кумушки

“Among all the remarkable Usvyaty singers it is necessary, first and foremost, to single out the name of Olga Fedoseevna Sergeeva [I can’t find any English website for her]. We communicated with Olga Sergeeva for ten years and recorded over 300 songs in the most various genres performed by her. I brought the singer to Leningrad three times and she performed in ethnographic concerts in the House of Composers, on Leningrad radio and made some records with “Melodia” company.

“Sergeeva is an outstanding folk singer. Ritual songs and old lyric prevail in her richest repertoire which indicates the high artistic taste of Olga Sergeeva, as most of her contemporaries prefer singing new lyrical songs of the romance type. In the lyrical songs especially loved by the singer, her voice sounds plummy, deep–however, reserved at the same time and even subdued a bit, and from the very first sounds it spellbinds the listener with its beauty and cordiality.

“There is nothing outward, emotionally open in her performance, this is singing for herself with no relation to the listener. At the same time plainness, naturalness, strictness, is combined here with improvised freedom and excellence of micro variation. “Each song has one hundred changes”, the singer remarked once. It is not by chance that Andrei Tarkovsky chose the recording of Olga Sergeevas’s 1971/2 recording of the old song ‘Kumushki’ for his film Nostalghia.” (From HERE.)

The second version that follows here is also very beautiful, but a more contemporary interpretation, by singer Pelageya off her album Girls’ Songs in 2007.

Here is a translation of the words that I found:

Oh, my girlfriends, be sweet;
be sweet and love one another,
be sweet and love one another,
Love me too.

You will go to the green garden,
take me with you.
You will pick flowers,
Pick some for me too.

You will weave garlands,
take me with you.

You will go to the Donau,
take me with you.
You will offer your wreaths to the river,
offer mine too.

Your wreaths will float on the water,
but mine will sink to the bottom.
Your boyfriends came back from the war!
Mine didn’t return.

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