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Thread: Help me with this russian song !

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    Senior Member Il_Penseroso's Avatar
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    Default Help me with this russian song !

    I'm working on a very less known and so rarely performed russian song composed by Cesar Cui. It's called 'Бабень' and I hope someone knows russian and could help me with the text.
    Here is the original russian text, the poet is anonymous as far as I know, perhaps written by the composer himself, I don't know...

    Бабень

    Встань ты, дурень
    встань ты, бабень
    полно тебе спати!

    "Что орёте
    всё вы врёте
    эку рань вставати!"

    Встань ты, дурень,
    встань ты, бабень,
    ворог под горою,
    степью рыщет,
    броду ищет,
    тут не до спокою.

    "Эко дело?
    Не поспела
    вражья переправа:
    в речке омут,
    все потонут;
    наше дело право."

    Встань ты, дурень,
    встань ты, бабень,
    ворог уж под валом,
    прячься, дурень,
    прыгай, бабень,
    по своим подвалам.

    "Роб глубокий,
    вал высокий,
    тын по валу строен.
    Тын-то новый,
    весь дубовый:
    я за ним спокоен."

    Взяли дурня,
    взяли бабня,
    спутали арканом,
    сбыли дурня,
    сдали бабня
    дальним басурманам.

    Скачет дурень,
    пляшет бабень
    под чужую дудку.
    Песня наша,
    милость ваша...
    гривна за погудку.

    Anyone here can give me a translation, briefly of course, I know it's untranslatable entirely, but please help me to clarify that what it is just speaking about and the most important thing, what does the word 'бабень' mean after all?
    Thank you.
    Last edited by Il_Penseroso; Feb-07-2013 at 18:25.
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned... (William Butler Yeats)

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    Il_Penseroso, where the heck did you hear this? :-)

    Бабень (baben') is a derogatory word for a man who behaves like a woman (baba being a derogatory term for a woman). The song is about a lazy "woman-like" man who dismisses repeated warnings about the approaching enemy and ends up being captured and shipped off to a faraway land to be an entertainment (buffoon?) for the foreigners.

    RD

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    Senior Member Il_Penseroso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobertoDevereux View Post
    Il_Penseroso, where the heck did you hear this? :-)
    Oh! I didn't hear this, I just got the notes and found it - musically - amazing, I was hoping to work on it with my friend who is not a professional singer but has a good basso. The song written in 1915 dedicated to Feyodor Chaliapin. I wonder he even accepted it for singing. Not a lot of information available on the internet or elsewhere but to my knowledge there's still no significant recording of the song on CD!


    Бабень (baben') is a derogatory word for a man who behaves like a woman (baba being a derogatory term for a woman).
    So, like Baba-Yaga...


    The song is about a lazy "woman-like" man who dismisses repeated warnings about the approaching enemy and ends up being captured and shipped off to a faraway land to be an entertainment (buffoon?) for the foreigners.

    RD
    Oh, what a song! You'll be more surprised if you just hear it! I'll try to upload and post when finished if you're interested... Thank you very much for your help.
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned... (William Butler Yeats)

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    Hi Il_Penseroso!

    Yes, post it when you are done - it would be interesting to hear it. (I've never heard this song!)

    RD

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    Senior Member sharik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Il_Penseroso View Post
    Baba-Yaga
    no, quite the opposite. Baba Yaga is a Russian fairytales character and mighty, although decrepit, sorceress that lives in a forest.

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    Senior Member Il_Penseroso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharik View Post
    no, quite the opposite. Baba Yaga is a Russian fairytales character and mighty, although decrepit, sorceress that lives in a forest.
    I know Baba-Yaga is mighty and not lazy since I'm familiar with many of the famous Russian Skazki and Bylichki. What I was meaning to say is just the femininity of the word Баба with a negative usage as described by RD:

    baba being a derogatory term for a woman
    ...anyhow pls correct me if i'm wrong.
    Last edited by Il_Penseroso; Mar-15-2013 at 12:48.
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned... (William Butler Yeats)

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    Senior Member sharik's Avatar
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    the very name Baba Yaga comes from a magnified 'babushka' (that is grandmother) not 'баба' in terms of dame as Americans have it in there English.

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    Yeah, in the case of Baba Yaga, I'd say sharik is right - it has a connotation of an old woman, and "babushka" is probably the origin. The word does have another meaning though - a derogatory term for a woman - and that's what the song above makes use of.

    RD

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    Senior Member Il_Penseroso's Avatar
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    Ok thanks for clarifying sharik and RD
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned... (William Butler Yeats)

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