Баллада о борьбеVladimir Semënovič Vysotskij / Владимир Семёнович Высоцкий
|This version differs somewhat to the official version, which,...|
|BALLAD ABOUT BATTLE||BALLAD OF FIGHTING|
|Amidst molten candles and sundown prayers|
Amidst war trophies and fires of peace
Lived book children who knew no battles
Anguishing their minor catastrophies
|Alongside of night prayers by flickering candles,|
Among trophies of war and among peaceful camps,
There lived bookish kids, unaware of battles,
Giving way to despair out of trifling mishaps.
|Children always complain|
of their age and their lot
And we fought until slain
And schemed mortal plots.
And our clothes were patched
By our mothers with haste
We then swallowed books
Getting drunk of the taste
|Flocked in gangs, always vexed with the status in life,|
Not till scrapes but till deadly insults did we fight.
Nonetheless, mothers patched up our garments on time,
Whereas we swallowed books, getting drunk on the line.
|Hair stuck to our sweaty foreheads|
Phrases sucking air right out from our guts
And our heads spun by combat's fragrance
From the yellowed pages descending on us.
|Sweated forelocks adhered to our perspiring brows,|
Guts enjoyed sinking feeling from beautiful words,
Our heads would wheel round from the smell of a row,
Emanating from pages of old, yellowed scrolls.
|And attempted to reach|
We who knew battles not
With a war-calling screech
Giving it all we got
Secret orders were passed
Borders suddenly sprang
What it means to attack
And war chariots clang
|And, unversed in warfare, to conceive did we try,|
Still mistaking a howl for a bellicose cry,
The conundrum of order, the use of confines,
Fighting chariots clank and the gist of a fight.
|In the boiling pots of past battles and wars|
So much food for our tiny brains
To the roles of betrayers and cowards
In our childish games were our enemies named
|And in cauldrons of wars and distempers of yore,|
There’s a great deal of food for our hungry young brains.
Roles of Judases, cowards, pretenders, informers
We intended for foes in our childish war games,
|Villian's footprints weren't even|
Allowed to cool
And to beautiful women
We promised amour
Having calmed our friends worries
And our families loved
To the roles of the heroes
We lead ourselves on
|Whereas, quick in a chase on a villain’s warm trail,|
Pledging ardor in love for most beautiful dames,
Showing care for our kin and appeasing our friends,
Roles of positive heroes we meant for ourselves.
|But we can't always run to the dreams in our heads|
Short the century for fun - mostly pain lives on
Try to pry open the palms of the dead
And receive a weapon from their strained arms
|But, in a dreamland for keeps, you cannot stay away.|
Age of pranks is so short, and there’s pain all around.
Do your best to unclench lifeless hands of the dead,
Taking over his steel from fight-weary palms.
|And distinuish, acquired|
A sword from the hearth
Put on metal attire
What's it worth? What's it worth?
Find out - you a coward?
Or one chosen by fate
See a glimpse of your power
Give real battles a taste.
|Now assay, having wielded an as yet heated sword,|
Having put armors on, what is what, what is what;
Put to test, if you’re a coward or a minion of fate,
And find out on your own how a proper fight tastes.
|And when near by falls your wounded friend|
And the world hears the howl coming from you
And when you're left skinless - this isn't pretend
Because they've killed him and not you
|And as soon as a brother-in-arms, struck, falls by,|
And as soon as, deploring your first loss, you wail,
And as soon as you feel as if skinned, by surprise,
‘Cause a friend of yours rather than you has been slain,
|You will see, you will know,|
Find out from within
From the grin that is shown
That is deaths scowling grin
Lies and Evil - look and find
How their faces are harsh
And always behind
Ravens, tombstones and marsh.
|You will know you have learnt, comprehended and sensed|
By the sneer of a visor, a fierce grin of death,
Fraud and villainy – note how their faces are coarse
And as usual coffins and crows afterwards.
|If you cleared your way with your father's sword|
And your tears had dried leaving nothing but salt
If in heat of the battle found out what's what
Means your read useful books when you were only small.
|If you haven’t picked meat off a blade, not a bite,|
If you’ve been watching haughtily, twiddling your thumbs,
If, you haven’t engaged a vile boor in a fight,
Then you’ve been neither here nor there in this life.
|If the meat from a blade|
You did not eat a bite
And your arms folded - stayed
And looked down from a height
Entered not into battle
Against butcher and scythe
Means that life proved your mettle
You had nothing to give.
|But if, cutting your way with an ancestor’s sword,|
You have taken good note of your tears’ bitter taste,
If you’ve learnt, in a vehement fight, what is what,
Then essential books, in your childhood, you read...