Vladimir Vysotsky. In a Faraway Kingdom.

Commentary to the song “A Strange Jumping”.

This song narrates about the Ukrainian revolutionaries of the so-called “revolution of dignity”. These revolutionaries could perform on their behalf “Road-Song of the Ban­dar-Log” from Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book”:

Here we go in a flung festoon,
Half-way up to the jealous moon!
Don’t you envy our pranceful bands?
Don’t you wish you had extra hands?
Wouldn’t you like if your tails were so
Curved in the shape of a Cupid’s bow?

Now you’re angry, but never mind,
Brother, thy tail hangs down behind!

Here we sit in a branchy row,
Thinking of beautiful things we know;
Dreaming of deeds that we mean to do,
All complete, in a minute or two
Something noble and wise and good,
Done by merely wishing we could.

We’ve forgotten, but never mind,
Brother, thy tail hangs down behind!

All the talk we ever have heard
Uttered by bat or beast or bird
Hide or fin or scale or feather
Jabber it quickly and all together!
Excellent! Wonderful! Once again!

Now we are talking just like men!

Let’s pretend we are ... never mind,
Brother, thy tail hangs down behind!
This is the way of the Monkey-kind.

Then join our leaping lines that scumfish through the pines,
That rocket by where, light and high, the wild grape swings.
By the rubbish in our wake, and the noble noise we make,
Be sure, be sure, we’re going to do some splendid things!

The song was performed in the musical tale “Alice in Wonderland”.

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