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Russian New Year and Christmas Songs
December 30, 2011 10:20

Snezhinka ("A Snowflake")
  This song is from the Soviet musical film "Charodeii" ("The Magicians"), which text and melody was written by a composer L. Derbenev. The real singer is not a young actress Anna Ashimova (on the video) but a popular Russian pop-singer Larisa Dolina. This beautiful song has already become classics among other holiday songs.
Lyrics here (in Russian)

V Lesu Rodilas Yolochka ("The forest raised a Christmas tree")
It is really the most popular Russian New Year song, just a legend. There is no person in the country, who doesn't know that song or several lines from it. It is the first song children learn by heart at school or even earlier. It was written in 1903-1905 by poet Raisa Kudasheva and composer Leo Beckmann.
Lyrics here (in Russian)
There is an enormous amount of Yolochka's different version. We've prepared a very interesting example for you - the song is performed by Moscow Oratorio Society. A real masterpiece.
The forest raised a Christmas tree,
‘Twas silent and serene
In winter and in summer
It was slender and so green.

The wind sang it a lullaby:
Sleep Christmas tree, sleep tight!
The snow was making clothes for it:
It was a pretty sight!

A trembling bunny put himself
Beneath its arms so wide;
The hungry wolf just passed him by -
A lovely place to hide!

Some sleigh bells rang throughout the woods,
The snow was crisp and clean,
A horsey brought a forester
To hew that tree so green.

And now it comes to visit us,
With lights and garlands bright,
While all the children dance and sing
To greet it with delight!
(translated by Arthur Durando and Irina Popova)

Thanks to its rhythm and structure, it is easy to translate this song into different languages. The most unusual translation we've found is Latin! And it sounds quite good, actually.
In silva nata (e)st abies,
In silva crescebat.
Aestate atque hieme
Haec viridis erat.

Cantabat hiemes canticum
Tu dormi, abies!
Tegebat frigus nivibus -
Ne frigeas, cave!

Sub abiete lepores
Saltabant timidi,
Nonnunquam lupi silvestres
Currebant horridi...

...Et nunc ornata abies
Ad festum advenit
Et multa, multa gaudia
Infantibus tulit.


Pyat Minut ("Five Minutes")
This song was written by a composer Anatoly Lepin for the "Karnavalnaya Noch" (Carnival Night) movie. The actress and singer is a Soviet and Russian legend Lyudmila Gurchenko. It is one of the most popular songs about New Year in Russia.
Lyrics here (in Russian)

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Novogodnyaya ("New Year Song") by "Diskoteka Avariya" group
 This youth dance song with some comic implication became a real modern hymn of Russian New Year celebrations. You will hear this song at every New Year party of other event. What are you waiting for? Let's dance!
Lyrics here (in Russian)

Rasskazhi Snegurochka Gde Byla ("Tell me, Snow Girl, Where You've Been")
 This funny song was written by a composer Yuri Entin for the special New Year's episode of the "Nu-Pogodi!" ("You Just Wait!") popular Soviet cartoon. The singers are great Soviet actors A. Papanov and K. Rumyanova. The comical effect of the song increases by the characters' crossdressing, when the bully Volf behaves like a cute Snow Maiden.
Lyrics here (in Russian)

Kaby Ne Bylo Zimy "If There Were No Winter"
This song came into people's lives from the "Kanikuli v Prostokvashino" ("Holidays in the Prostokvashino Village") Soviet cartoon. It is said there that we would lost a lot of funny games, events and experiences, if there were no winter time, and winter holidays are among them. Song is written by composers Uspensky and Entin, the singer is Valentina Tolkunova.
Lyrics here (in Russian)
 The following music video is a variety performance of Valentina Tolkunova.

Noch Nakanune Rozhdestva ("Christmas Eve") by Valery Meladze
Valery Meladze is a popular Russian pop-singer, song from his repertoire are usually romantic and lyrical. This beautiful song is one of his earliest, in its text a father sings to his sleepy daughter. The song has a unique atmosphere of Christmas dreams and light melancholy. The clip for this song was filmed in Prague.

 Rozhdestvenskaya Pesnya ("Christmas Song")
"Mashina Vremeni" is a classical Russian rock-band, which is famous for its lifelike, phylosophical and acute social songs. So, no wonder, that their Christmas song is a calm and profound artwork, which is so good for pacification and thoughts. And it just has a beautiful melody, so you can listen it even without any words.
Lyrics here (in Russian)

Novogodniye Igrushki ("New Year Toys") by Arkady Khoralov
There were a lot of New Year and Christmas pop-songs of 90s and 00s, but only few of them became very popular among Russian people. We'll show you one of such songs, that perfectly reproduces light and kind atmosphere of the merry family holiday. "New Year Toys" song was rehashed several times. In this clip it is performed by the "New Samotsvety" group, and this is one of the best versions.
Lyrics here (in Russian)

Belye Snezhinki ("White Snowflakes")
This cute song is traditionally perfomanced by children at New Year's morning perfomances and dances. It also appeared in the Sovie comedy film "Dzhentelmeny Udachi" ("Lucky Gentlemen"). Music by G. Gladkov, words by I. Shaferan.
Lyrics here (in Russian)

Pesenka Deda Moroza ("Ded Moroz's Song)
This song is from the "Ded Moroz i Leto" (Ded Moroz and Summer) child cartoon. According to lyrics Father Frost is going to fly  round the world giving children presents and he is singing a song about it. Now this song is considered as the main song of Russian Ded Moroz.
Lyrics here (in Russian)

 In conclusion there is a small surprise for you - "Jingle Bells" in Russian! In this adaptation it is called "Bubentsy", the lyrics has changed a bit but it is still close to the original. The singer is Aleksei Kortnev. Enjoy!

Julia Alieva

Author: Julia Alieva

Tags: Russian Winter New Year Christmas Russian music Russian singers 

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