Небо на Земле

Юрий Шевчук, солист DDT, с альбома Акустика
Jurij Shevchuk, lead singer of rock group DDT, in live solo acoustic concert. (Rest of album is here)

This song actually taxes my Engrish. I am looking at it, and scratching my head, as I have no idea even how to start translating it. I’ve fed this text to Babelfish, but systran choked on it too. I guess it does not only tax me….

Россия (Небо на Земле)
Rossija (Sky on Earth) (mp3)

Там, где тьма стоит до света,
Где небритые умы
В смысл неверья, от завета
Чтут наказы из тюрьмы.

На спине таскают время,
Да ссыпают на весы.
Чистят мраморное темя,
Кормят Спасские часы.

Днем кряхтят под образами,
Воют в небо по ночам.
Не в свои садятся сани,
А потом всё по врачам

Сколько буйных с плеч срубили,
Не пришили ни одну.
Тянут песнь как деды жили,
Сами мрачно да по дну.

Берегут до первой смерти,
Отпевают до второй.
Всех святых распяли черти
Бог – он видно выходной.

Все не в масть, да все досада,
Света тьма, а света нет
Завели хмыри в засаду
Да пытают столько лет.

Днем со свечками искали
Выход в мир, где все не так
Дырок много, все слыхали
А не выскачить никак.

Там где тьма стоит у света
Там где свет всегда у тьмы
От завета до Советов
Бродят странные умы

Волосатыми глазами
Шьют дела, куют детей
Запрягают летом сани
И похожи на людей

Эй прокашли вша живая
Спой негромко под луной
Как я на груди сарая,
Спал счастливый и хмельной.

Снились времена другие
Мир без дури и войны.
Девы стройные, нагие
Парни – трезвые умы.

Что принес благие вести
Пьяный ангел на крыле.
Все мы на перине с песней
Строим небо на земле

Update: Do read comments, as my sister beautifully translated this to English.

2 thoughts on “Небо на Земле

  1. Here you are, roughly:

    Where till dawn stands darkness raven,
    Order sheets from prison sent
    Are obeyed by minds unshaven
    In unfaith, like testament.

    Time upon their backs they carry
    Pour it for weighing at each pass,
    Polish up the marble forehead, [?]
    And feed the Spassky hourglass.

    Beneath icons they moan by day,
    By night they howl at the sky,
    Always sit in another’s sleigh,
    And head to doctors by and by.

    How many heads by now ‘ve been offed,
    Not a single one sewn back.
    They sing of grandparents’ profit,
    While they trudge the bottom’s track.

    Save themselves for the first dying;
    Before the second come the wakes.
    All saints the devils are crucifying:
    God, it seems, his rest day takes.

    All’s wrong-coloured, all’s frustration,
    All the light one could see, and no light here.
    Ambushed by a grimbeard nation,
    And tortured many a year.

    They seek with fire by daylight clear
    A way to a world where it’s not the same.
    There’s many holes out, they all hear,
    And yet out no one came.

    There, where by light stands darkness,
    Where light by dark forever stands,
    From Gospel to Councils wander
    Minds strange to understand.

    With hairy eyes their deeds they sew,
    Hammer out children forge-defined.
    They hitch sleds for summer’s snow,
    And resemble human kind.

    Hey you, cough to me, louse living,
    Softly sing beneath moon’s rest,
    Of how, in happy drunk oblivion
    I slept on a stable’s breast.

    And I dreamed of other years:
    A world with neither fools nor war,
    Where maids nude and slim appear,
    Where men sober-minded are,

    Where a drunken angel winging
    Brought us news of joy and mirth…
    All of us, on our beds singing,
    Build a heaven upon Earth.

    (c) 2006 Tamara Vardomskaya

  2. of course, it was not easy, and I would appreciate input on the translation, esp. on the “ambushed by a grimbeard nation” (I’ve got no clear idea what a хмырь is, actually) and the “polish up the marble forehead”

    And, oops, I forgot the verse that comes between “and yet out no one came” and “With hairy eyes their deeds they sew”: it is

    There, where by light stands darkness,
    Where light by dark forever stands,
    From Gospel to Councils wander
    Minds strange to understand.

    If you want to put an update on the post with the full translation, in the correct order and with any corrections, credited to me…

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