"Zemlyanka" was the name for a German-Soviet War song written by Alexey Surkov (verses) and Konstantin Listov (music) in 1941 during the Battle of Moscow. The use of zemlyankas by soldiers is mentioned in the song.
- The fire is flickering in the narrow stove
- Resin oozes from the log like a tear
- And the concertina in the bunker
- Sings to me of your smile and eyes.
- The bushes whispered to me about you
- In a snow-white field near Moscow
- I want you above all to hear
- How sad my living voice is.
- You are now very far away
- Expanses of snow lie between us
- It is so hard for me to come to you
- And here there are four steps to death.
- Sing concertina, in defiance of the snowstorm.
- Call out to that happiness which has lost its way.
- I'm warm in the cold bunker,
- Because of your inextinguishable love.
- (Stalingrad by Antony Beevor (c)1998.
The entire poem was mentioned in the 2005 Canadian historical novel, Four Steps to Death, by John Wilson, in which Red Army soldiers sing it on the way from Moscow to Stalingrad (present-day Volgograd). The title of the novel is derived from a line of the poem, "And here there are four steps to death."
The song is part of the repertoire of the Alexandrov Ensemble.
- Wilson, John. Four Steps to Death. Toronto: Kids Can Press, 2005.