Vladimir Vysotsky. Who For What Runs.

Commentary to the song “Who For What Runs”.

Here is stanza 20:

The first won’t swallow down the tasty piece,
The second won’t put on the laurel wreath,
And will be bound the third
To go to the reserve.

These four runners symbolize the four major religions of the world Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism and Islam (which, by all appearances, are symbolized by the four living creatures mentioned in the Book of Revelation) respectively. The fact that the fourth runner threw off his jersey at the finish relates to Porphyry Ivanov, peace be upon him.

Here are the final lines:

The shoulders are apart the shoulder-bones
The four titleholders are just flying forth!

The song was written in 1974.

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