Sunday, May 19, 2019

My friends Tokiko and Dimash - and also Alla, I guess




Alla Pugacheva
I first became aware of the Russian singer, Alla Pugacheva, many years ago when one of my favorite Japanese singers, Kato Tokiko did a Japanese version of one of her songs and made a giant hit of it. One of those hopelessly romantic numbers that have the grandmothers in the audience running through box after box of Kleenex. It’s called Ten Thousand Roses in Japanese and A Million Scarlet Roses in the original Russian.  I blogged about it twenty-one years ago, already.  https://hepzibahpyncheon.blogspot.com/1998/05/night-out-with-mama-and-kato-tokiko.html

Kato Tokiko
The words are way too schmaltzy to survive a translation, so let me just sum up the story:

There once lived a painter who lived in a small house with only his canvases for company. He falls in love with a beautiful actress. Because she is known to love red roses, he decides to his house and all his paintings and use all the money to buy enough flowers to fill the plaza outside her house.

“A million scarlet roses” the song goes. “That’s all you can see from your window. You must know they are from someone who loves you deeply.” He has turned his life into roses.

She rises the next morning and goes to the window.
“Who is this trying to make a fool of me?” she thinks.
“Some rich man,” she says, and her heart grows cold while underneath the window, the painter waits, breathless, for a sign of recognition.

That night the train carries her away from the town and she never returns.
The painter lives out his life alone, remembering the roses.
She too wonders who it might have been.

Here’s Alla Pugacheva singing the Russian version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAGlI_2vQpg&ab_channel=RussiaUniversalMusic

I don’t know, maybe it’s the xylophone. Maybe it’s the hair.

Now have a look at Kato Tokiko singing the Japanese version in 2005, back about the time I first fell under her spell (she must have sung it 1000 times before and 1000 times since):


Much better hair. And I’ll take the shakuhachi over the xylophone any day of the week.

These days, I’m comparing Pugacheva not to Kato Tokiko, but to the rising star Dimash Kudaibergen, the five-octave guy who has thousands of folk reacting with astonishment at his range. I just love listening to his talent. I don’t know how long his ability to go from D2 all the way up to F6 in a full-voice range and D8 in the whistle register will last. Granted, he’s awesome. But if he ever stops showing off his inhuman capacity to hit the high notes and just does beautiful things with that remarkable voice, I imagine I’ll become an even bigger fan.

Anyway, if I did Alla no favors by comparing her to Kato Tokiko wait till you, I’m being even more of a shit comparing her to Dimash.

But judge for yourself.

Here’s Alla singing a lovely Russian popular song which came out in 2014, I believe, titled “Love is like a dream.” Written by somebody named Gorbachev. No idea if the author is related to Mikhail.

If you’d like to follow, here are the words in Russian in Column 1. In Column 2 is the Russian for you sing-along types who don’t read Cyrillic. In Column 3 is an English translation I slapped together from a couple sources, plus a bit of my vestigial Russian from the good old days.
Since doing that, I’ve found a YouTube version of her with English subtitles. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sezFvv2Ge7c&ab_channel=MyFavorites

You’ll see she’s done something with her hair.

Or maybe it’s just the rain.


Russian original
Romanized
Englished
Я в глаза твои,
Как в зеркало смотрю,
Отраженье потерять
Своё боюсь.

Не хочу, чтоб ты лишь
Гостем был
В сумраке ночей
И в судьбе моей.

Я люблю тебя,
Как любят в жизни раз,
Словно солнца в мире
Не было до нас.

От забот и мелких ссор
Ты меня увёл
И ключи от счастья
Для меня нашёл.
Для меня нашёл.

Chorus:

Любовь, похожая на сон,
Сердец хрустальный перезвон.
Твоё волшебное – люблю -
Я тихим эхом повторю.

Любовь, похожая на сон,
Счастливым сделала мой дом,

Но, вопреки законам сна,
Пускай не кончится она.

Я прощаю
Одиночество и грусть,
Ты сказал, что в них
Я больше не вернусь.
Так бывает только
В сладком сне,
Но любовь у нас
Наяву сейчас,

Мне б в глазах твоих
Себя не потерять.
На разлуки нам любовь
Не разменять,
Я немыслимой ценой
И своей мечтой
Заслужила это счастье
Быть с тобой.
Быть всегда с тобой.

Chorus:

Любовь, похожая на сон,
Сердец хрустальный перезвон.
Твоё волшебное – люблю -


Я тихим эхом повторю.
Любовь, похожая на сон,
Счастливым сделала мой дом,

Но, вопреки законам сна,
Пускай не кончится она.

Любовь, похожая на сон,
Счастливым сделала мой дом,
Но, вопреки законам сна,
Пускай не кончится она.


Ya v glaza tvoi,
Kak v zerkalo smotryu, Otrazhen'ye poteryat' Svoyo boyus'.

Ne khochu, chtob ty lish' Gostem byl
V sumrake nochey  i v sud'be moyey.

Ya lyublyu tebya,
Kak lyubyat v zhizni raz, Slovno solntsa v mire
Ne bylo do nas.

Ot zabot i melkikh ssor
Ty menya uvol
I klyuchi ot schast'ya
Dlya menya nashol.
Dlya menya nashol.


Chorus:

Lyubov', pokhozhaya na son,
Serdets khrustal'nyy perezvon.
Tvoyo volshebnoyelyublyu

Ya tikhim ekhom povtoryu. Lyubov', pokhozhaya na son,
Schastlivym sdelala moy dom,
No, vopreki zakonam sna, Puskay ne konchitsya ona.

Ya proshchayu Odinochestvo i grust',
Ty skazal, chto v nikh
Ya bol'she ne vernus'.
Tak byvayet tol'ko
V sladkom sne,
No lyubov' u nas
Nayavu seychas,

Mne b v glazakh tvoikh Sebya ne poteryat'.
Na razluki nam lyubov'
Ne razmenyat',
Ya nemyslimoy tsenoy
I svoyey mechtoy Zasluzhila eto schast'ye Byt' s toboy.
Byt' vsegda s toboy.



Chorus:
Lyubov', pokhozhaya na son,
Serdets khrustal'nyy perezvon.
Tvoyo volshebnoyelyublyu

Ya tikhim ekhom povtoryu. Lyubov', pokhozhaya na son,
Schastlivym sdelala moy dom,

No, vopreki zakonam sna, Puskay ne konchitsya ona. Lyubov', pokhozhaya na son,
Schastlivym sdelala moy dom,
I'm looking into your eyes as if in a mirror. I’m afraid I’ll lose my reflection and I’m afraid of myself.

I want you to be more than a just a guest in the dark night and in my destiny.

I love you as one loves only once in life. As if there was no sun in the world before us.

You took away my worries and my petty strife and the keys to happiness
You found for me
You found for me.


Chorus:

Love is like a dream, a crystal chime in my heart.
I gently echo your enchanting “I love you” back to you.


Love like a dream
You filled my home with happiness.
In defiance of the laws of dreams, I want this love to never end.
I forgive
Loneliness and sadness
You say I will never feel them again.
Such things happen only in sweet dreams, but that is now our reality, here and now.

May I never lose myself in your eyes,
May our love never give way to loneliness.
I’ve paid the price for this sweet dream.
 I deserve the happiness of being with you forever
Forever by your side.

Chorus:

Love is like a dream, a crystal chime in my heart.
I gently echo your enchanting “I love you” back to you.


Love like a dream
You filled my home with happiness.

But, contrary to the laws of sleep,
May it never end
Love like a dream
You filled my home with happiness,
But, contrary to the laws of sleep,
May it never end.




And now…


Dimash
Dimash:



And don’t stop there. If your computer links YouTube files the way mine does, it should run into the wonderful story of Autumn Strong, after which he sings the song in Chinese – he speaks Chinese as well as Russian and his native Kazakh. If it doesn’t link automatically, click here:



But I’ll stop here.





Photo credits: