Russian Language Blog

Oldies, but Goodies – Love Songs Edition Posted by on Feb 14, 2013 in Soviet Union

Yay, it’s Valentine’s Day today! Love it or make fun of it, there’s no escape from dozens of red roses, pounds of chocolate candy, piles of cheesy postcards and other holiday hoopla. Either way, let’s make the most out of the occasion and listen to some love songs that you have probably not heard before and get some ideas on how to sign the V-day cards because sometimes the good old Я тебя люблю (I love you) is just not enough.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you might remember our post about the classic Миллион алых роз (Million Scarlet Roses) song by the iconic Алла Пугачёва (Alla Pugacheva). What other Russian songs with flowers in them do you know?

Speaking of nostalgia for the golden days of эстрадная песня (pop songs), how about listening to the classic Королева красоты (Beauty Queen). In it, a guy is looking at a girl looking at a model on the cover of a magazine. The moral of a story is bring flowers and assure your date that she is the only beauty queen for you. To reinforce the message, sign the Valentine day’s card with на тебя гляжу – глаз не отвожу (I am looking at you and can’t take my eyes away).

That’s all fine, but what if you are the type who doesn’t take V-day all too seriously? Fine, here’s a song for you – Зайка моя (My honey-bunny). Just tell your Valentine: зайка моя, я теряю сон и аппетит от любви к тебе (My honey-bunny, I am loosing sleep and appetite because  I love you so much).

Of course, calling each other зайка (bunny) and солнышко (little sun) is great if you are happily in love. But what if you haven’t worked up the courage yet to признаться в любви (declare your love)? Then another classic, Ой цветёт калина (Arrow-wood is blooming) is just right for you. Here a girl who is desperately in love is waiting for a guy to get a hint (hmm, good luck to her, I guess). Send a secret Valentine signed only with догадайся сам/сама (figure it out yourself [m]/[f]).

But what if the object of your affection is, to borrow the line from the Foreigner, “cold as ice”? Is there a Russian pop song about the same predicament? You betcha! Just listen to the 1984 hit Айсберг (Iceberg) by Alla Pugacheva (yeah, I know, her second appearance in the same post, but she’s like Alexander Pushkin of the Russian pop). Sign your card with любовь зла, полюбишь и козла (love is blind; lit: love is cruel and will make you fall for a he-goat).

Ok, looks like we’ve reached the rock-bottom as far as the love stories go. So let’s climb back up with this beautiful song, Старый клён (The Old Maple).  The branches of an old maple tree knock on the window as if inviting two lovers for a walk. True love doesn’t need much – a loved one’s smile can bring all the happiness in the world. If that’s your case, you won’t even need a card. Just ask your Valentine out for a stroll in a park.

Whether you celebrate Valentine’s day or not, whether you believe in everlasting love or not, whether you are with someone special or not (yet), this song, Лаванда (Lavender) won’t leave you равнодушный (indifferent):

Любим или нет – не знаем,

Мы порой в любовь играем.

А когда её теряем,

Не судьба говорим.

(Whether we love or not, we don’t always know.

Sometimes we pretend we do, just for show.

But when we loose it, we say

It wasn’t meant to be anyway.)

Wait, we are sliding down to the bottom again… Quick, something cheerful and affirming.

The beautiful and tragic Анна Герман (Anna Herman) recorded many love songs, but it is hard to find one that does not bring tears to my eyes. This is the most light-hearted one I could think of, Он мне нравится (I like him). If your friends or well-meaning relatives do not approve of your love, this song is for you. Sign the валентинка with a simple Ты мне нравишься таким, какой есть/такой, какая есть (I like you just the way you are).

If I had to choose just one love song, I’d choose a happy one (I’m a sucker for the whole happily-ever-after). And of all the happy love songs, this one, Сердце, тебе не хочется покоя (Heart, you don’t want to rest) would be the one. The opening line is как много девушек хороших, как много ласковых имён (There are lots of nice girls out there, lots of tender names) and can be easily changed to как много юношей хороших… (There are lots of nice guys out there). As long as you have a heart that умеет любить (knows how to love), you will find you love. Give yourself a heart-shaped valentine signed спасибо, сердце, что ты умеешь так любить! (thank you, my heart, for knowing how to love!)

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  1. hugo ly:


    • yelena:

      @hugo ly It’s great to hear from you, Hugo, and thanks for such a wonderful comment!

  2. Luisa Veyan Santana:

    Hello…Nice Post!!! I will add for you this video…as 14 february is also Friendship Day…
    Happy Valentines Day!!!
    Pd.I will share your post in my facebook page.

  3. Jeannie:

    Какой весёлый хорошенький блог! Спасибо, Елена!

    • yelena:

      @Jeannie Спасибо за добрые слова, Jeannie!