Poems and Songs of Vladimir Vysotsky. Life Is Twisted.

Commentary to the poem-song “Forty-Nine Days”.

This poem-song was written as a literary text, where the stamps of the Soviet press and official poetry were parodied. The plot of it is based on a real event: in 1960, four Soviet servicemen were carried away by storm from Iturup Bay into the open ocean on a barge, and after futile searches they were reported missing, but they managed to survive and after a 49-day drift were picked up by an American vessel.

But on the other hand, these servicemen — the junior sergeant Askhat Ziganshin and the privates Philip Poplavsky, Anatoly Kryuchkovsky and Ivan The­o­do­tov — symbolize the four major religions of the world — Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism respectively. The duration of the test that fell to them in­di­cates that this test was sent down from above, and this is exactly the time we live in.

The poem-song was written in 1960.

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