о чём...</P> <P>Будем дружить,
Петь и кружить.
Я совсем танцевать разучился
И прошу вас меня извинить.
Утро зовёт
Снова в поход.
Покидая ваш маленький город
Я пройду мимо ваших ворот.</P> <P>

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I'm not sure you'll approve of this Misha...I salvaged a Red Army Choir album from the things my parents were throwing away when my Grandmother died. I'd guess it dated from the early 1960's. It got played particularly when the wine was flowing, and at the best parties. I thought it was great, especially when a bit drunk; I don't know if my friends thought it was great too, or just humoured me. I always described it as my legacy from my Grandma.

 

It vanished in the clear-out when we emigrated and I miss it. But the point of this is: the music was very much like this, albeit done by a full choir. It seems very familiar, and as you'll have guessed, I think it's great. Very Slav...

 

Editted to add; right I found the sort of thing. The odd thing is this sort of slow weepy stuff was, I reckoned, the best.

But most of the stuff chosen by Youtubers is the brisker more martial stuff, of which this is a good one. Red army again.

 

You have the dissadvantage that you are not a bunch of 25 year olds taking a late breather from an evening of serious partying. You also can't turn the volume up really loud to get the best effect. (You do get the best effect...)

 

On the other hand, before Youtube I had no idea they wore those ridiculous hats, or that they lead with such a vast number of accordion players. Maybe that, subliminally, was why I liked it so much. And still do.

Edited by Dirge
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I had no idea that you are of Russian descent.

You are correct, I'm not a big fan of Red Army Chorus, but they are masters. The hats are, indeed, ridiculous, and they changed the old noble Russian Army hats to this pancakes somewhere in the 80s. Caused tons of jokes to appear. Everybody is used to them now.

As for the movie, I tried to research it, but unsuccessfully.

Thanks for the praise though. I'd like to change a few things now, that I re-read it.

I uploaded two page printed music for the Casual Waltz. For Accordion. I also found orchestra parts, the type the Red Army Chorus would use, but it's a bit of overkill.

Enjoy.

http://www.box.net/shared/ktcp7j4u0o

http://www.box.net/shared/tc3e574nns

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I had no idea that you are of Russian descent.

You are correct, I'm not a big fan of Red Army Chorus, but they are masters. The hats are, indeed, ridiculous, and they changed the old noble Russian Army hats to this pancakes somewhere in the 80s. Caused tons of jokes to appear. Everybody is used to them now.

As for the movie, I tried to research it, but unsuccessfully.

Thanks for the praise though. I'd like to change a few things now, that I re-read it.

I uploaded two page printed music for the Casual Waltz. For Accordion. I also found orchestra parts, the type the Red Army Chorus would use, but it's a bit of overkill.

Enjoy.

http://www.box.net/shared/ktcp7j4u0o

http://www.box.net/shared/tc3e574nns

 

Thank you for that; duly downloaded and printed; doesn't look too frightening we'll see if it sticks, as it were.

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AND in the bass there are sometimes notes shown in brackets, off the beat if their position is where they should be played and with no clue as to note length, just black blobs with no tails e.g. 8 bars in.

 

I can work out they are optional, but what are they? How do you play them?

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AND in the bass there are sometimes notes shown in brackets, off the beat if their position is where they should be played and with no clue as to note length, just black blobs with no tails e.g. 8 bars in.

 

I can work out they are optional, but what are they? How do you play them?

 

Notes in bracketts show the bass row on the left hand, where the chord is.

For example:

C and (f) means that bass C is played against F chord. Bayan players don't read the bass harmony, but instead they easily read bass cleff single notes and know circle of 5ths by heart.

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AND in the bass there are sometimes notes shown in brackets, off the beat if their position is where they should be played and with no clue as to note length, just black blobs with no tails e.g. 8 bars in.

 

I can work out they are optional, but what are they? How do you play them?

 

Notes in bracketts show the bass row on the left hand, where the chord is.

For example:

C and (f) means that bass C is played against F chord. Bayan players don't read the bass harmony, but instead they easily read bass cleff single notes and know circle of 5ths by heart.

So as I do read bass harmony and don't have my chords pre-assembled I ignore them completely then! Thanks.

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AND in the bass there are sometimes notes shown in brackets, off the beat if their position is where they should be played and with no clue as to note length, just black blobs with no tails e.g. 8 bars in.

 

I can work out they are optional, but what are they? How do you play them?

 

Notes in bracketts show the bass row on the left hand, where the chord is.

For example:

C and (f) means that bass C is played against F chord. Bayan players don't read the bass harmony, but instead they easily read bass cleff single notes and know circle of 5ths by heart.

So as I do read bass harmony and don't have my chords pre-assembled I ignore them completely then! Thanks.

Not so fast.

The layout of notes may be one thing, but the real denomination of a chord - another.

Bracketted symbols just tell you that no matter how it looks, it's a particular chord. In case of a bayan, all chords are

in third ( I think) inversion. So while A-C-F may look like something "A-ish", bracketted "F" tells you it's inversion of F.

Which means you can play with other inversions, if this one is unaccessible or too thin or whatever. So it's usefull tool.

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AND in the bass there are sometimes notes shown in brackets, off the beat if their position is where they should be played and with no clue as to note length, just black blobs with no tails e.g. 8 bars in.

 

I can work out they are optional, but what are they? How do you play them?

 

Notes in bracketts show the bass row on the left hand, where the chord is.

For example:

C and (f) means that bass C is played against F chord. Bayan players don't read the bass harmony, but instead they easily read bass cleff single notes and know circle of 5ths by heart.

So as I do read bass harmony and don't have my chords pre-assembled I ignore them completely then! Thanks.

Not so fast.

The layout of notes may be one thing, but the real denomination of a chord - another.

Bracketted symbols just tell you that no matter how it looks, it's a particular chord. In case of a bayan, all chords are

in third ( I think) inversion. So while A-C-F may look like something "A-ish", bracketted "F" tells you it's inversion of F.

Which means you can play with other inversions, if this one is unaccessible or too thin or whatever. So it's usefull tool.

 

Grief! Can't I just play the notes...

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Grief! Can't I just play the notes...

Ha!

But what if you don't have those? Who knows, may be they are in the melody side? Then you know it's an "F" and can choose other notes of it. or may be it sounds too thick, so you'll know to omit the third and you'll know which one is the third. Dirge, it wasn't me who thrusted Duet into your hands. I'm not responsible for it. it's a...hm. Serious musical instrument. It's a piano for people with Gigantophobia.

Anyways, I'd like to hear how it sounds in your hands. I'm kinda working on it. Interestingly, I like the single melody line with casual interval or two.

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Well, I'll make a few notes on your translation. I don't know about the rhythm (I haven't tried to fit it to the music), but some of the wording seemed strange to me.

 

Stars shining bright
Clouds are so light
And we'll spend our casual meeting
Hand in hand, dancing waltzes tonight

To "spend a meeting" is a little odd, but could work. You usually refer to spending time, not a meeting.

 

Bombers are gone
Town's sleeping on
I was walking to my disposition (we were marching to our disposition?)
When I heard sound of your Gramophone

I don't know what "walking to my disposition" is supposed to mean. "Heard sound of" is odd..."heard the sound of" is better, if it scans.

 

Though we're strangers, together we roam
Roads of War far away from our home
Feels like your silent hand
Brings me back to my Land
In this old dancing hall there's no brightness at glance
We are keeping our dance
Saying nothing at all

What's "brightness at glance" supposed to mean? The room's dark? An awkward phrase. "Keeping our dance" is also a bit odd..."keeping to our dance" possibly?

 

Please be my friend
Don't take your hand
And forgive me, I'm terribly clumsy
But I hope that you will understand

Hand / friend isn't an exact rhyme, but the singer could make it work...

 

Guns' closing roar
Can stay no more
Duty calls, but I promise 
Tomorrow, 
I'll be passing by your open door

I'm not exactly sure what "Guns' closing roar" is supposed to mean...the guns are closing in? Or it's the closing shot of the gun (final shot)? Does "Guns' close roar" get across the idea? Also "I can stay no more" might be better, otherwise it might seem that you're referring to the guns staying.

 

Though we're strangers, together we roam
Roads of war far away from our home.
Feels like your silent hand
Brings me back to my land
In this old dancing hall
There's no brightness in sight
But we're dancing inspite
Saying nothing at all

That works OK for me. Although "in spite" is two words, and it could be misunderstood without the usual "of" (dancing in spite of the fact there's no light). Actually, the way you have it, it could be taken to mean dancing in anger (spite).

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Stars shining bright
Clouds are so light
And we'll spend our casual meeting
Hand in hand, dancing waltzes tonight

To "spend a meeting" is a little odd, but could work. You usually refer to spending time, not a meeting.

 

Hmm.

"We will praise out lightning aquaintance"?

"Time has stopped, we are quietly gliding"?

 

Bombers are gone
Town's sleeping on
I was walking to my disposition (we were marching to our disposition?)
When I heard sound of your Gramophone

I don't know what "walking to my disposition" is supposed to mean. "Heard sound of" is odd..."heard the sound of" is better, if it scans.

"Walking to disposition" was supposed to mean "marching to where he has order to arrive". A disposition is location of his unit.

Is there any military slang for going to where a soldier is supposed to?

 

 

Please be my friend
Don't take your hand
And forgive me, I'm terribly clumsy
But I hope that you will understand

Hand / friend isn't an exact rhyme, but the singer could make it work...

 

Hand and Friend is OK. I've head worse "rhimes" in English. May be in American it's more of a rhime.

 

Guns' closing roar
Can stay no more
Duty calls, but I promise 
Tomorrow, 
I'll be passing by your open door

I'm not exactly sure what "Guns' closing roar" is supposed to mean...the guns are closing in? Or it's the closing shot of the gun (final shot)? Does "Guns' close roar" get across the idea? Also "I can stay no more" might be better, otherwise it might seem that you're referring to the guns staying.

Yea, it's a tough one.

"Guns start to roar

Can't stay no more"?

 

 

Though we're strangers, together we roam
Roads of war far away from our home.
Feels like your silent hand
Brings me back to my land
In this old dancing hall
There's no brightness in sight
But we're dancing inspite
Saying nothing at all

That works OK for me. Although "in spite" is two words, and it could be misunderstood without the usual "of" (dancing in spite of the fact there's no light). Actually, the way you have it, it could be taken to mean dancing in anger (spite).

 

How about "But we're dancing despite"?

Thanks.

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