My life

Bulat Okudzhava died fifteen years ago.

Bulat Okudzhava: Песенка о моей жизни – A little song about my life

А как первая любовь – она сердце жжет.
А вторая любовь – она к первой льнет.
А как третья любовь – ключ дрожит в замке,
ключ дрожит в замке, чемодан в руке.

А как первая война – да ничья вина.
А вторая война – чья-нибудь вина.
А как третья война – лишь моя вина,
а моя вина – она всем видна.

А как первый обман – да на заре туман.
А второй обман – закачался пьян.
А как третий обман – он ночи черней
он ночи черней, он войны страшней.
as the first love burns your heart
as the second love clings to the first one
as the third one pushes a key in the key-hole
a key in the key-hole, a suitcase in the hand

as the first war is nobody’s fault
as the second war is someone’s fault
as the third war is my fault
and my fault is clear to everyone

as the first delusion is the mist of the dawn
as the second delusion is a sobering up
as the third delusion is the black night
a black night, more terrible than war

4 comentarios:

Anónimo dijo...

"Zamok" here is "lock," not "castle," I believe.

Studiolum dijo...

You’re right; I’m fully aware of the difference between zámok and zamók. Nevertheless, as grammar allows it, I’ve been pleased to translate it with the synecdoche of the castle, totum pro parte.

MOCKBA dijo...

More precisely, not a lock but a key-hole. His hands are shaking and he is barely able to put the key into the keyhole of the door.

The usage can be described as a synechdoche, totum pro parte, замок for замочная скважина. But it can't possibly refer to castles in Russian, never. You see, in prepositional case of zámok and zamók, the difference in stressed syllables persist. And since it is a verse, the stress falls on the 2nd syllable, making impossible any confusion with zámok.

It's not like the two words are perceived as related in Russian anyway, although of course they share some distant etymology.

Studiolum dijo...

Thank you, MOCKBA, for the exhaustive explication! I’m going to correct it, then.