Advertisements

Деревянные костюмы [Песня Бродского] (Derevyannye kostumy [Pesnya Brodskogo]) (English translation)

  • Artist: Vladimir Vysotsky (Владимир Высоцкий)
  • Song: Деревянные костюмы [Песня Бродского] (Derevyannye kostumy [Pesnya Brodskogo]) 8 translations
  • Translations: English #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, German #1, #2, Hebrew

Деревянные костюмы [Песня Бродского]

Как все мы веселы бываем и угрюмы,
Но если надо выбирать и выбор труден,
Мы выбираем деревянные костюмы,
Люди, люди...
 
Нам будут долго предлагать - не прогадать.
- Ах!- скажут,- что вы, вы еще не жили!
Вам надо только-только начинать... -
Ну, а потом предложат: или-или.
 
Или пляжи, вернисажи или даже
Пароходы, в них наполненные трюмы,
Экипажи, скачки, рауты, вояжи...
Или просто - деревянные костюмы.
 
И будут веселы они или угрюмы,
И будут в роли злых шутов иль добрых судей,
Но нам предложат деревянные костюмы,
Люди, люди...
 
Нам могут даже предложить и закурить.
- Ах!- вспомнят, - вы ведь долго не курили.
Да вы еще не начинали жить...-
Ну, а потом предложат: или-или.
 
Дым папиросы навевает что-то...
Одна затяжка - веселее думы.
Курить охота, ох, курить охота!
Но надо выбрать деревянные костюмы.
 
И будут вежливы и ласковы настолько -
Предложат жизнь счастливую на блюде.
Но мы откажемся... И бьют они жестоко,
Люди, люди, люди...
 
Submitted by max-dnmax-dn on Wed, 09/12/2015 - 10:23
Last edited by FaryFary on Tue, 02/06/2020 - 17:59
English translationEnglish (metered)
Align paragraphs

The Suits of Timber

Versions: #1#2#3#4#5
Same old same old, we’re either gloomy or we’re cheerful,
But If we are to choose and it requires prudence,
We make our choice, selecting suits of timber,
Humans! Humans!
 
Of course they would suggest that we can lose, not win.
They say: “How foolish, you just started living!
You’re actually just about to begin!”
But then they give a choice to take or leave it.
 
It’s either beaches, exhibitions or, for instance,
The vessels that carry goods they must deliver.
The social meetings, stagecoaches, expeditions,
Or, simply put, these common suits of timber.
 
They will be either gloomy or too cheerful
They’ll play the roles of evil jokers or good men,1
Despite of this, they’ll offer us suits of timber.
Humans! Humans!
 
They even would allow to smoke and to take five,
They will remember our need for smoking.
"You hardly even started through your life!”
But then they give a choice to take or leave it.
 
Elusive something is what cigarettes evoke:
A single puff brings joy to pensive thinking.2
I crave for smoking! Oh, how much I want to smoke!
Yet, it’s high time to choose our suits of timber.
 
A happy life they’ll hand us on a silver platter:
It is so courteous of them as well as moving,
But we’ll refuse and they will land a brutal bashing.
Humans! Humans! Humans!
 
  • 1. good judges in the original
  • 2. This line in Russian is very ambiguous, with its meaning dependent on intonation. Initially i had "A single puff is better than all thinking."
Thanks!
thanked 5 times
© Schnurrbrat
Critique is always welcomed (proof-read or not, negative too).
Submitted by SchnurrbratSchnurrbrat on Tue, 02/06/2020 - 17:46
Last edited by SchnurrbratSchnurrbrat on Fri, 05/06/2020 - 17:55
Author's comments:

Also known as The Brodsky Song, for the last name of the character played by Vysostky in the 1968 movie Intervention.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intervention_(1968_film)

Comments
BratBrat    Tue, 02/06/2020 - 18:59

Nice work!
BTW, if you replace 'beating' with 'battering', it will rhyme with 'platter' somehow. Wink smile

SchnurrbratSchnurrbrat    Tue, 02/06/2020 - 19:02

You think? Thanks. I'm not happy with this one, but it is not the text I want to polish indefinitely.
It's a depressing poetry in the depressing times. I had "thrashing" originally in this line to improve consonance, but I'm still sitting on the fence regarding this change.

BratBrat    Tue, 02/06/2020 - 19:05
Schnurrbrat wrote:

You think? Thanks. I'm not happy with this one

You may be unhappy, but it's even singable, I daresay... Wink smile

Vera AlxVera Alx    Wed, 03/06/2020 - 22:48

Депрессивная поэзия,
в депрессивное время
???
Смотря для кого.
Да.
Для сволочей - белогвардейцев, американских, английских, немецких и прочих интервентов, оккупантов, грабителей и наемников депрессивное время. Их интервенция закончилась бегством из России.

Здесь - речь о двуличии выше перечисленных
сволочей.
Смысл песни - либо ты предаешь-продаешь Россию, Родину, Отчизну и остаешься жить, подзаработав деньжат...
Или тебя убивают, кладут в деревянный гроб.
( деревянные костюмы).

Эта песня о герое комиссаре, иначе бы В.Высоцкий в нем не пел.

Если "деревянные костюмы" замените на слово Смерть, тогда смысл легко понять.

SchnurrbratSchnurrbrat    Wed, 03/06/2020 - 23:01

ух ты.
Вы мне просто глаза открываете на историю государства Российского.
Ловко Вы поделили всех на красных и белых.

silencedsilenced    Tue, 02/06/2020 - 19:28

The even would allow to smoke and to take five -> small typo (They)

Одна затяжка - веселее думы -> I read "one (single) puff (means) happier thoughts", or am I hallucinating?

high time for choosing -> I smell a rat there, I think "high time we chose" would be safer.

Sorry to ask yet another uncultured question, but I don't get the context. I suppose it's about coffins and it takes place during the civil war, but I'm still not sure who he's talking about. Soldiers I guess? I read the wiki on the "intervention" movie but I couldn't really see the link.

SchnurrbratSchnurrbrat    Tue, 02/06/2020 - 20:33

1. Thanks for this typo hunting. They increased tenfold with Office 365.
2. A single puff is merrier than pensive thinking. { literal }
3. I'll engage my черствый мозг there, gimme a second.
4. No you are fine there. It's me dumb, this song has nothing to do with a proclaimed poet, it is indeed for/from the movie, which I don't recall watching. I most likely watched it several times, as all Soviet folks did given a choice of two TV channels, but I don't remember it completely.
EDIT, Yes, lol, I watched it at least twice.
here is a good link to read - see photos of actors, etc.
https://echo.msk.ru/blog/odin_vv/2168242-echo/

silencedsilenced    Tue, 02/06/2020 - 21:08

Thanks for the link. It makes more sense with the few more minutes of dialogue before the song.

BratBrat    Wed, 03/06/2020 - 01:19
silenced έγραψε:

Одна затяжка - веселее думы -> I read "one (single) puff (means) happier thoughts", or am I hallucinating?

It is just another possible interpretation. I think, it would be nice to have a footnote there, although the alternative meaning does not affect the general picture of the song.

silencedsilenced    Wed, 03/06/2020 - 01:33

It seems like a genuine ambiguity in Russian: how do you differentiate "bigger objects" (nominative) and "bigger than an object" for regular feminine nouns?
It would look exactly the same, wouldn't it?

BratBrat    Wed, 03/06/2020 - 03:46
silenced escribió:

It seems like a genuine ambiguity in Russian: how do you differentiate "bigger objects" (nominative) and "bigger than an object" for regular feminine nouns?
It would look exactly the same, wouldn't it?

А ты думаешь, чего это в России так водку уважают? - А это потому, что без неё не разберёшься. А так выпил бутылку - она вроде бы и большАя, но есть и ещё бОльшая. Wink smile

SchnurrbratSchnurrbrat    Wed, 03/06/2020 - 01:42

Pierre,
You was right again, your initial understanding of the line in question is a correct one. I just listened to the recording from the movie, at it seems there is indeed a pause, indicating that we should lean to the meaning "one puff [brings] happy thoughts", rather than "one puff is merrier than pensive thinking". Both phrases will be written identically in Russian, at least to my poor knowledge of my native language. Hopefully others could explain to you better than I do.

silencedsilenced    Wed, 03/06/2020 - 01:53

You mean for once, by chance, I guessed right?
To be fully honest, I feel so full of pride it'll be a few minutes before my head fits again in the door frame Teeth smile Teeth smile Teeth smile
Anyway, I'm glad it allowed to improve the translation.

SchnurrbratSchnurrbrat    Wed, 03/06/2020 - 02:02

Did I say anything about improving my translation? Teeth smile Teeth smile Teeth smile
I like my alternative (gosh, it is a popular word now) meaning of this line. Wink smile

silencedsilenced    Wed, 03/06/2020 - 02:08

Oh well, joke apart I genuinely felt elated, you know, like a little kid who suddenly manages to grasp the meaning of a complicated word. I'm terribly intimidated by this language. I can't thank you enough guys for helping me cope with it.

SchnurrbratSchnurrbrat    Wed, 03/06/2020 - 02:15

OK, jokes aside, me too (was terribly intimidated). I had nightmares about exams in Russian AFTER I long finished my high school. It's beautiful, yes, most flexible, yes, best swearing, oh yes, but I wonder what is the percentage of Russians who could write down one page error-free.

silencedsilenced    Wed, 03/06/2020 - 02:21

Funny, that made me think of computer engineering.
C++ would fit your description quite well, if you replace swearing by "writing the shittiest possible code".
Better spend time learning Russian than the latest devolution of C++ though.

IrulaIrula    Wed, 03/06/2020 - 02:44

A little test for you Pierre.
How would you translate “мать сыра земля»?

silencedsilenced    Wed, 03/06/2020 - 13:39

Some (just a few) have equivalents in French:
да нет наверное -> oui, non, probablement -> you're right, I was probably wrong

Some are just fillers (the antonym / synonym thing works in any language)

the "косил косой..." is remarkable, but not that hard to get. A suchandsuch subject did something (with/looking like) a suchandsuch something, now pick a dictionary and Bob will be your Russian uncle. "a lazy guy was mowing with a curved scythe" ?
"косой" as an adjective has many meanings, apparently

We have one not too far in French:
"si six scies scient six cyprès, six cents six scies scient six cent six cyprès"
"if 6 saws saw 6 cypresses, 606 saws saw 606 cypresses"
"si si si si si si pray si san si si si san si si pray"
It's a nice tongue twister too.

мать сыра земля -> I've already failed the test once, and to my shame I didn't manage to memorize the answer to this riddle Regular smile
It's not "Earth is the mother of cheese" for sure...

IrulaIrula    Wed, 03/06/2020 - 12:56

Lololol!!! No, it’s not “Earth is the mother of cheese”!
We saw such a translation recently 😂.
Here is a little clue - сыра (сырА)=сырая.
But the full meaning of this phrase is also something else.

silencedsilenced    Wed, 03/06/2020 - 13:37

Clearly "мать" is a popular ingredient to a host of nasty things to say, but I've only scratched the surface of dirty Russian.
I would rather get the answer from you than our Google Lord. Please, enlighten me.

IrulaIrula    Wed, 03/06/2020 - 14:09

Here is one of the complete sentences using this phrase:

Никто на свете нас не разлучит, лишь только мать сыра земля => no one in the world will break us apart, only mother damp earth (a grave) will.

So it is a grim saying, sorry, but the way it’s been translated is hilarious!!!!

IrulaIrula    Wed, 03/06/2020 - 14:40

У Окуджавы тоже «сырая» земля, не «серая».
The damp earth, not the “gray“ earth.
That sound “Ы” is a tricky one.

silencedsilenced    Wed, 03/06/2020 - 14:43

Erf... I just memorized it wrong for decades.

IrulaIrula    Wed, 03/06/2020 - 14:47

But now you know the right one! 😁

silencedsilenced    Wed, 03/06/2020 - 14:50

Hopefully I won't forget it this time.

IrulaIrula    Wed, 03/06/2020 - 14:18

Here is one of the complete sentences using this phrase:

Никто на свете нас не разлучит, лишь только мать сыра земля => no one in the world will break us apart, only mother damp earth (a grave) will.

So it is a grim saying, sorry, but the way it’s been translated is hilarious!!!!

Pinchus ZelenogorskyPinchus Zelenogorsky    Wed, 03/06/2020 - 14:58

>да нет наверное -> oui, non, probablement -> you're right, I was probably wrong
На русском это означает неуверенное "нет"

silencedsilenced    Wed, 03/06/2020 - 15:03

It could mean that in French too, depending on the way it's pronounced.
"yes, probably not", but we would rather say it like "non, probablement pas", which uses a "no" where English uses a "yes" Regular smile

Pinchus ZelenogorskyPinchus Zelenogorsky    Wed, 03/06/2020 - 14:46

Мне больше "где ёж" понравился. Вот только я сомневаюсь, что нет языка, где подобный же трюк нельзя было проделать. Как насчет английского?

IrulaIrula    Wed, 03/06/2020 - 14:50

А что там было про ежа?

Pinchus ZelenogorskyPinchus Zelenogorsky    Wed, 03/06/2020 - 15:38

Фраза, составленная из букв, идущих в алфавите подряд. Якобы, такой трюк возможен только в русском. Кто придумает нечто подобное в английском или французском?

IrulaIrula    Wed, 03/06/2020 - 15:08

В переводах с английского этого так много, что сразу даже и не вспомнишь!
Вот, например, из школьных лет:
Next-door girl => следующей двери девочка

silencedsilenced    Wed, 03/06/2020 - 15:16

I'm not sure we're thinking about the same "tricks", but I bet you can find ambiguities in the syntax of many languages.
English participles, for instance:
I like amusing people -> I like to amuse people / I like people that are amusing

Pinchus ZelenogorskyPinchus Zelenogorsky    Wed, 03/06/2020 - 02:38

Мне тоже кажется, что здесь правильно было бы без тире: "Одна затяжка веселее (чем) думы"

IrulaIrula    Wed, 03/06/2020 - 02:45

Одна затяжка - и веселее станут думы

Pinchus ZelenogorskyPinchus Zelenogorsky    Wed, 03/06/2020 - 02:49

Когда надевают деревянные костюмы? Боюсь, не поможет.

BratBrat    Wed, 03/06/2020 - 03:33
Irula έγραψε:

Одна затяжка - и веселее станут думы

Одна затяжка - веселее Думы
Один стопарик - бодрее Совета Федерации
А если ещё винта ввернуть - живее самого Президента станешь. Wink smile

IrulaIrula    Wed, 03/06/2020 - 14:28

От затяжки думы все светлей,
А от стопочки ещё прекрасней мысли
Косячком ты поделись скорей
И получишь удовольствие от жизни

И тогда, наверняка, вдруг поймёшь, что мало, мля!
И потребуешь банкета продолженья
Хоть затяжечка была безобиднейше мала
А какое получилось приключенье!

SchnurrbratSchnurrbrat    Wed, 03/06/2020 - 02:52

Somehow this depressing song has trickled down to the good old 420 theme.
No regrets though, thanks for the discussion, I might change this line to bring it closer to the original meaning, although I think that my version is indeed in line with the context, within the frames of the main theme.

IrulaIrula    Wed, 03/06/2020 - 03:22

I was talking about tobacco 😁

silencedsilenced    Wed, 03/06/2020 - 14:32

Being Russian is all about having fun while being miserable, if you don't mind an outside observer saying...

Read about music throughout history