Skip to main content



Khoroshaja zhizn, 'The good life' (1948) Op. 79 no.9

Part of a series or song cycle:

From Jewish Folk Poetry (Op. 79)

Khoroshaja zhizn, 'The good life'

O pole prostornom, druz'ja dorogie,
Pesen ne pel ja v gody glukhie.
Ne dlja menja polja rastsvetali,
Ne dlja menja rosinki stekali.
V tesnom podvale, vo t'me syroj
Zhil ja kogda-to, izmuchen nuzhdoj,
I grustnaja pesnja neslas' iz podvala
O gore, o muke moej nebyvaloj.
Kolhoznaja rechka, struis' veselee,
Druz'jam peredaj moj poklon poskoree,
Skazhi, chto v kolhoze teper' moj dom,
Tsvetushee derevo stoit pod oknom.
Teper' dlja menja polja rastsvetajut,
Menja molokom i medom pitajut.
Ja schastliv, a ty rasskazhi moim brat'jam:
Kolhoznym poljam budu pesni slagat' ja!

The good life

Dear friends, in gloomy bygone years,
I never sang songs about the fields so wide.
Not for me did the fields bear their crops,
Not for me did the dewdrops fall.
In a cramped cellar, in the dank gloom,
I used to live, worn out by need,
And a sad song rose from the basement,
A song of grief and of my unparalleled suffering.
Flow merrily, little river, on the collective farm,
Rush to give my greetings to my friends,
Tell them that the collective farm is now my home,
And that a blossoming tree stands by my window.
For me the fields now bear their crops,
I am fed with milk and honey.
I am happy, so tell my brothers:
I will compose songs to the fields of the collective farm!

If you would like to use our texts and translations, please click here for more information.


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. 


Information from Wikipedia. Read more here.

See Full Entry

Sorry, no further description available.

Mailing List