Tuesday, June 05, 2012

The Bell Tolls for Trololo

We have waited the traditional one day of mourning to report the death of Internet sensation Eduard Khil. Actually I almost had to prepare a second obituary as I was shocked and pleased to discover that the late Mr. Khil and I SHARE A BIRTHDAY. On the other hand, I had a better time in elementary school as mine was not bombed* and eventually overrun by the Nazis, regardless of what we may have thought about some of the staff.

As the linked article notes, the glorious weirdness came about as a result of Soviet censorship of the song's lyrics, which concern an American cowboy riding home to his wife. Knowing that makes some of the musical style a bit more comprehensible and rescues the title (translated, poorly by me, as "I'm Very Happy that I'm Finally Returning Home (Vocalization)") from the Land of Complete Non-Sequiturs. Depending on how well-known the actual song was to Soviet viewers, it also reminds one of the reliance of authoritarians on mid-level apparatchiks who may not always think things through: "If we let the music play and show the title, but make the singer spout gibberish syllables, Nobody Will Figure It Out." I like to think the broadcast caused the tiniest of cracks in the Berlin Wall.

On the other hand, the Wikipedia bio for Khil suggests that the lyrics merely sucked and they decided to go with the vocalization instead. I think I'll let Occam's Razor fall behind the sink on this one.

Watch this and pour out a dirty communal glass of 5-kopek vending machine mineral water:

*I am sufficiently old, however, to have been herded into the school basement during air raid drills. Ah, the late '60s.

1 comment:

JCC said...

I admit it. His expression just creeps me out. I don't know if its the mask he wears to try to hide the fact that he's lip synching, but ... creeps me out!