The Ballad About Russian Boys: Video Commentary

January 5 2010   5 Commented

Leonid Kharitonov with Russian cosmonauts

This song, originally titled “For the Sake of Future Days” was written in 1963 by the famous Russian composer Anatoly Novikov; the lyrics were written by Lev Oshanin. This performance commemorates the sacrifices and victorious achievements of Russia’s young men from the Revolution through World War II and into the Soviet space era. The presented video clip of the song (below) was made in 1966 for the New Year’s TV show.

The song begins:

“Is it possible to forget those Russian boys…
They met the year 1917 with cannons pointing at their chests…
Revolution looks at them with stern eyes and asks: Are you ready?!
And the boys raise their hands—they are ready!”

At this point in the video (approx. 55 sec.), you will see the cruiser Aurora firing the signal shot to begin the storming by the Bolsheviks of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg on October 25, 1917.

Then, in 1941, their country “looks at them with stern eyes and asks: Are you ready?!”. Once again, the boys raise brave hands—they are ready to face separation, hunger and even death defending the Motherland in World War II. Many decorated military figures in the audience are shown at this point in the video.

And now History calls, and the boys raise strong hands. They are “ready to do anything for the sake of future days….”. Notice the famous cosmonauts shown at this point (3:30). They are (left to right): Yuri Gagarin (first man in space), Pavel Belyaev and Alexey Leonov (who flew together on the Voskhod 2 mission, 3/18/1965, during which Leonov became the first human to walk in space). Leonid Kharitonov was friends with them and many other cosmonauts.

Other notable people in the audience of this 1966 New Year’s TV show are:

IMPORTANT! English subtitles have been added! Be sure to turn Captions (CC) on in the YouTube player to view the subtitles! It’s the last button on the right on the player’s tool bar.

Leonid Kharitonov also performed this song during his Tchaikovsky Hall debut in 1965. You can watch this extraordinary performance here.


Lyrics:

 

Разве можно забыть этих русских мальчишек,
Пареньков, для которых был домом завод?
В старых кепках отцовских,
в тряпье пиджачишек
Уходили мальчишки в семнадцатый год.
В грудь им пушки глядят,
вслед им ветер ревет…
Так встречает мальчишек семнадцатый год.

Глядит Революция, очи суровы:
– Откуда вы, кто вы, на что вы готовы?
В ответ поднимались упрямые руки:
– Готовы на подвиг, готовы на муки,
На радость летящих навстречу огней,
На голод, на холод могильных камней.
Готовы на все ради завтрашних дней!

Год за годом заря над землею вставала,
Поднималась Россия, позабыв о былом
И любовью мальчишек своих баловала,
Как могла, согревала на сердце своем.
Только вдруг сорок первый ударил огнем,
Подпоясал мальчишек солдатским ремнем.

Глядит на них Родина, очи суровы:
– Откуда вы, кто вы, на что вы готовы? –
В ответ поднимались отважные руки:
– Готовы на битву, на годы разлуки.
Готовы на радость победных огней,
На голод, на холод могильных камней
Готовы на все ради завтрашних дней!

А теперь молодежь поднимает ракеты –
Все, что можно желать, ей Отчизна дала.
Но с чужих полигонов бессонной планеты
Смерть грозит уничтожить всю землю дотла
Пепел атомных бурь раскален добела –
Как нам сделать, мальчишки,
что бы юность жила?

Зовет их История, очи суровы:
– Откуда вы, кто вы, на что вы готовы? –
В ответ поднимаются сильные руки:
Всю землю большую берем на поруки,
Родная планета, цвети, зеленей!
Мы любим тебя в переливах огней.
Мы сделаем все ради жизни твоей,
Ради завтрашних дней!

Is it possible to forget those Russian boys,
Those lads for whom the factory was like a home?
In their fathers’ old caps and threadbare jackets
The boys entered the year 1917…
The canons are pointed at their chests
and the wind is roaring at their backs…
Thus, the year 1917 met the boys.

The Revolution is looking
and its eyes are severe:
“Who are you? What are you?
What are you ready for?”
Stubborn hands were raised in reply:
“We are ready for heroic deeds!
We are ready to suffer!
For the sake of joy of the approaching lights,
For the hunger, for the gravestones’ cold,
We are ready for everything
for the sake of future days!”

The dawn rose over the Earth each year,
And Russia was rising, forgetting about the past…
It was pampering the boys with its love
And warmed them in its heart as it could…
But suddenly the year 1941 burst into fire
Girding the boys with a soldier’s belt..

The Motherland is looking at them
and its eyes are severe:
“Who are you? What are you?
What are you ready for?”
Courageous hands were raised in reply:
“We are ready for the battle!
We are ready for the years of separation!
We are ready for the joy of the victorious lights,
For hunger, for the gravestones’ cold,
We are ready for everything
for the sake of future days!”

Nowadays, the youth are raising space rockets!
The Fatherland has given everything
they could wish for.
But from alien ranges of the sleepless planet
Death threatens to destroy
the whole earth completely again
The ashes of the atomic storms are made red-hot!..
“What shall we do, boys, to keep Youth alive?!”

History is calling and its eyes are severe:
Who are you? What are you?
What are you ready for?
Strong hands are raised in reply:
We are taking the whole big Earth
under our personal care.
Flower and turn green, our dear planet!
We love your shimmering lights.
We will do everything
for the sake of your life!
For the sake of future days!


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5 Responses to “The Ballad About Russian Boys: Video Commentary”

  1. Andrey Vladimirsky says:

    эта песня была лучшей за все время, спасибо товарищу Леониду! УВАЖАТЬ УРА!

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  2. Greg Pickman says:

    Thanks for the great info!

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    • admin says:

      You’re very welcome! We’re glad you enjoyed it!

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  3. John says:

    Спасибо, очень понравилось
    (Thank you, I really liked this.)

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    • admin says:

      Спасибо! Мы рады, что вам понравилось!
      (Thank you! We’re glad that you liked it!)

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