Poems and Songs of Vladimir Vysotsky. In a Faraway Kingdom.

Commentary to the song “The Two Brothers”.

Here is stanza 1:

In the village of Big Forks,
Where the hayloft was burnt off,
There were in the days of old
Two bad persons of great force —
Brothers Nicholas and Prov.

These brothers symbolize the United States and “Israel”, the village of Big Forks — our Earth, and the hayloft — the Chernobyl nuclear power plant (the Chernobyl disaster, which happened when the third angel sounded, burst out over the six years after the death of the poet). But the brothers can also symbolize two persons, and the village of Big Forks — Rossia. The song has the happy end­ing: the brothers felt ashamed of their behavior and stopped terrorizing people when the wan­derer said to them, “Brothers, ye ought to be ashamed!”

The song was written in 1970.

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