Vladimir Vysotsky. Life Is Twisted.

A Song about the Transmigration of Souls.Adapted from Jack Doughty and George
Tokarev’s translations by Akbar Muhammad.

Some people trust Muhammad, and some — Jesus for salvation,
And there are also such types who treat these ones with spite,
While there is Hindus’ idea of souls transmigration,
Which says that we don’t die for good, and I believe it’s right.

If for the high your soul strives,

Ye’ll get your dreams again.

But if ye’ve lived a porker’s life,

A porker ye’ll remain.

If people look at you askance, it’s not the cause for crying —
When coming back, ye’ll get a tongue as sharp as a steak knife.
But if it happens that in this life ye’ll see your foe dying —
Ye’ll get a pair of keen eyes in your forthcoming life.

Enjoy your life and don’t be cross,

Don’t gripe about your fate —

Directly into a big boss

Your soul may migrate.

Don’t worry if ye’re but a hand, ye’ll be reborn a foreman,
With time ye’ll be a minister — it’s really not a joke!
But if ye don’t behave yourself — it’s an unlucky omen! —
Then for some hundred years next, ye’ll stand there as an oak!

Get rid of venom if ye can,

Don’t imitate and fox —

We ought to live our earthly span

As normal decent folks.

So who is who and who was what? We’ll never get an answer.
The have-nots will possess the Earth, do think what it implies!
There is a chance that this black cat was formerly a rascal,
And that nice chap was a kind dog, who won his golden prize.

To my delight I give free vent,

I’m like a saint, indeed...

These clever Hindus did invent

A comfortable creed!


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