The Rhythmic Structure of Vladimir Vysotsky’s Poems and Songs.

The Structure of the Song “About a Car Crash”.

a.
B.
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B.
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B.
a.
B.

11+1.
10+2.
11+1.
10+2.
11+1.
10+2.
11+1.
10+2.

1-4-7-10.
1-4-7-10.
1-4-7-10.
1-4-7-10.
1-4-7-10.
1-4-7-10.
1-4-7-10.
1-4-7-10.

(*) (*) (*) Maybe, ye’re crossing a road, safe and sound, (*)
And there appears a car from the bend... (*) (*)
With all these carriers driving around (*)
Lots of us don’t reach our natural end. (*) (*)
Friday a hearse badly crashed on our highway, (*)
Three fellows rode to bury their mate— (*) (*)
All were disfigured, and also a driver, (*)
Only that lad in his coffer escaped. (*) (*)

a.
B.
a.
B.
a.
B.
a.
B.

11+1.
10+2.
11+1.
10+2.
11+1.
10+2.
11+1.
10+2.

1-4-7-10.
1-4-7-10.
1-4-7-10.
1-4-7-10.
1-4-7-10.
1-4-7-10.
1-4-7-10.
1-4-7-10.

Women sobbed hard through clenched teeth to earn money, (*)
Trumpets of brass were uncandid and dry, (*) (*)
Also the deacon’s high notes went funny— (*)
Only that lad in his coffer didn’t lie. (*) (*)
His former boss, a notorious joker, (*)
Kissed him despite his aversion and spurn, (*) (*)
All did the same, tho’ that lad in his coffer (*)
Wasn’t kind to give even a kiss in return. (*) (*)

a.
B.
a.
B.
a.
B.
a.
B.

11+1.
10+2.
11+1.
10+2.
11+1.
10+2.
11+1.
10+2.

1-4-7-10.
1-4-7-10.
1-4-7-10.
1-4-7-10.
1-4-7-10.
1-4-7-10.
1-4-7-10.
1-4-7-10.

It started raining—all went helter-skelter, (*)
What can do mortals against Nature’s will? (*) (*)
All rushed away to discover a shelter, (*)
Only that lad in his coffer stayed still. (*) (*)
Wet weather doesn’t bother him any longer, (*)
There’s no cold he’s likely to catch— (*) (*)
I must admit that dead men are much stronger (*)
Than living ones, and we can’t be their match! (*) (*)

a.
B.
a.
B.
a.
B.
a.
B.

11+1.
10+2.
11+1.
10+2.
11+1.
10+2.
11+1.
10+2.

1-4-7-10.
1-4-7-10.
1-4-7-10.
1-4-7-10.
1-4-7-10.
1-4-7-10.
1-4-7-10.
1-4-7-10.

Being alive, ye should live in a hurry, (*)
Rumors and gossips in all quarters fly, (*) (*)
But they can’t give you a moment of worry (*)
When in a coffer of oak ye lie. (*) (*)
It’s not important if it’s personal or common— (*)
Dead men aren’t troubled o’er housing like us. (*) (*)
He’s an obliging and pleasant man, our goner— (*)
Nothing can force him to kick up a fuss. (*) (*)

a.
B.
a.
B.
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B.
a.
B.

11+1.
10+2.
11+1.
10+2.
11+1.
10+2.
11+1.
10.

1-4-7-10.
1-4-7-10.
1-4-7-10.
1-4-7-10.
1-4-7-10.
1-4-7-10.
1-4-7-10.
1-4-7-10.

Hades is silent and also profound, (*)
There’s no mess, no dirt, no sludge; (*) (*)
While we, like crazy, wayfare around, (*)
Those who lie in their coffers don’t budge. (*) (*)
“He praises death!”—someone angrily hisses. (*)
No, it’s with our cruel fate I’m upset: (*) (*)
We any time can be crushed into pieces, (*)
Barring the men who already are dead. (*) (*) (*)

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