2 of 2: Katyusha, Katyusha

 Here’s an interesting response from my Irish bard-friend, a linguist (and Russian-language expert) in Dublin…

Sent: Friday, January 02, 2009 1:54 PM
Subject: Re: AA/ACS Katyusha, Katyusha

O’Brien is apparently not aware that the Russian nickname for the small and highly unsophisticated rockets (launched en masse in barrages) that Hamas and Hizbullah use comes from a folk-style Russian song written in 1938 and popular with Soviet soldiers during the war.  Americans and Brits normally referred to the launchers as “Stalin organs”, and the Germans just used the name for their own launcher (nebelwerfer, if I’m not mistaken). But O’Brien, being a commie like most European intellectuals, undoubtedly heard the song itself many times, and it has simply worked itself back into his consciousness via what he even refers to as his “lullabye-like” poem.

The song in question (see English translation at the end):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDCUr1GuMGM for the Glasgow Russian choir’s version — the music will strike you as somehow familiar…

Катюша Katyusha
Музыка: М.Блантера Слова: М.Исаковский

Music: M Blantera Words: M. Isakovskiy 

Расцветали яблони и груши,
Поплыли туманы над рекой.
Выходила на берег Катюша,
На высокий берег на крутой.

Выходила, песню заводила
Про степного, сизого орла,
Про того, которого любила,
Про того, чьи письма берегла.

Он ты, песня, песенка девичья,
Ты лети за ясным солнцем вслед.
И бойцу на дальнем пограничье
От Катюши передай привет.

Пусть он вспомнит девушку простую,
Пусть услышит, как она поет,
Пусть он землю бережет родную,
А любовь Катюша сбережет.

Расцветали яблони и груши,
Поплыли туманы над рекой.
Выходила на берег Катюша,
На высокий берег на крутой.

English:

The apple and pear trees were all in bloom,
fog afloat above the river.
Down came Katyusha to the riverbank,
the riverbank so steep and high. 

Down she came, broke into song�
About the grey steppe-eagle,
the man she loved,
the one whose letters she was keeping. 

Love-song, maidenly love declaring,
chase the bright sun westward,
To her warrior on the border,
bear a greeting from his Katyusha.

Let him remember the simple girl ,
let him hear what she sings,�
let him keep their native land safe
like Katyusha keeps her love.

Blossoms filled the apple trees and pear trees,
Mist upon the river floated by,
Down Katusha came to gather berries
On the cliff top rising steepe ang high

1938

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