Responding to Leonid Kharitonov’s 2010 New Year’s greetings on his web site, which includes a video of his 1969 New Year’s Eve performance of Dark-Eyed Cossack Girl, the fans from the Japanese musical group “Polyanochka” (The Glade, photo on the right) in turn greet Leonid Kharitonov with best wishes for the 2010 New Year and perform their version of the Dark-Eyed Cossack Girl song as a gift in his honor in this video, which they recently posted on their YouTube channel.
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.
Thanks so much to all of you for your very nice comments and your attention to our web site! Recently, Leonid Kharitonov asked us to wish a Happy New Year to all of his fans and friends and those who admire his creative work! He enjoys hearing from you very much, and we, the web site’s administrators, are interested to know your thoughts and suggestions for our web site as well.
We hope you’ll enjoy this special New Year’s performance of Dark-Eyed Cossack Girl. This song was written especially for Leonid Kharitonov in 1966. This specially made video uses a very rare 1971 audio version of the song.
“Ej, Uhnem!”, (Russian: “Эй, ухнем!”), roughly translates to “Yo, Heave Ho!” This well-known Russian folk song is also known outside of Russia as “The Song of the Volga Boatmen“. The burlaks (boatmen) first appeared in Russia in the late 16th century. A burlak was a hired laborer who walked along the bank of the river as part of a crew, dragging ships against the current with a tow rope. The work was extremely heavy and monotonous. The song became widely known thanks to its performance by the great Russian bass, Fyodor Ivanovich Shalyapin, and has since become a favorite part of the repertoire of many singers and performers, both inside and outside of Russia. The famous painting by Russian artist Ilya Repin, “Burlaks on the Volga” (shown below), was inspired by the song.
This song is about the fate of the 17th century Russian rebel, Stepan Razin. The lyrics were written in 1864 by novelist Alexander Alexandrovich Navrotsky who was also a member of Narodnaya Volya (Russian: Народная Воля), a secret revolutionary organization perhaps best known for assassinating Tsar Alexander II on March 13, 1881. The song was an anthem for revolutionaries of the late 19th and early 20th century in Russia; Lenin often sang it with his comrades-in-arms. The song is still culturally central to Russia. Leonid Kharitonov remembers:
“My solo career truly began with a concert in the Kremlin Palace of Congresses on April 22, 1965, dedicated to the 95th anniversary of Lenin, when I sang “There is a cliff on the Volga.” [Click here to listen to this performance.]
We are proud to announce that as a result of the recent joint efforts of an international team of enthusiasts, an article has been published on the international, English-language free encyclopedia “Wikipedia” with information about the life and creative work of singer Leonid Kharitonov.
A few days after the article was finished, on October 14, 2009, Wikipedia administrators found this story interesting enough to post it on the Wikipedia front page under in the “Did You Know …” section; (see screenshot.) In fact, of one of the moderators of this portal commented: “The article is very worthwhile, and you’ve all done some great work on it. His voice is really magnificent too!”.