Thursday, February 3, 2011

excerpt from Plasticene Crow, Aleksandr Tatarskiy, 1981

The lyrics, as translated by the invaluable Youtube denizen Niffiwan:

There is a simple folk tale
or maybe not a folk tale
or maybe not so simple
that we'd like you to hear

we know it from our childhood
or maybe from adulthood
or maybe we don't know it
but hope it will appear.

One time there was a crow
or possibly a dog
or possibly a cow
who struck a lucky score:

she found a piece of cheese
about 200 grams
or possibly 300
or maybe even more.

She flew right up a pine
or maybe didn't fly
or maybe up a palm tree
she ran right up from thence

and there for some nice breakfasting
or maybe for some dinner
or maybe even suppertime
she quickly made her plans.

But here a fox was running
or maybe wasn't running
or maybe a mad ostrich
or kind, we might presume

Or possibly a sweeper
who traipsed along the countryside
to find the nearest hazel tree
and carve himself a broom.

"Oh listen my dear crow
unless you are a dog
or possibly a cow
the finest cow of all

your feathers are exquisite
your horns are really something
your hooves are nice and slim
and what a kindly soul!

If ever you should sing
or maybe if you woof
or if you started mooing
(since cows moo a lot)

then you'll get a big saddle
a carpet and a TV;
nice presents will be gotten
or maybe will be got."

And so, the stupid crow,
or possibly the dog,
or possibly the cow,
began to sing and crow...

And from such awful singing,
which may not have been singing,
our population fainted
as if from a great blow.

The crow lost the cheese,
or possibly the dog,
perhaps it was the cow;
on this we are agreed,

and right atop the fox
or possibly the ostrich
or possibly the sweeper
it fell with some great speed.

The moral of this tale,
which may not be a tale,
not just a grown adult;
a dwarf should understand

don't ever stand, don't jump around,
don't sing or even try to dance
in off-limits construction zones
where heavy things might land!

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