Dark Eyes (song)

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This article is about the Russian song. For other works with similar titles, see Dark Eye.

"Dark Eyes" (Russian: Очи чёрные, Ochi chyornye; English translation: Black Eyes; French translation: Les yeux noirs German Schwarze Augen ) is probably the most famous Russian romance song.

The lyrics were written by the Ukrainian poet and writer Yevhen Hrebinka. The first publication of the poem was in Hrebinka's own Russian translation in Literaturnaya gazeta on 17 January 1843.

In "The Book of World-famous Music: Classical, Popular, and Folk", published in 2000, the author, J.Fuld, mention that a Soviet musicologist had reported to him that the song is not "a Russian Traditional song but a cabaret song", published in a songs book by A. Gutheil in 1897 and mentioned, at n 131, as a "Gypsy romance based on te melody of Florian Hermann's Valse Hommage.[1] Of the original melody author, Florian Hermann, not a single music score is known.[2]

The most renowned and played version of this song was written by Adalgiso Ferraris, and published, when still in Russia in 1910, with German editor Otto Kuhl, as Schwarze Augen (Black Eyes). [3] Ferraris then published it again in 1931 by Paris Editions Salabert, as "Tes yeux noirs (impression russe) "[4] and with Jacques Liber, on Oct 9th, 1931.[5]

Adalgiso Ferraris, an Italian-born British composer, had spent many years in Russia before 1915. The song became one if his major successes in the 1920s and 1930s, being also played by Albert Sandler, shown here in a British Pathe film of 1932 , by Leslie Jeffries in 1939, and sung by Al Bowlly in 1939 with words of Albert Mellor [6][7] Max Jaffa also recorded it.[8]

Feodor Chaliapin also popularised the song abroad.

Other versions include the 1941 recording of Ferraris' Dark Eyes played by Harry Parry and his radio sextet, and a very original interpretation, for electric guitar, played for years by Chet Atkins.. Ferraris' version is still played today by many artists worldwide, such as the Trio Artemis and a recent recording by Hristo Kardjiev.[9]

The song has also been played, briefly, by the Three Tenors in their 1990 concert in Rome .

Poem (original version by Hrebinka)[edit]

Russian Transliteration Translation
1.
Очи чёрные, очи страстные,
Очи жгучие и прекрасные!
Как люблю я вас, как боюсь я вас!
Знать, увидел вас я в недобрый час!
2.
Ох, недаром вы глубины темней!
Вижу траур в вас по душе моей,
Вижу пламя в вас я победное:
Сожжено на нём сердце бедное.
3.
Но не грустен я, не печален я,
Утешительна мне судьба моя:
Всё, что лучшего в жизни Бог дал нам,
В жертву отдал я огневым глазам!
1.
Ochi chornyye, ochi strastnyye,
Ochi zhguchiye i prekrasnyye!
Kak lyublyu ya vas, kak boyus' ya vas!
Znat' uvidel vas ya v nedobryi chas!
2.
Okh nedarom vy glubiny temnei!
Vizhu traur v vas po dushe moyei,
Vizhu plamya v vas ya pobednoye:
Sozhzheno na nyom serdtse bednoye.
3.
No ne grusten ya, ne pechalen ya,
Uteshitel'na mne sud'ba moya:
Vsyo chto luchshevo v zhizni Bog dal nam,
V zhertvu otdal ya ognevym glazam!:
1.
Black eyes, passionate eyes,
Burning and beautiful eyes!
How I love you, how I fear you,
It seems I met you in an unlucky hour!
2.
Oh, not for nothing are you darker than the deep!
I see mourning for my soul in you,
I see a triumphant flame in you:
A poor heart immolated in it.
3.
But I am not sad, I am not sorrowful,
My fate is soothing to me:
All that is best in life that God gave us,
In sacrifice I returned to the fiery eyes!

The following is a metrical translation (i.e. one that can be sung to the melody).

Oh, these gorgeous eyes, dark and glorious eyes,
Burn-with-passion eyes, how you hypnotise!
How I_ adore you so, how I fear you though,
Since I saw you glow! Now my spirit’s low!

Darkness yours conceal mighty fires real;
They my fate will seal: burn my soul with zeal!
But my love for you, when the time is due,
Will refresh anew like the morning dew!

No, not sad am I, nor so mad am I;
All my comforts lie in my destiny.
Just to realise my life’s worthiest prize
Did I sacrifice for those ardent eyes!.

Translation by [1] Peter Farnbank]

Lyrics (Chaliapin version)[edit]

from Chaliapin version
Russian (Cyrillic alphabet) Transliteration (Latin alphabet) English translation

Очи чёрные, очи жгучие,
Очи страстные и прекрасные,
Как люблю я вас, как боюсь я вас,
Знать увидел вас я не в добрый час.

Очи чёрные, очи пламенны
И мaнят они в страны дальные,
Где царит любовь, где царит покой,
Где страданья нет, где вражды запрет.

Очи чёрные, очи жгучие,
Очи страстные и прекрасные,
Как люблю я вас, как боюсь я вас,
Знать увидел вас я не в добрый час.

Не встречал бы вас, не страдал бы так,
Я бы прожил жизнь улыбаючись,
Вы сгубили меня очи чёрные
Унесли на век моё счастье.

Очи чёрные, очи жгучие,
Очи страстные и прекрасные,
Как люблю я вас, как боюсь я вас,
Знать увидел вас я не в добрый час.

Ochi chyornye, ochi zhguchie
Ochi strastnye i prekrasnye
Kak lyublyu ya vas, kak boyus' ya vas
Znat' uvidel vas ya ne v dobryi chas

Ochi chyornye, ochi plamenny
I manyat oni v strany dal'nye
Gde tsarit lyubov', gde tsarit pokoi
Gde stradan'ya nyet, gde vrazhdy zapryet

Ochi chyornye, ochi zhguchie
Ochi strastnye i prekrasnye
Kak lyublyu ya vas, kak boyus' ya vas
Znat' uvidel vas ya ne v dobryi chas

Ne vstrechal by vas, ne stradal by tak
Ya by prozhil zhizn' ulybayuchis'
Vy zgubili menya ochi chyornye
Unesli na vek moyo schast'ye

Ochi chyornye, ochi zhguchie
Ochi strastnye i prekrasnye
Kak lyublyu ya vas, kak boyus' ya vas
Znat' uvidel vas ya ne v dobryi chas

Dark eyes, burning eyes
Passionate and splendid eyes
How I love you, How I fear you
Truly, I saw you at a sinister hour

Dark eyes, flaming eyes
They implore me into faraway lands
Where love reigns, where peace reigns
Where there is no suffering, where war is forbidden

Dark eyes, burning eyes
Passionate and splendid eyes
I love you so, I fear you so
Truly, I saw you at a sinister hour

If I hadn't met you, I wouldn't be suffering so
I would have lived my life smiling
You have ruined me, dark eyes
You have taken my happiness away forever

Dark eyes, burning eyes
Passionate and splendid eyes
I love you so, I fear you so
Truly, I saw you at a sinister hour

Translation by Katya from russmus.net ([2])

Popular culture[edit]

Dark Eyes has become a jazz standard.

See also[edit]

  • Dark Eyes, a Russian music compilation album that includes Dark Eyes
  • The Red Army Choir, compilation album that includes Dark Eyes

References[edit]

  1. ^ James J. Fuld. The book of world-famous music: classical, popular, and folk - Courier Dover Publications, 2000. - P. 417 (see also notes at p. 684).
  2. ^ http://books.google.ru/books?id=EVninY59ul0C&pg=PA684#v=onepage&q&f=false
  3. ^ OCLC World Cat Reference - Schwarze Augen, Adalgiso Ferraris
  4. ^ http://www.unicat.be/uniCat?func=search&query=author:%22Ferraris,%20A.%22&formQuery=author:%22Ferraris,%20A.%22
  5. ^ http://books.google.com/books?id=YzBjAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA1110&lpg=PA1110&dq=liber+music+%22black+eyes%22+ferraris&source=bl&ots=SSzmGwXmWt&sig=DBm8fPDt7F7C4WaIeAKfIdWcqaA&hl=en&sa=X&ei=lwZMVLPiDsja8AGP_IHQBw&ved=0CDgQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=liber%20%22black%20eyes%22%20ferraris&f=false
  6. ^ http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/publication/50013425
  7. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/song/dark-eyes-mt0048800677
  8. ^ http://www.45worlds.com/vinyl/album/sall863
  9. ^ http://www.musicmanweb.com/samples.html

External links[edit]