Kalinka

 
     
 

       Kalinka, kalinka, kalinka maya,
       f sadu yagoda malinka, malinka maya.

       Juniper, juniper, my juniper,
       in the garden there's the berry, my raspberry.

 
 

Pad sasnoyu, pad zelenoyu
spat' palazhýtye vý minya,
aida lyuli lyuli, aida lyuli lyuli,
spat' palazhýtye vý minya.

Under the pine, under the green pine,
lay me down to sleep,
aida, Lyuli, Lyuli, aida, Lyuli, Lyuli,
lay me down to sleep!

 
 

       Kalinka, kalinka, kalinka maya,
       f sadu yagoda malinka, malinka maya.

       Juniper, juniper, my juniper,
       in the garden there's the berry, my raspberry.

 
 

Akh tý sasyenushka, akh tý zelenaya,
nye shumi zhe nado mnoi,
aida lyuli lyuli, aida lyuli lyuli,
nye shumi zhe nado mnoi!

Oh you dear pine, oh you green pine,
don't you rustle so loud over me,
aida, Lyuli, Lyuli, aida, Lyuli, Lyuli,
don't you rustle so loud over me!

 
 

       Kalinka, kalinka, kalinka maya,
       f sadu yagoda malinka, malinka maya.

       Juniper, juniper, my juniper,
       in the garden there's the berry, my raspberry.

 
 

Krasavitsa, dusha dyevitsa,
palyubi zhe tý minya,
aida lyuli lyuli, aida lyuli lyuli,
palyubi zhe tý minya!

Beautiful maid, dear maid,
please fall in love with me,
aida, Lyuli, Lyuli, aida, Lyuli, Lyuli,
please fall in love with me!

 
 

       Kalinka, kalinka, kalinka maya,
       f sadu yagoda malinka, malinka maya.

       Juniper, juniper, my juniper,
       in the garden there's the berry, my raspberry.

 
     
 


Words and Music: Russian folksong
Pronunciation:
       a as in "bar", e as in "bed", i as in "bid", o as in "bore", u as in "blue"
       y = as in "yellow" / ý = dull i, as in "bill"
       s = always voiceless, as in "son" / z = voiced, as in "zone"
       sh = voiceless, as in "mesh" / zh = voiced, like the s in "measure"
       kh = mostly rough, like the ch in Scotch "loch", but smooth when "e" or "i" follows
       a, e, i, o, u, y = the underlined vowel signifies the stressed syllable of a word.
Arrangement for balalaika, musical notation, transcription and analogous translation: Kai Kracht
Comment:
       "Kalinka" (juniper) and "malinka" (raspberry) obviously were the traditional offerings to an old-slavic goddess of the earth, and of spring, love, and fertility, named "Lyuli" - as the traditional heavenly ally of the Russian agricultural population, but also of the young people in love, Lyuli survived the christianization and is still alive in quite a lot of folksongs. Since the most of these songs begin with a similar melody, they all might be derived from a common origin, maybe a very old hymn or a pagan ritual in honour of the goddess Lyuli.
       The song "Kalinka" could be this original, or at least resemble it largely. It still has the antiphonic form of a liturgy: The chorus, repeated by the community until ecstasy, recalls the offerings to the goddess's mind again and again, and the verses, sung by the priest alone, address Lyuli directly and articulate what the people want to get from her in return: Maybe a rich harvest, or a large family, or the rescue from famine, from epidemics, from aridity or from inundations ...
       In the modern form of this song, only one request is left which is not less important: The wish for love!
© Kai Kracht 2002