HAPPY VICTORY DAY, MAY 9!
There are many beautiful and heart-touching classic Soviet, as well as modern-day, Russian songs that talk about the memory of WWII/Great Patriotic War and the hard-won Victory Day. The old Soviet classics are well-known for having a distinction of touching the soul and heart of those who hear them. But some new songs are just as good. Out of hundreds and thousands I handpicked three modern Russian songs, all created recently.
The video clips are also very good and worth watching in their own right!
The film is about a young woman who becomes a sniper during WWII and how she finds love and a will to live through all the horrors of war. The song Cuckoo, or “My Sun, Look at Me!’ is performed by Polina Gagarina, with her epic voice. This clip has 205 million views on YT.
The song lyrics were translated by someone on YT.
The Cuckoo lyrics:
Songs of mine that I’ve yet to write. How many? Tell me cuckoo, count them for me. The city or the village – where am I to live? To lie as a stone, Or burn as a star, a star?
Sunlight of mine, glance now on me. See my palm has turned to a fist. And if you have powder, give me a spark. That’s that.
Who will now take the lonely path? The strong and the brave Have laid down their heads in battle, in the fields. Few now remain in memory, with a clear mind, And a firm hand, in the ranks. Our ranks.
Sunlight of mine, glance now on me. See me palm has turned to a fist. And if you have powder, give me a spark. That’s that.
Where are you now, freedom of will? With who are you now Greeting the tender sunrise? Answer me. Life is good with you, and bad without. My patient head And submissive shoulders, under the lash. The lash.
Sunlight of mine, glance now at me. See my palm has turned to a fist. And if you have powder, give me a spark. That’s that.
EVERYTHING ABOUT THAT SPRING – 2015
A new 2015 song about the memory of May 1945, suffering that led to it and the difficult but monumental victory in that inhumane war – performed by a children’s choir. I have to say I cried watching this clip and listening to this song. Really touches you deep. Perhaps it’s better if you understand the lyrics, but just watching and listening to the music gets you. Try!
This new song inspired many videoclips and they are all very good, gathering millions of views on YT. I chose this one, it’s the original.
Brief summary to help you out!
The beginning of the video clip shows children in a contemporary Russian school, for whom WWII is something from a long bygone era. Boys and girls are supposed to be watching a documentary about WWII so the memory stays alive; instead they are playing with cellphones and videogames, or are simply looking bored. Until one of the bored boys reaches for a war helmet displayed on a stand, and suddenly the war comes alive, as he gets transported into the trenches of a brutal battle, where he is saved by a Russian soldier, who tells him about his family back home. When the soldier gets shot, the boy tries to drag him to safety. The man gives him his helmet with a bullet hole, as a gift, as the battle rages. Meantime it is the modern kids who are now a mere screen reflection, while the events of that long-gone war are real. The kids sing about a dream they saw about the spring of 1945. As the war ended, their great-granddads, and all officers and privates made it back home safe. There are no bored kids any more – they now remember the long bygone era, as if they really were there.
It’s a great story, and a song to match – watch:
THE IMMORTAL REGIMENT – 2018 (The River of the Immortal Regiment Flows…)
Many great songs were inspired by the modern grassroots tradition of the Immortal Regiment March. The people’s initiative from Siberia took off like a rocket and spread like fire, gathering over ten million people worldwide every year. In Moscow alone over 1 million came out to march and carry their ancestors’ portraits in remembrance of their heroism and saving the world in 1941-45. Last year, due to COVID, people gathered on balconies, porches and yards as a distance Immortal Regiment. An online Immortal Regiment with portraits uploaded as a never-ending river, was joined by millions.
Out of a number of great songs written since the inception of the Immortal Regiment, I picked this one: Russian singer Oleg Gazmanov performs his own song, written by him in 2018. The lyrics is beautiful and the melody is deceptively simple, yet haunting. Touches you to the core.
Gazmanov sings about the generals and privates alike, descending down from the sky to march shoulder to shoulder in the flowing river of the Immortal Regiment. The portraits, like icons of old, look back at us, again protecting the motherland and the world. As the river of portraits flows, the old heroes are reborn in the next generations, carrying their memory.
Super clip and song, like everything Gazmanov does – check out!
**The reminders of what really happened back then are especially important now that so many countries are trying to rewrite history, and as generations change, the memory of the truth fades away!