How proud and festive the parade,
The thundering trumpets lead the way,
And lines of soldiers in array
Follow one another.
His wife is joyful like a bride,
His daughter watches full of pride,
Only his mother turns aside:
'Where are you going, mother?'
The silent guns have lost their sting,
For nothing now is happening,
And we may yet escape the thing -
No need for grief or grumbles!
The music is for you today,
For you the trumpeter will play;
Watch on his lip the mouth-piece sway,
It trembles, trembles, trembles...
by ბულატ ოკუჯავა
a.k.a. Булат Шалвович Окуджава
a.k.a. Bulat Shalvovich Okudzhava
(1957 – 1959?)
translated by Yakov Hornstein
Below is the original Russian version of the lyric in Cyrillic. Notably, regarding the English translation I provide above, the translator chose to change the title (or first line if originally untitled) to the more simple ‘Military Parade’ regarding the setting rather than provide a more direct translation along the lines of ‘Ah, the thundering brass trumpets…’
Ах, трубы медные гремят…
Ах, трубы медные гремят,
кружится воинский парад —
за рядом ряд, за рядом ряд идут в строю солдаты.
Не в силах радость превозмочь,
поет жена, гордится дочь,
и только мать уходит прочь… Куда же ты, куда ты?
И боль, и пыль, и пушек гром…
Ах, это будет всё потом,
чего ж печалиться о том — а может, обойдется?
Ведь нынче музыка — тебе,
трубач играет на трубе,
мундштук трясется на губе, трясется он, трясется.
Information: Bulat Shalvovich Okudzhava (Russian: Булат Шалвович Окуджава; Georgian: ბულატ ოკუჯავა) (May 9, 1924 – June 12, 1997) was a Soviet and Russian poet, writer, musician, novelist, and singer-songwriter of Georgian-Armenian ancestry. He was one of the founders of the Soviet genre called “author song” (авторская песня), or “guitar song”, and the author of about 200 songs, set to his own poetry. His songs are a mixture of Russian poetic and folksong traditions and the French chansonnier style represented by such contemporaries of Okudzhava as Georges Brassens. Though his songs were never overtly political (in contrast to those of some of his fellow Soviet bards), the freshness and independence of Okudzhava‘s artistic voice presented a subtle challenge to Soviet cultural authorities, who were thus hesitant for many years to give official recognition to Okudzhava.