Russian Song of the Day: Полковнику никто не пишет-Би-2
February 20, 2013
Because I had just been left to my own resources when looking for Russian music, I was having a hard time finding the good stuff. I was listening to a lot of романсы, which are charming in their own way, and pop music. Both types were a bit cheesy. But that’s all I could find on the internet for free back then. I finally started to find the good stuff with a little help from my friend, Pasha, who I met almost nine years ago to this day exactly. I’ve written many posts about him which you can read here, here, here and here.
So, one of the first albums Pasha burned for me was the Брат 2 soundtrack. Remember how the Romeo and Juliet(from the 1995 movie) soundtrack was just awesome and it had songs from all the cool artists of the time? (okay, that was a long time ago, but I remember LOVING that album) Well, Brat 2 is similar in coolness, perhaps even cooler when it comes to featured talent and popularity.
Pasha and I watched the movie together and he just laughed the whole time and quoted lines and tried to translate the whole thing for me. It is a pretty funny show. (I’ve seen it many times since then) It’s interesting to see these two guys’ impressions of America. But really, the best part of the movie is definitely the soundtrack. In fact, I like this soundtrack so much that I may have to devote an entire week to songs from this album some time in the future.
Anyway, it was while listening to this song that I realized, “Wait, the word полковник keeps changing. This phenomenon, Pasha explained to me, is because of cases, падежи (although I don’t think he knew the English word for it). I had had an introduction to cases before but I somehow got it in my head that they were ‘optional’ when speaking Russian, and proceeded to speak without them. But after this song I realized that certain verbs need certain cases. And I became less intimidated once I had Pasha by my side to explain things to me, although, like many native speakers, his explanations were usually something along the lines of “I don’t know why. That’s just the way it is.”
So the song for today is “Полковнику никто не пишет” In English it translates as “No one writes to the colonel”. This, as some of you may have noticed, is also the name of a famous novel by Gabriel Marquez. The lyrics don’t make a whole lot of sense. They’re rather disjointed but they are grammatically correct, at least. And, most importantly, the music is good.
The actor that you’re seeing here, Sergey Bodrov, was also featured in Brat 1 among other films. He died a horribly tragic and unexpected death in the Caucasus mountains where they were filming. He died when sort of avalanche of ice and mud filled up the ravine where the crew was working.