Vladimir Vysotsky. The Criminal Code.

The Meter’s Ticking.

He’s said elatedly, “That girl is mine!”
“It’s but a joke, friend, it’s but a joke!
Come ye away—ye’re utterly in wine.
It’s not your business, boy, give up this road!”

But he doesn’t quit, “I’ve really won today!
Let’s catch a cab, why not to take a roam?
The meter’s ticking, but it’s all the same,
We won’t pay until the roam’s over.”

I take no pity on such queer birds,
Yet try to keep him being almost sober.
But he again talks big about her...
“Now ye shouldn’t say, friend, even a word over!”

My blood and wine start boiling in my veins,
And with a smile like I had heretofore,
I softly say to him, “It’s all the same,
But ye shall pay, friend, when the roam’s over!”

Nor words nor tears can touch me tonight—
I want to fight, and I’ve been really strengthened!
“It’s not the moment to discuss my right—
Ye have to pay for that, and ye shall pay, friend!..”

Life drives me forth, and I enjoy the way.
I’m feeling good, I want to laugh and joke.
The meter’s ticking, but it’s all the same,
We won’t pay until the roam’s over...

1964.

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