“The Beggar”

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Leonid Kharitonov – “The Beggar”

Old Russian Romance. Music – Alyabiev, Lyrics – Berange.
Performance at Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow on July 2, 1991, accompanied by the Osipov Orchestra of Russian Folk Instruments under the leadership of conductor Nikolay Kalinin.

Attention: This video has English subtitles!

Song Description

This song is about a French actress. She used to be very famous and beautiful. The whole of Paris shouted “Bravo” at her performances! But with time she became sick and blind. Her Glory left her along with her friends. And now she’s just a poor old beggar at the church’s gates… She is so shy and so ashamed… So give her some change!…

Read more about this song here (in Russian).


Зима, метель, и в крупных хлопьях
При сильном ветре снег валит.
У входа в храм одна в лохмотьях,
Старушка нищая стоит.
И подаянья ожидая,
Она все тут с клюкой своей,
И летом и зимой босая…
Подайте милостыню ей!
Подайте милостыню ей!

Сказать ли вам, старушка эта
Как много лет тому жила!
Она была мечтой поэта,
И слава ей венок плела.
Когда на сцене она пела,
Париж в восторге был от ней.
Она соперниц не имела…
Подайте ж милостыню ей!
О, дайте ж милостыню ей!

Бывало, после представленья
Ей от толпы проезда нет.
И молодежь от восхищенья
Кричала «браво» ей вослед.
Какими пышными хвалами
Кадил ей круг ее друзей —
При счастье все дружатся с нами;
При горе нету тех друзей…

Святая воля провиденья…
Артистка сделалась больна,
Лишилась голоса и зренья
И бродит по миру она.
Бывало нищий не боится
Прийти за милостыней к ней,
Она ж у вас просить стыдится…
Так дайте милостыню ей!
О, дайте милостыню ей!

It’s winter, heavy snowstorm,
and blown by a strong wind,
the snow is falling in large flakes.
At the entrance to the church,
all alone and dressed in rags
Stands an old beggar woman.
Waiting for some alms
She’s always there with her crutch.
In summer or in in winter – she’s barefoot.
So give her some alms!
Give her some alms!

I’ll tell you how that old woman
Lived many years ago…
She was a poet’s dream
And glory wove a wreath for her.
When she sang on stage,
All of Paris was delighted with her.
She didn’t have any rivals…
So give her some alms!
Oh, give her some alms!

Sometimes after her performance
She couldn’t get away from the crowd
And the enraptured youth
followed after her shouting out “Bravo!”
Such magnificent praise
Was given to her by her circle of friends!
Everyone is a friend during happy times
But when there’s grief,
there are no friends!

By the holy will of providence
The artist became ill.
She lost her voice and eyesight,
And now she’s wandering all alone in the world.
Sometimes a beggar is not afraid
Of coming and asking for some alms,
But she’s ashamed to ask you…
So give her some alms!
Oh, give her some alms!

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