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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Kobzon, Yanukovych, Chernovetsky Rock the Party, Sing a KGB Song

Iosif Kobzon, born in Chasiv Yar, Donetsk Oblast, is more than just the Frank Sinatra of the USSR. In a 2004 remake of one of his patriotic songs, Kobzon campaigned for Yanukovych and painted Yushchenko as a “civil war” candidate.

Video 1

The first song, “Spyat Kurgany Temniye,” (“Sleep Befalls the Dark Hills”) is the soundtrack to Bolshaya Zhizn (A Large Life), a 1939 inspirational movie about Donbas coal miners. The film won an “Oscar” from Stalin.

A jewel of Donbas subculture, the song was mercilessly spoofed during the Orange Revolution.

The second song “Ne Dumai O Sekundakh S Vysoka” (“Think Not About Time from a Mountain High”) is the soundtrack to Semnadtsat Mgnoveniy Vesny (Seventeen Moments of Spring), a 1973 blockbuster miniseries about Otto von Stirlitz, a Soviet mole in the Third Reich. The movie became an instant hit, and joke fodder too.

Often used in sitcoms as the unofficial anthem of the KGB, "Ne Dumai O Sekundakh S Vysoka" is popular in Ukraine. However, when sung by Ukrainian public officials, the song loses most of its humor.

Video 2


Kak zdorovo, chto vse my zdes
Segodnya sobralis

I vsyo zhe s bolyu v gorle
My tekh segodnya vspomnim,
Chyi imena, kak rany,
Na serdtse zapeklis

How great it is that all of us
Have found each other here (walks up to Chernovetsky)

With pain in our throats
We will remember those
Whose names as wounds so deeply
Upon our hearts are seared


Anonymous said...

What no link to D.V.S.'s tribute to UA coal miners? :)

Cool video links.



Pawlina said...

Oh dear, and he did such a lovely Ukrainian CD with Taisia Povaliy that I have played on my program.

Now if I ever share it with my listeners again, I guess I'll have to give some kind of disclaimer about Mr. K. Too bad, as it's unlikely I'd be inclined to bother... given that there is so much good music and so little airtime as it is!

Still, a terrible waste of a wonderful voice...

Taras said...

Do you have a link to that video?:) Share!:)

Taras said...


Both Kobzon and Povaliy have wonderful voices. It’s how they use them that matters. Unfortunately, they both use them to romanticize a political party that assaults Ukrainian culture, and harps on the imperialist rather than humanistic strings of Russian culture.

I’m glad to have shed some light on who’s who in Ukrainian showbiz politically:)

Anonymous said...

Nope can't find a link yet - not on youtube or Tymo website anyway. And do not think that D.V.S. press conference will be uploaded either as Tymo's daughter spoke so well in Russian. (Which I don't care about but does reflect on mom's political aspirations.)