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:
- Actor Kirill Lavrov (seated left at the very beginning)
- Cosmonaut Alexey Eliseev (2:55).
- Sergo Zakariadze (3:09), a Georgian actor who was famous for the movie “The Father of the Soldier”.
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.
Разве можно забыть этих русских мальчишек,
Глядит Революция, очи суровы:
Год за годом заря над землею вставала, Поднималась Россия, позабыв о былом
Глядит на них Родина, очи суровы:
А теперь молодежь поднимает ракеты –
Зовет их История, очи суровы:
Is it possible to forget those Russian boys,
The Revolution is looking and its eyes are severe:
The dawn rose over the Earth each year,
The Motherland is looking at them and its eyes are severe:
Nowadays, the youth are raising space rockets!
History is calling and its eyes are severe: