Music Video Wednesday: Zhanna Bichevskaya, “Lovely, brothers, lovely it is to live”

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Music Video Wednesday: Zhanna Bichevskaya,  “Lovely, brothers, lovely it is to live”

Translated from Russian by J.Hawk

This is another typically sad and even fatalistic Cossack song which can also be found on youtube in many versions and renditions.  The video also incidentally illustrates Russia’s difficult and contradictory historical legacies, with the Cossacks really being the best example of reconciling Russia’s different historical periods and political systems. Not only were the Cossacks one of the main forces opposing the Bolsheviks, a couple of the illustrations in the video  show Cossacks in Wehrmacht or SS service, and even today one can encounter social media posts and articles claiming they, too, were Russian patriots.

And if you look at the whole kaleidoscope of political factions (each with its own militia) still represented on the Donbass, you can find ideological heirs to this other brand of “Russian patriot” (it’s not a matter of trivia that Strelkov himself liked to re-enact Denikin’s “Volunteer Army”) whose “ideal Russia” may be radically different from the Russia that currently exists, and who wouldn’t mind (and, if anything, are hoping for) a Big War that would re-arrange Russia’s political picture more to their liking. Because it is about the only way by which they can obtain their political objectives, and Ishchenko is 100% correct in stating they represent a danger to Russia.

The Cossacks sent to the fearsome Terek
They sent forty thousand horsemen
And soon the fields and the banks
Were covered by hundreds of shot and sabered

Lovely, brothers, lovely it is to live.
Lovely, brothers, lovely it is to live.
With our ataman, there is no need to grieve

The ataman knows whom to choose
“Squadron, mount up!”, but they forgot about me
Cossack freedom and toil for them
Only dusty, burning earth for me

Lovely, brothers, lovely it is to live.
Lovely, brothers, lovely it is to live.
With our ataman, there is no need to grieve

And the first bullet, the first bullet
Wounded my horse in the leg
And the second bullet, the second bullet
Wounded me in the heart

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Lovely, brothers, lovely it is to live.
Lovely, brothers, lovely it is to live.
With our ataman, there is no need to grieve

The wife will grieve, then marry another
Marry my comrade, then forget about me
I only regret riding across open fields
A sharp saber, and a bay horse
Lovely, brothers, lovely it is to live.

Lovely, brothers, lovely it is to live.
With our ataman, there is no need to grieve

Как на грозный Терек выгнали казаки,
Выгнали казаки сорок тысяч лошадей.
И покрылось поле и покрылся берег,
Сотнями порубленных, пострелянных людей.

Припев:
Любо, братцы, любо, любо, братцы, жить
Любо, братцы, любо, любо, братцы, жить
С нашим атаманом не приходится тужить.

Атаман наш знает кого выбирает,
“Эскадрон, по коням”, да забыли про меня.
Им осталась воля да казачья доля,
Мне осталась пыльная, горючая земля.

Припев.

А первая пуля, а первая пуля,
А первая пуля в ногу ранила коня.
А вторая пуля, а вторая пуля,
А вторая пуля в сердце ранила меня.

Припев.

Жинка погорюет, выйдет за другого.
За мого товарища, забудет про меня.
Жалко только волюшки во широком полюшке,
жалко сабли вострой да буланного коня.

Припев.

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