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Does your country have a list of songs that get (over)played at every wedding? This is also the case in Russia. While this list will vary from wedding to wedding, here are five songs you’re likely to hear.
We have featured Soviet crooner Muslim Magomaev (Муслим Магомаев) on this blog. This Soviet-era classic is a favorite with the older generations and is perfectly suited for weddings — “свадьба” means “wedding.”
Verka Serduchka (Верка Сердючка) is the stage persona of Ukrainian entertainer Андрей Данилко (Andrey Danilko; transliterated from Ukrainian as Andriy Danylko), who originally developed this character for comedy sketches. Verka was invented as a larger-than-life train attendant (проводница). “Всё будет хорошо” (“Everything Will Be Fine”) is popular with party-goers thanks to its danceable grooves and optimistic lyrics.
“Ласковый май” (literally, “Gentle May”) was one of the first boy bands in the USSR. They reached their peak popularity in the late 80s. This song (“White Roses”) propelled the teenage lead singer Yuri Shatunov (Юрий Шатунов) to superstar status. While this song may sound a bit campy to a modern-day listener, it is a favorite with people wanting to go back to the days of their youth.
“Ах, какая женщина!” (“Oh, What A Woman”) is another song that has been criticized for its low-brow lyrics and unsophisticated arrangement. The composer of the song has admitted that he was frustrated that the public did not appreciate good music, so he purposely wrote something he thought would be easier to digest. He was not off in this calculations — this song has become a staple of any Russian party.
This pop ballad by Murat Nasyrov (Мурат Насыров) came out in the late 90s. It is well-loved for its quiet, loungey feel and romantic lyrics (“Я — это ты” means “I am you”). The singer died at the age of 37, so hearing this melody is tinged with nostalgia for many fans.
Have you hear these songs growing up in or visiting Russia or its neighbo(u)rs? What other songs would you add to this list?