Abigail Washburn

Abigail’s fascination with China led her to combine American Old Time music with Chinese folk music. After the song in the video below, there is an interview with her. One of the things I found interesting was that the banjo, and its associated music, originally came from Africa—so Abigail’s combination is actually, at its core, an African/Chinese hybrid.

Булат Окуджава ~ Последний троллейбус

Когда мне невмочь пересилить беду,
когда подступает отчаянье,
я в синий троллейбус сажусь на ходу,
в последний,
в случайный.

Последний троллейбус, по улице мчи,
верши по бульварам круженье,
чтоб всех подобрать, потерпевших в ночи
крушенье,
крушенье.

Последний троллейбус, мне дверь отвори!
Я знаю, как в зябкую полночь
твои пассажиры – матросы твои –
приходят
на помощь.

Я с ними не раз уходил от беды,
я к ним прикасался плечами…
Как много, представьте себе, доброты
в молчанье,
в молчанье.

Последний троллейбус плывет по Москве,
Москва, как река, затухает,
и боль, что скворчонком стучала в виске,
стихает,
стихает.

Bebel Gilberto – Samba de Bencao

Sorry bookworms, I’m on a music and poetry kick. Below is a song I have loved forever.

É melhor ser alegre que ser triste
Alegria é a melhor coisa que existe
É assim como a luz no coração

Mas prá fazer um samba com beleza
É preciso um bocado de tristeza
Senão não se faz um samba não

Fazer samba não é contar piada
E quem faz samba assim não é de nada
O bom samba é uma forma de oração

Porque o samba é a tristeza que balança
E a tristeza tem sempre uma esperança
De um dia não ser mais triste não

Põe um pouco de amor numa cadência
E vai ver que ninguém no mundo vence
A beleza que tem um samba não

Porque o samba nasceu lá na Bahia
E se hoje ele é branco na poesia
Ele é negro demais no coração

É melhor ser alegre que ser triste
Alegria é a melhor coisa que existe
É assim como a luz no coração

Porque o samba nasceu lá na Bahia
E se hoje ele é branco na poesia
Ele é negro demais no coração

***********************************

It’s better to be happy than sad
Happiness is the best thing there is
It is like a light in the heart
But to make a samba with beauty
It’s needed a bit of sadness
If not the samba can’t be made

To make a samba is not like telling a joke
And who makes samba like this is worth nothing
The good samba is a kind of prayer
Because samba is the sadness that sways
And sadness is always hopeful
Of one day not being sad any more

Put a little love in the cadence
And you’ll see that in this world nobody wins
The beauty that a samba have
Because samba was born in Bahia
And if today it is white in it’s poetry
It is very black in it’s heart

Прекрасная любовь

Here is the text for the Yuri Shevchuk DDT song that I posted earlier. I am determined to translate this song into something that makes some kind of sense in English. I have found some translations online that I don’t think are very good. What I like so much about Shevchuk’s music is that you can’t take him literally; it’s all very poetic. I got a good laugh when I inserted “Мелодии цветов” into Bing translator and got “ring tones.”

If anyone wants to help me, please feel free to paste your thoughts in the comments section below. Otherwise, I will be getting back to this soon with my attempt.

Мелодии цветов с затерянным началом
Я слышу эти ноты похожие на сны
Итак…

Когда-то в старину с бродягой обвенчалась
Пpекpасная любовь дарящая мечты
Пpекpасная любовь с бродягой обвенчалась
Связали их дороги, хрустальные мосты

Пpекpасная любовь, нам пpаздновать не вpемя –
Кpовавые закаты пылают за pекой
Пpекpасная любовь – там ложь пустила семя
И нашим миpом пpавит уpодливой pукой

Пpекpасная любовь, там ждут тебя живые,
Позволь себя увидеть тем, кого ведут на смеpть
Во мраке и грязи, но все же не слепые
Дай pазуму свободы, дай сердцу не истлеть

И вот пpекpасная любовь влетела птицей в гоpод
И плакал, видя чудо очнувшийся наpод
Тpон лжи не устоял, бежал в испуге воpог…
Да жаль погиб бpодяга у гоpодских воpот

Юрий Шевчук

————————————————-

OK, so here we go. Why I’m going down this path, I don’t exactly know—the first line has me hooked. I’ll be adding text below as I have a few minutes here and there.

Мелодии цветов = The melodies of flowers
(masculine nouns ending in -ов can only be genitive plural)

с затерянным началом
с (+ instr.) = with, from, since

затерянным  =  forsaken, forgotten, lost
началом = beginning (obsolete [with instr. case]): command, authority)

Мелодии цветов с затерянным началом
The melodies of flowers with the beginning forgotten
The melodies of flowers, the beginnings forgotten

(цвет also has a connotation of being in one’s prime; one has flowered, so I’m going to make a guess that I might retract later and propose that the first line has something to do with people who have grown up and have forgotten their youth or have forgotten how they got where they are; or forgotten their history)

Я слышу эти ноты похожие на сны
I listen to these notes similar to (dreams or dreamers?)
I listen to these notes like a dreamer

If сон = dream, then how do we get сны = accusative plural—dreams?

My dictionary says that видящий сны =  dreamer

**************

From the top:

Мелодии цветов с затерянным началом
The melodies of flowers with the beginning forgotten

Я слышу эти ноты похожие на сны
I listen to these notes similar to (dreams or dreamers?)
[Does this sound like snoring? Or the melody of life is just a dream; people are not perceiving reality?]

Итак…
So…

Когда-то в старину с бродягой обвенчалась
Once in the old days she [we find out in the next line that “she” is “wonderful love”] married a drifter

Пpекpасная любовь дарящая мечты
Wonderful love giving dreams

[I think there is word play going on with Пpекpасная since кpасная means red, so I think that’s a subtle reference to Russia; some maybe this is not only “wonderful love” but also the idea of Russia falling for a bum]

Пpекpасная любовь с бродягой обвенчалась
Wonderful love married a drifter (bum)

Связали их дороги, хрустальные мосты
They bound their way, crystal bridges
(Help, I’m guessing crystal bridges are significant. Do they refer so something historical? Or to another poetic work?)

Пpекpасная любовь, нам пpаздновать не вpемя –
Wonderful love,  there was no time for us to celebrate (not allowed?)

Кpовавые закатны пылают за pекой
Bloody sunsets blaze beyond the river
Bloody sunsets blaze on the river
Bloody sunsets blaze across the river

Пpекpасная любовь – там ложь пустила семя
Wonderful love — there the lie released itself
Wonderful love — there the lie got free

И нашим миpом пpавит уpодливой pукой
And rules our world with a deformed hand

Пpекpасная любовь, там ждут тебя живые,
Wonderful love, there they (living) wait for you,
Wonderful love,there  the living wait for you,

Позволь себя увидеть тем, кого ведут на смеpть
Allow yourself to catch sight of those who lead/take to death
Allow yourself to catch sight of those whom they are leading to death

Во мраке и грязи, но все же не слепые
In the darkness and filth, but all the same not blind
(People who do bad things even though they know they are wrong)

Дай pазуму свободы, дай сердцу не истлеть
Give freedom to reason, give to heart not to rot, decay, smolder to ashes
Give reason freedom, don’t let your heart be destroyed

И вот пpекpасная любовь влетела птицей в гоpод
And wonderful love like a bird flew into the city
But look, wonderful love flew into the city like a bird

И плакал, видя чудо очнувшийся наpод
and cried, seeing the miracle of people waking up
(or did the bird’s crying wake the people up? Did it cry out in joy because it saw the people waking up, or did “wonderful love” wake up the people?)

Тpон лжи не устоял, бежал в испуге воpог…
The throne didn’t resist lies, the fiend (foe) ran in terror…
The fiendish ruler who had not resisted the lies ran in terror… (closer meaning?)

Да жаль погиб бpодяга у гоpодских воpот
Yeah sorry the ruined tramp by the townspeople was brought back
Yeah sorry the townspeople brought the ruined tramp back

(Just as we thought everything was going to get so much better—and so who is the bum?)

**********************

Вступление: F | F | G | C | Dm | Am | E7 | F
            F | F | G | C | Dm | Am | E7 | Am | Am

  Am               E          Am
Мелодии цветов с затерянным началом -
  A7                        Dm
Я слышу эти ноты похожие на сны.
                              G          C
Итак, когда-то в старину с бродягой обвенчалась
   Dm        Am      E7       F
Прекрасная любовь, дарящая мечты,
                       G          C
Прекрасная любовь с бродягой обвенчалась:
   Dm        Am         E7         Am
Связали их дороги - хрустальные мосты.

Проигрыш = Вступление

--Переход в тональность Bbm--

   Bbm                 F              Bbm
Прекрасная любовь, нам праздновать не время -
   Bb7                      Ebm
Кровавые закаты пылают за рекой.
                       Ab           Db
Прекрасная любовь, там ложь пустила семя
  Ebm         Bbm     F7         Bbm
И нашим миром правит уродливой рукой.

--Переход в тональность Hm--

   Hm                  F#          Hm
Прекрасная любовь, там ждут тебя живые,
   H7                                   Em
Позволь себя увидеть тем, кого ведут на смерть,
                     A            D
Во мраке и грязи, но все же не слепые,
    Em        Hm        F#7          Hm
Дай разуму свободы, дай сердцу не истлеть.

--Переход в тональность Cm--

          Cm                G             Cm
И вот, прекрасная любовь влетела птицей в город,
  C7                              Fm
И плакал, видя чудо, очнувшийся народ,
                      Bb           Eb
Трон лжи не устоял, бежал в испуге ворог,
   Fm            Cm     G7          Cm
Да жаль погиб бродяга у городских ворот.

Sir Duke

I’m going on vacation and will be unresponsive for a while. Until I get back, I’m leaving you with my favorite song. This is a song that was popular when I was a kid and always made me feel happy: