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Kolybel’naya, 'Lullaby' (1948) Op. 79 no.3

Part of a series or song cycle:

From Jewish Folk Poetry (Op. 79)

Kolybel’naya, 'Lullaby'

Moj synok vsekh krashe v mire – ogonek vo t'me.
Tvoj otets v tsepjakh v Sibiri,
Derzhit tsar' ego v tjur'me.
Spi, lju-lju-lju-lju.
Kolybel' tvoju kachaja, mama slezy l'et.
Sam pojmesh' ty, podrastaja, chto ej serdtse zhzhet.
Tvoj otets v Sibiri dal'nej,
Ja nuzhdu terplju.
Spi pokuda bespechal'no,
A lju-lju, lju-lju, lju-lju, lju-lju, lju-lju, lju-lju.
Skorb' moja chernee nochi,
Spi, a ja ne splju.
Spi, khoroshij, spi, synochek,
Spi, lju-lju, lju-lju, lju-lju, lju-lju, lju-lju, lju-lju.


Bonnier than any is my little boy – a light in the darkness.
Your father is in chains in Siberia,
Kept in prison by the tsar.
Sleep, lullay, lullay.
As she rocks your cradle, your mother sheds her tears.
When you grow up, you will understand what sears her
Your father is in far-off Siberia,
Whilst I endure poverty here.
But you should sleep without a care,
Lullay, lullay.
My grief is blacker than the night itself,
Sleep, my dear, whilst no sleep comes to me.
Sleep, my fine one, sleep, my lovely little son,
Spi, lullay, lullay.

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Dmitri Shostakovich was a Russian composer and pianist. He achieved fame in the Soviet Union, although later developed a more complex and difficult relationship with the government. As a composer, he combined a variety of different musical techniques into his works, and his music is characterised by sharp contrast, grotesque elements, and ambivalent tonality. 


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