[SOLVED] Is there a reference hidden in these lyrics?

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Editor and cheeky nitpicker
Joined: 14.09.2013
Pending moderation

I remember asking this question to a few natives to no avail, but just in case:

In this song, the first line (Дорога не по краю и уводит не в лес) looks to me like it could refer to a folk song, or maybe a poem.

here are the complete lyrics (sparing the readers one click is about the best I can do to help :)).

Дорога не по краю и уводит не в лес
И я не ощущаю больше камнем свой вес
Ведь так легко, когда в Париже месяц май.
А у тебя – убийственное лето
Так обычно, так привычно – выбирай!

(Припев: )
Но ты ни разу не был, не был первым в моем сердце
Так и знай
Ведь для тебя Арбат, Тверская, Гоголя, а для меня
Бульвар Распай.

Прощание быстротечно, ведь известен финал
Ты не найдешь во мне, чего так долго искал
Мой самолет мелькнул крылом и был таков
И белый след, написанный на небе
Не заметишь из-за легких облаков.


И если два пути из снов в такие же сны
Становятся одной чертой парижской весны
Я буду ждать, когда придет твоя весна,
А ты уйдешь в убийственное лето
Как обычно, так привычно. Как всегда.

What do you Russian natives think? Thanks in advance.

Editor /Languages Advocate
Joined: 18.10.2015

Hi, Pierre. Since you never asked me about this song this is what I think. The girl is saying that she and her boyfriend can't be together because they have different lifestyles, different attitude to life and consequently different aspirations expressed in two metaphoric images:
Moscow streets - Russian approach to life with endless philosophic agony "What do we live for?" which makes life harder than it actually is and which results in an image of a killing scorching summer her boyfriend definitely enjoys and which she refuses to share.(Ты не найдешь во мне, чего так долго искал)

She associates with Boulevard Raspail as an image of a light enjoyable lifestyle the French have. She strives for easy-going, care-free take of life. (И я не ощущаю больше камнем свой вес. Ведь так легко, когда в Париже месяц май). And her boyfriend is no help to this end. She's ready to wait until his attitude changes (И если два пути из снов в такие же сны Становятся одной чертой парижской весны Я буду ждать, когда придет твоя весна)

And in the meanwhile she's off to Paris! (Yes, Pierre, I know what you want to say about her perception of "La vie En Rose")

And the first line will hopefully be clearer after that.

Дорога по краю =Дорога по краю пропасти A road on the edge of a precipice She's saying that their breaking off isn't a question of life or death. I'd translate it as We're not on a ledge.

Дорога уводит не в лес = The road doesn't lead to the woods (The woods is a Russian image of a maze, a constant dilemma, getting lost etc.) So the general idea is that their parting isn't a life rescue matter. It's just "No bones broken"

As an option I would translate the first line as
"We're not on a ledge, neither are we in a maze"

This is how I see things in the song. Hope it helps. Sorry if there are typos - my alter ego Regular smile

Super Member
Joined: 03.03.2017

To be honest I don't understand what is "дорога не по краю"
I am sure this phrase doesn't make any sense
The word "краю" rhymes with the word "ощущаю". That's all!

Editor /Languages Advocate
Joined: 18.10.2015

I'm sorry, there's not such a thing as "lyrics making no sense". Дорога не по краю = не "дорога по краю"

Дорога по краю, стоять на краю, быть на краю (пропасти) is a noted image in Russian associated with deathly risk

Я коней напою,
Я куплет допою —
Хоть немного ещё
постою на краю!

Btw - both translations are hideous (from a Russian and English native speakers. Looks like the lyrics are meaningless to them at times, too^^) :cry:

Super Member
Joined: 03.03.2017

sandring, I see that you don't understand the Russian language.
I'm not going to argue with you.

Editor and cheeky nitpicker
Joined: 14.09.2013

I actually tried to translate this song twice, and asked about this first line both times. The best answer I got was that it was just a plain sentence with no hidden meaning. Still the rest of the lyrics made perfect sense and were rather elaborate, as far as my Russian allows me to judge, so I could hardly imagine the first sentence being just a pretty collection of words.

Nadia's explanations seem quite sound to me, though whether it's about the cities themselves or a couple of lovers does not make much difference in my opinion. It's about different views of the world anyway.

So, the meaning could be something like "this is no perilious path and it does not lead to a maze", i.e. "I can handle the risks and I won't get lost". Just what the girl could say to answer some objections to moving to Paris.
Sounds convincing to me, but again my Russian is weak, so I have to take your native guys word for it.

At any rate, I don't want to start a war here. Most if not all of my Russian translations are full of errors and misunderstandings. Correcting one of them or not will not make such a difference in the big scheme of things.

Editor /Languages Advocate
Joined: 18.10.2015

Олег L. Я с Вами полностью согласна, куда уж мне русский-то понять! :D:

Super Member
Joined: 22.04.2014

А я вот не понимаю, зачем она исказила "Гоголя". Её собеседник - француз, и она имитирует его произношение?

Editor and cheeky nitpicker
Joined: 14.09.2013

A French native would just say "Гогол", not knowing what a genitive is Regular smile

Editor /Languages Advocate
Joined: 18.10.2015

Таня, как раз наоборот. Ее бойфренд - русский, и она издевается над его приверженностью русскому образу жизни, коверкая название улицы. Гадкая девчонка!

Tania, it's the other way round. Her boyfriend is Russian and she's mocking at his attachment to the Russian lifestyle, corrupting the name of the street. Naughty girl!

Super Member
Joined: 22.04.2014

Эта "Гагаля" неспроста! Нет чтобы спеть "Тверская, Гоголя, Арбат"... Звучит ужасно Sad smile

Editor /Languages Advocate
Joined: 18.10.2015

Согласна. какой-то диссонанс. Зато я Вам, Таня, расстаралась и Пушкина перевела как положено и с размером и рифмой Воспоминание. Получилось прекрасно! Самой нравится! Regular smile

Super Member
Joined: 22.04.2014

Спасибо! Посмотрю, как будут время и силы Regular smile