Poems and Songs of Vladimir Vysotsky. The Hill.

Commentary to the song “Throw your blues as a cantaloupe rind!..”

There is a poem, which harmonizes with this song and can supplement it, this is written by the veteran of hostilities of our time Igor Girkin “O war! what thou know’st about, comrade?..”:

O war! what thou know’st about, comrade?
How cruel the soldiers’ fate is!
Heard thou how called death thy old crony,
With whom thou’st a pood of salt eaten?

How speedily pillagers go for
To get hold of other persons’ things,
How overlarge can be dishonor,
When there haps the failure to win.

Both cows and old women are lying
There in the gray ash on the ground,
And one can’t hear even the cock’s crying,
But flies are who live in this town.

How bullets and shells scream, how horrible,
Before thy dead fellow, thy fault...
And it seems that all’s to no profit,
And there are “before war” and “war”...

Igor Girkin is known for the events of the Russian Spring as Igor Strelkov. Under this name, it was published his fairy tales “The Good and Bright Tale of Princess-Doe”, “Tales about the Brownies” и “Tales of the Enchanted Castle” (these tales are in Russian).

Another close in spirit poem is Rasul Gamzatov’s “There was a lad, who once lived in our village...” (this text is Louis Zellikoff’s modified translation):

There was a lad, who once lived in our village,
He had a youthful wife with raven hair,
That self-same year when she and he turned twenty
Came war, and tore him from his wife so fair.

The hero’s wife is now a hero’s widow.
Her hair is gray, her eyes have lost their fire;
Their son, who bears his father’s name so precious,
Today is older than his fallen sire.

Here also comes to mind Robert Rozhdestvensky’s song “For that Young Fellow”.

The song was written for the film “One of Us” (1970).

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