My collection of some of the best and most famous hit LOVE songs from Russia. I chose them for you to expand on the lovely topic of March 8: What’s So Unusual About March 8?! International Women’s Day Special!
The songs aren’t in any particular order. By the way, the Russian song lyrics is usually very meaningful and often profound; it normally adds to the perception of a song. I’ve translated some of the lyrics, to give you an idea of what each song is about. But the music is lovely and beautiful in its own right, so enjoy!
Let me know in comments which of these you enjoyed best! Also, I am hearing these with my Russian ear, and I understand the lyrics and the rhythmics of a Russian song. But I am genuinely curious how those who don’t understand the words hear these? How do you think these are different and how do you like them compared, for instance, to English language love songs, and/or such songs in other languages? Your impressions are most welcome!
BEST CONTEMPORARY RUSSIAN LOVE SONGS
I’ll Stay, Aya & Gorod 312 band
Город 312, Останусь
The lyrics is beautiful, and the melody is even better. Brief translation:
“In the end of tunnel, the bright light of a blind star…
A lingering trace of my soles on dry leaves…
I still feel the pulse, and an urge to live…
I may never return, but perhaps I’ll stay…
I’ll stay as ashes on your lips,
I’ll stay as fire in your eyes,
As a breath of wind in your hands.
I’ll stay as snow on your cheek,
I’ll stay as a far away light,
I’ll remain your light… Your light…”
How Enchanting are the Nights in Russia… White Eagle band, Kremlin
The melody is beautiful and truly enchanting.
БЕЛЫЙ ОРЕЛ, КАК УПОИТЕЛЬНЫ В РОССИИ ВЕЧЕРА, КРЕМЛЬ
“Perhaps it’s just dream and love is just a game,
Perhaps my feelings are nothing to you,
Whether in this or other world, I’ll never forget
How enchanting are the Russian nights…”
I Don’t Regret (theme song from the hit 2000s Russian TV series, Poor Nastia, a mesmerizing 19th century paranormal historic drama)
Мне не жаль… [Владимир/Анна/Михаил] “Бедная Настя”
Lyrics, brief translation:
I don’t regret that the fire in my blood has burned and tore at my heart,
But I regret that in the past I lived without love, I regret that I didn’t love enough.
I never stopped loving you, and my soul calls out your name.
With all my heart I pray to creator for you…
Love That Feels Like a Dream, Lara Fabian
A bit of the lovely lyrics:
‘Love that feels like a dream,
The crystal peeling of our hearts,
Your magical ‘I love you,’
I’ll quietly echo back to you.
Love that feels like a dream
Has made my home a happy place,
And contrary to the law of dreams,
May it never end.’
Любовь Похожая На Сон
I Love You to Tears, Aleksandr Serov
Александр Серов – Я люблю тебя до слёз (Ya lublu tebya do slez)
Nice dramatic lyrics! Brief translation:
“I love you to tears
Every breath is like the first time
Instead of a lie of pretty words
I give you a cloud made of roses
With these white rose petals I’ll make our bed
I love you to tears, I love you like mad…
Unfinished Romance, Irina Alegrova and Igor Krutoi (author)
Ирина Аллегрова и Игорь Крутой, Незаконченный роман
starts at 0:33 :
Autumn Leaves, Alla Pugacheva (episode from the acclaimed 2000s film ‘The Admiral’).
Алла Пугачева – Осенние листья
FAMOUS SOVIET LOVE SONGS
I think for the most part you’ll find that Soviet songs were quieter, more melodic and less dramatic than the contemporary Russian songs. But the lyrics and essence was just as, or even more, epic and significant. The lyrics often is very good and full of wisdom.
A Million of Crimson Roses (Rus translit: Milion Alyh Roz), Alla Pugacheva, early 1980s. Pugacheva at the time was one of the biggest names in Soviet and world pop music. For the USSR she was pretty revolutionary, as her style was non-traditional; she was more Western than Russians were used to. Pugacheva’s singing contributed in subtle ways to the USSR collapse, as consciousness awakened through many things, including her songs. Interestingly, to this day she remains a neo-liberal. But she can sing, and for that much is forgiven.
This is a pretty straightforward story of a poor artist who fell in love with a famous actress and to impress her he sold his house and works and bought a million of crimson roses to fill the square in front of her residence. They never saw each other again, but both carried a memory of that day forever. This simple story doesn’t compare in depth to other lyrics in this compilation, but the song became very famous.
I’ll Never Forget You. Dmitry Karachentsov (lead). From the legendary hit musical of the ’80s, Yunona and Avos. The musical was so famous that well-known Western musicians lined up for a chance to be in it.
This dramatic musical is about two Russian navy ships, Yunona and Avos, that arrived on a friendly visit to Latin America in the 19th century. The young daughter of a local Spanish governor falls in love with a Russian officer, who is under orders to leave back home, but promises to return for her. He dies before being able to fulfill his promise. The song is about their eternal love and the fact that they understand they may never see each other again. She promises to be his guiding light, his sail on the way back home; her love would protect him.
Юнона и Авось – Я тебя никогда не забуду
The film is about the 1825 failed Decembrist coup against Tsar Nikolay I; the mutineer officers are sent to Siberia and their aristocratic wives face an excruciating decision of whether to follow their husbands into harsh exile. Here’s the film’s Wikipedia page.
‘Don’t promise a young maiden eternal love on earth…”
The song is simply charming, reminiscing of the care-free days when various protagonists first met and fell in love.
Не обещайте деве юной (Романс)
Echo of Love, Anna German and Lev Leshchenko (One of the Songs of the Year 1977)
Anna German was a Polish singer, who became famous for her performance of the Russian songs.
Анна Герман и Лев Лещенко “Эхо любви” Песня года – 1977
Hope, My Earthly Compass
Another beloved Soviet hit, performed by many singers, but Anna German’s version was probably the best. The song is about holding on to your love no matter the distance. It was written with an idea of the families of pilots and stewardesses in mind, who often flew in different directions and whose meetings were rare.
Анна Герман – Надежда, мой компас земной (Nadezhda, moy kompass zemnoy)
Tenderness (alt. title: The Earth Is Empty Without You). The song was written for the cosmonauts flying off into space and their loved ones. The narrative is from a female standpoint, she misses the love of her life, and so does Mother Earth; she is asking him to fly back home soon. But the song goes deeper, and has a resonance with those who passed and left this world, and how much the living miss them.
Майя Кристалинская – Нежность (Опустела без тебя земля)
Eternal Love, Charles Aznavour – Russian and French versions (From the legendary Soviet film, Teheran-43, about the secret 1943 meeting of Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill in Iran, a successful prevention by Russian intelligence of the German terrorist plot against three leaders – Roosevelt ended up staying at the Russian embassy for security reasons – and a love story that developed between two main characters.)
Шарль Азнавур “Вечная любовь” Russian version
ORIGINAL SONG WITH THE FILM CLIP: Eternal Love,Charles Aznavour. The original theme song, with the actual footage from the movie “Tegeran-43”. The theme of an undying love, a life lived in love, is dramatically contrasted and juxtaposed in the film to the horrifying images of WWII, but the ending depicts a brief reunion of the two lovers, Russian intelligence officer and a Russian-French lady, many years later in Paris. In the French version of the film, they ‘shyly’ omitted the powerful footage of the WWII devastation, but the Russian version showed it in full. Mosfilm, the rights owner, doesn’t allow video reposting, so just click on link to watch this clip!
French version: Mireille Mathieu & Charles Aznavour, Une vie d amour