Vladimir Vysotsky. My Gypsy Song.

Commentary to “A Gypsy Song”.

This song has much in common with Rudyard Kipling’s poem “Gipsy Vans”:

Unless you come of the gipsy stock

That steals by night and day,

Lock your heart with a double lock

And throw the key away.

Bury it under the blackest stone

Beneath your father’s hearth,

And keep your eyes on your lawful own

And your feet to the proper path.

Then you can stand at your door and mock

When the gipsy vans come through...

For it isn’t right that the Gorgio stock

Should live as the Romany do.

Unless you come of the gipsy blood

That takes and never spares,

Bide content with your given good

And follow your own affairs.

Plough and harrow and roll your land,

And sow what ought to be sowed;

But never let loose your heart from your hand,

Nor flitter it down the road!

Then you can thrive on your boughten food

As the gipsy vans come through...

For it isn’t nature the Gorgio blood

Should love as the Romany do.

Unless you carry the gipsy eyes

That see but seldom weep,

Keep your head from the naked skies

Or the stars’ll trouble your sleep.

Watch your moon through your window-pane

And take what weather she brews;

But don’t run out in the midnight rain

Nor home in the morning dews.

Then you can huddle and shut your eyes

As the gipsy vans come through...

For it isn’t fitting the Gorgio ryes

Should walk as the Romany do.

Unless you come of the gipsy race

That counts all time the same,

Be you careful of Time and Place

And Judgment and Good Name:

Lose your life for to live your life

The way that you ought to do;

And when you are finished, your God and your wife

And the Gipsies’ll laugh at you!

Then you can rot in your burying place

As the gipsy vans come through...

For it isn’t reason the Gorgio race

Should die as the Romany do.

The song was performed by Rada and Nikolay Volshaninovs and the choir of policemen in the film “The Dangerous Tour” (1969).

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