Psoy Korolenko

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Psoy Korolenko

Psoy Galaktionovich Korolenko (Russian: Псой Галактионович Короленко; born April 26, 1967) is a pseudonym of a Russian songwriter and performer by the name of Pavel Eduardovich Lion (Russian: Павел Эдуардович Лион). Pavel Lion is also a slavist with a Ph.D. in Russian literature.

His pseudonym comes from Vladimir Korolenko, Russian writer (1853–1921), whose works are subject of Pavel's research. In university, Korolenko studied under Russian literature historian Nikolai Liban [ru], among others.

Psoy performs his own and others' songs, accompanying himself to keyboard instruments, mainly a Casio synthesizer in accordion timbre. Experimenting with quite various song traditions he sings in about six or seven languages, most frequently in Russian, Yiddish, English and French.

For example, one of Psoy's songs, Buratino, is an a capella rhythmic recitation of the same phrase – "Buratino byl tupoy" ("Buratino was dumb") – which after several repetitions starts to morph into other phrases, eventually shifting into Italian through syllable rearrangement. More phrases are then introduced and "mixed" vocally with it. The song is something of a parody of rap and trance music.

Psoy tours extensively beyond Russian borders, particularly in the United States, Europe and Israel. His music is popular both with adults (especially linguists) and teenagers. He rewrites many songs, and also has translated some songs from Russian to Yiddish. He has collaborated with such musicians as Julian Kytasty, Michael Alpert, and Daniel Kahn & The Painted Bird.


Original name English name/translation Year Co-producers
Песня про Бога A Song about God 2000
Fioretti Fioretti 2001
Песнь песней Псоя Короленко Psoy Korolenko's Song of Songs 2003
Шлягер века Schlagers of the Century 2003
Гонки Races 2004 Neoangin
C чего начинается Родина (Un Vu Iz Der Onheyb Fun Foterland) From What the Homeland Starts 2006 All Stars Klezmer Band
Русское богатство. Том I. Russian Treasure. Volume I. 2007 Alyona Alenkova
The Unternationale The First Unternational 2008 Daniel Kahn and Oy Division
На лестнице дворца On the Steps of the Palace 2008 Olga Chikina, Alyona Arenkova and others
Под покровом нощи Under Cover of Night 2010 Opa!
Shloyme Shloyme 2011 Timofeev Ensemble
Русское богатство. Том II. Russian Treasure. Volume II. 2013 Alyona Alenkova
Dicunt Dicunt 2013 Oy Division
Жить не по лжи To Live Not Under a Lie 2013 Opa!
ИМАРМЕНИЯ Imarmenia 2015
НННН № 2 ПППП NNNN #2 PPPP 2015 Igor Krutogolov
סוּס, כּלבֿ, חייל און אַ זונה Equine, Canine, Soldier, Whore 2017 Israelifts

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