Roads (Red Army Choir song)

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Roads or The Roads (Russian: Дороги) is a Soviet WWII song by Anatoly Novikov to lyrics by the poet Lev Ivanovich Oshanin. The song is one of the best known works of the composer, having been popularised by both ensembles carrying the name of the Red Army Choir, namely the Alexandrov Ensemble and MVD Ensemble. Novikov and Oshanin were members of a military troupe at the front and the song was composed under artillery fire at Zhizdra.[1] Among those who have recorded the song are Muslim Magomayev, Ivan Rebroff (1986), Dmitri Hvorostovsky on the war songs album Where Are You My Brothers, and the Choir of Sretensky Monastery. The song begins "Ah roads.." («Эх, дороги…») and is not to be confused with another Red Army Choir favourite "На дороге" ("On the road") or "Гей, по дороге!".

Lyrics[edit]

Russian Latin transcription Literal English translation
Chorus

Эх, дороги...
Пыль да туман,
Холода, тревоги
Да степной бурьян.

Eh, dorogi...
Pyl da tuman,
Kholoda, trevogi
Da stepnoj burian.

Oh, the roads...
Dust and mist
Cold, Alarm
And, steppe grass.

First Verse

Знать не можешь
Доли своей,
Может, крылья сложишь
Посреди степей.

Znat ne mozhesh
Doli svoej,
Mozhet, krylia slozhish
Posredi stepej.

You cannot know
Your own share,
Perhaps you will fold your wings
In the middle of the steppes.

First Bridge

Вьется пыль под сапогами
степями,
полями.
А кругом бушует пламя
Да пули свистят.

Vetsia pyl pod sapogami
stepiami,
poliami.
A krugom bushuet plamia
Da puli svistiat.

Dust swirls under boots
And steppes,
And fields.
While all around flames roar
And bullets whistle.

Chorus

Эх, дороги...
Пыль да туман,
Холода, тревоги
Да степной бурьян.

Eh, dorogi...
Pyl da tuman,
Kholoda, trevogi
Da stepnoj burian.

Oh, the roads...
Dust and mist
Cold, Alarm
And steppe grass.

Second Verse

Выстрел грянет,
Ворон кружит:
Твой дружок в бурьяне
Неживой лежит...

Vystrel grianet,
Voron kruzhit:
Tvoj druzhok v buriane
Nezhivoj lezhit...

A shot will burst,
The Raven circles:
Your friend in the weeds
Lifeless lies...

Second Bridge

А дорога дальше мчится,
пылится,
клубится,
А кругом земля дымится
Чужая земля.

A doroga dalshe mchitsia,
pylitsia,
klubitsia,
A krugom zemlia dymitsia
Chuzhaia zemlia.

The road rushes further
It is dusty,
And curls
And all around the earth smokes
A Foreign Land.

Chorus

Эх, дороги...
Пыль да туман,
Холода, тревоги
Да степной бурьян.

Eh, dorogi...
Pyl da tuman,
Kholoda, trevogi
Da stepnoj burian.

Oh, the roads...
Dust and mist
Cold, Alarm
And steppe grass.

Third Verse

Край сосновый.
Солнце встает.
У крыльца родного
Мать сыночка ждет.

Kraj sosnovyj.
Solntse vstaet.
U kryltsa rodnogo
Mat synochka zhdet.

A pinewood land.
The sun rises.
On a native porch
A mother is waiting for her son.

Third Bridge

И бескрайними путями,
степями,
полями
Всё глядят вослед за нами
Родные глаза.

I beskrajnimi putiami,
stepiami,
poliami
Vsio gliadiat vosled za nami
Rodnye glaza.

And along the endless ways
steppes,
fields
All they do is look and follow us
The native eyes.

Chorus

Эх, дороги...
Пыль да туман,
Холода, тревоги
Да степной бурьян.

Eh, dorogi...
Pyl da tuman,
Kholoda, trevogi
Da stepnoj burian.

Oh, the roads...
Dust and mist
Cold, Alarm
And steppe grass.

Fourth Verse

Снег ли, ветер, -
Вспомним, друзья!
Нам дороги эти
Позабыть нельзя.

Sneg li, veter, -
Vspomnim, druzia!
Nam dorogi ehti
Pozabyt nelzia.

It doesn't matter if there is snow or wind, -
Let us remember, my friends!
We cannot forget
These roads.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Elena Polyudova Soviet War Songs in the Context of Russian Culture 2016 p.149 "L. Oshanin recollected: The song 'Roads' was born when we were lying down on the battlefield under Zhizdra, overtaken by the bombing attack; and a flaxen-haired lieutenant who had fallen next to us, never got up. ... A soloist of the Ensemble Ivan Shmelev was the first singer to perform “Roads." It was then picked up by other soloists and ensembles. Then the song became popular and well-known even for school children. ."