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Song translation, lyrics and guitar cords for a Russian bard song ‘Swamp and River’

Oles iz Luboistoka

I have recently come across this inspiring artist, Oles iz Luboistoka. As you’ve probably gathered, he is not an English performer. He is a Russian singer and song writer, who lives in an eco village called Luboistok. The village is comprised of family domains, who strive to be in harmony with nature, improve the space they live in and be happy (please see the Ringing Cedars series for details on family domains).

I am so moved by his music that I’ve decided I must share it with the English-speaking world. I’ve picked one of the songs called “Swamp and River” and tackled its translation in the most accurate manner. You can listen to the song below (as well as download it). It’s completely legal, Oles offers ALL of his music for download on his website!

Болото и Река (Swamp and River)

Болото и Река, Олесь из Любоистока
(Swamp and River by ‘Oles iz Luboistoka’)

translation by Tatyana

A stagnant swamp asked the river,
“Where does your endlessness and speed originate?”
The river answered playfully, all bubbling with cheer,
“All that I have received I simply give away.”

But the swamp was not content, his thoughts were madly fighting:
“For what? How much? And where did she come from anyway?!”
Collecting petty evidence the swamp was sadly writing
A list of river’s flaws all night and through the day.

“The river is unstable, she shifts, she bends with splatter,
She’s always running downhill, overflowing with youth,
But her re-education is just a simple matter,
Because of her transparency she cannot grasp the truths.”

The river in the mean time—with clear bright emotions—
Embraced all little springs, where rivers find their birth,
And to the very last drop gave her body to the ocean,
Thus continuing the water’s cycle around the Earth.

Still in the same place, the swamp just stood unmoving,
Still pondering the river’s re-education theme,
But then the swamp remembered, that in his youth he dared
To also dream of being a clear mountain stream.

*         *         *

Russian Lyrics and Guitar Chords


For those of you who can read Russian (and perhaps even play guitar), here are the Russian song lyrics along with guitar cords. Meet you by the campfire!

Em      Am   D          G

 Стоячее болото, да у реки спросило

C        Am          B             Em

- Откуда нескончаемость в тебе и быстрота?

  Am        D      G       C

- Я, просто, отдаю всё то, что получила.

Am        B         Em

Ответила река, игрива и быстра.


Но для болота надобно

Составить листик важный:

Мол, что, почём, откуда она вообще взялась.

И днями белокрылыми и тёмными ночами,

Болото грустно пишет на речку компромат.


Мол, не устойчива она, изменчива, с изгибами,

Вниз по наклонной катиться, выходит из себя,

А перевоспитание её – дело не хитрое,          2 раза

Да за своей прозрачностью ей истин не понять.


Ну, а река, тем временем, прозрачностью сияя,

В объятья принимала ручьи из родников,

И до последней капельки вся в океан впадала,    

Тем самым, продолжая воды круговорот.


Болото ж, всё на месте стояло и стояло,

Всё думало, как речку ей перевоспитать,

Но вспомнило болото, что в молодости ранней

Оно само мечтало рекою чистой стать.

If you’ve enjoyed this music and poetry, you can download all of the songs by ‘Oles iz Luboistoka’ on his website for free (click where it says ‘Даром’). Keep the positive vibes coming : )