Drozdy (Дрозды) (English translation)


Drozdy (Дрозды)

Вы слыхали, как поют дрозды,
Нет, не те дрозды, не полевые,
А дрозды, волшебники-дрозды,
Певчие избранники России.
А дрозды, волшебники дрозды,
Певчие избранники России.
Вот они расселись по лесам,
Зазвучали до самозабвенья,
Узнаю я их по голосам,
Звонких повелителей мгновенья.
Узнаю я их по голосам,
Звонких повелителей мгновенья.
Звуки вырастают, как цветы,
Грустные, весёлые, любые,
То горячие до красноты,
То холодновато-голубые.
То горячие до красноты,
то холодновато-голубые.
Достают до утренней звезды,
Радугами падают на травы,
Шапки прочь, в лесу поют дрозды,
Для души поют, а не для славы.
Шапки прочь, в лесу поют дрозды,
Для души поют, а не для славы.
Submitted by SaintMark on Thu, 18/10/2018 - 11:52
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English translation


Can you hear the blackbirds sing?
I'm not talking about mere trushes,
but blackbirds, magician birds,
singing emblems1 of Russia.
But blackbirds, magician birds,
singing emblems of Russia.
See how they settled in the woods,
uttering their calls senseless2,
I recognize their voices that make them
lords of the moment.3
I recognize their voices that make them
lords of the moment.
Sounds bloom like flowers,
sad, joyful, loving,
sometimes burning red hot,
sometimes a colder blue.
Sometimes burning red hot,
sometimes a colder blue.
They linger till the morning stars appear,
then fall like rainbows on the grass.
Hats off, the blackbirds are singing in the woods.
They sing for their soul, not for fame.
Hats off, the blackbirds are singing in the woods.
They sing for their soul4, not for fame.
  • 1. "representatives"
  • 2. "to the point of selflessness" but the eymology of the word means "forgetting oneself" and can be used in expressions like "deliriously happy"
  • 3. "I recognize them by their voices, these voiced/sonorous lords of the moment "
  • 4. that's the literal meaning, but "для души" (for the soul) also means "as a hobby"
Submitted by ingirumimusnocte on Thu, 18/10/2018 - 22:43
Added in reply to request by SaintMark
Author's comments:

This Russian sounds a bit too poetic for me. I'm not quite sure of the meaning of a few words in this context.

Igeethecat    Fri, 19/10/2018 - 06:04

They call them “forest nightingales”, and certainly they do sing for souls (theirs and ours), not for their fame

Beautiful translation, my dear... Thumbs up

Jadis    Fri, 19/10/2018 - 06:55

Beautiful and interesting song. I always was puzzled with the Russian name "Дрозд", because it refers to different birds, at least in French we call them with different names. Дрозд seems to be a general category (latin Turdidae), including (see https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%94%D1%80%D0%BE%D0%B7%D0%B4%D1%8B ) blackbirds ("merle" in French), redwings and thrushes ("grive"), and more. No one, except the scientists, ever uses the word "Turdus" or "Turdidae" in French, and it's impossible to confuse them or use one appellation in place of another. We even have a proverb that says "Faute de merles, on mange des grives", meaning that if you can't get the finest, so you have to satisfy yourself with second choice. I've also heard Russian locutors hesitating between "дрозд" and "скворец" ("sansonnet", or "étourneau", in French).

So what does exactly mean "дрозды)" in this song, I'm not sure, but from looking at the video, they look more like thrushes than blackbirds. And I wonder which birds are really "певчие избранники России" ?

P.S. Oops, sorry, the proverb is actually "Faute de grives, on mange des merles", so the "grive" is supposed to be tastier (I never tried myself)...

ingirumimusnocte    Fri, 19/10/2018 - 11:04

Indeed I also hesitated between trush and blackbird. I confess I used blackbird because it find it sounds nicer Regular smile

mk87    Fri, 19/10/2018 - 11:12

Actually, a blackbird IS a thrush. Blackbirds are part of the thrush family. "Blackbird" refers to a genus, whereas "thrush" refers to a family. However, if people only say "thrush" they sometimes mean a bird which is more precisely referred to as "song thrush" in English. There are also the so-called "true thrushes", which are also called - tah dah - "blackbirds". Regular smile

Jadis    Fri, 19/10/2018 - 12:40

Well, perhaps in English or in Russian, but I can guarantee you that if I see a blackbird and a thrush side by side, I will tell you immediately which one is the blackbird and which one the thrush. The family is called by its Latin name, Turdus. Just look here and you will see a (male) blackbird. It's called blackbird because it is a black bird (at least, I suppose so  Tongue smile ). Now look there and you will see a (song) thrush ("grive musicienne" in French, so called because it has a pretty song). They do'nt really look alike, do they ?

Jadis    Fri, 19/10/2018 - 12:53

By the way, in German they are differentiated too : Amsel # Drossel. There is a Grimm's tale called König Drosselbart. Do ''Drossel'' have a beard ? I'm not sure, but it's a fairy tale...