Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Love Odessa Style

One of my favorite old songs - a young man proposing to his beloved...

(Translation mine - UPDATE: looks like he is singing a slightly different version than what I know so it is not an exact translation, but pretty close. That's how it is with folk music, I guess)

One day, along the avenue, Man'ka and I strolled.
A half burned out street lamp was lighting us the way.
And to make our walk a bit more fun
Into Bendersky's pub we decided to drop in.

I walk into the beer joint,
Sit down at the table,
And throw my hat down on the floor.
I ask Man'ka "What do you want to drink?"
And she tells me "My head hurts!"

I am not asking you which part of you hurts;
All I am asking is what you want to drink -
Pilsner beer, moonshine, wine,
A "fragrant violet" or nothing at all!

We each drank a beer and then another hundred,
And started chatting about this and that,
And when the pilsner completely messed up my head,
About my tender feelings I began to speak to her:

Stupid woman, what are you waiting for?
A better lad you won't find in the whole world!
Am I not clever, am I not handsome?
Or perhaps you don't care for the contents of my bank account?

Ugh, you prostitute, go and love yourself!
I will find another, lah lah lah lah lah
I will find another on Deribasovsky street
To hell with you lowlife, to hell with you c*nt!


Anonymous Nechama said...

I LOVE the stuff you find... And you are right, this sort of 'Odessa' Russian does not translate into English well, perhaps not into any language. It is sort of like Yiddish - you either 'get' the emotion behind the words or not. And if you do not, then words are just that... Just a simple example - my husband does not understand what 'sto gramm' is, but my Russian speaking Russian Jewish heritage loving teenager does....go figure.

August 15, 2011 6:26 AM  
Blogger e-kvetcher said...

Thanks Nechama - I could use 100g about right now :)

That accordion player, BTW is Alik Kopyt, the vocalist for the Amsterdam Klezmer Band...

August 15, 2011 6:44 AM  

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