"Siberia 2007" story # 38

Tomsk, Russia           November 16, 2007

While residing in my scary, wooden house, I hear two of DDT's Russian rock songs ringing in my mind.
     They're off the band's creative 1992 album, "Eto Vse". (The album's title song is probably my new favorite song.)
     In the third song, "Chetire Okna" (Four Windows), Yuri Shevchuk sings deeply, darkly, with a hollow-souled tone. In such a way, he roars the chorus: In your four windows ... Hearing the chorus, I envision a wall with two dark windows, and the windows are throbbing at me, bigger and bigger, as if I'm in a nightmare whose horror comes from the dark secrets of the Christian Church. The song, two times, says the phrase, "etot dom" (that house) in a way that makes the referred-to house sound alive and powerful and terrible. As a result, I call my house, "Etot Dom."
     The DDT song, from my understanding, tells about a man who finds salvation in the Church. In the church's four windows scream God's four seasons. Here are the first line and a later verse:

I shaved long in the darkness, without peace, with dreamless nights
I bathed in the river, and in far-away churches
I prayed to him and asked for one thing:
Deliver me from doubt and fear,
and save and preserve "etot dom".

The song is actually pro-Church, it seems.
     Of course, trusting readers, you must understand that translating poetry is a very difficult thing - especially for me, who understands symbolism as well as a hippopotamus. You're just getting my takes on the songs - which could be insane.
     "Belaya Noch" (White Night) follows "Chetire Okna" on the album. This is a seven-minute song, almost as visual and sensual as theatre. A violin plays throughout, playing short but piercing notes. Hearing it makes me feel I'm in an old, wooden mansion, on a dark and rainy night, and a mad woman is after me. Shevchuk's voice is haunting and persistent. He chants: In that white night ... In that white night during dark times ...
     Here are the two verses:

This city won't let me live, won't let me sing, won't let me sleep.
Won't let me forget those dreams, whose lipstick doesn't wash off my cheek.
In that white night your people, steps, like enemies.
In that denuded night, your honey-like speech was the ball of a mace.
And you were there, behind the devil, you were there in the silence.
I became sick to my soul, that you'd returned to me.
That white night, without clothes, she waits to beg for love.
That naked night, I fall into her embrace; don't bother calling

"White Night" is also the name of a Dostoyevsky play. It sounds pretty interesting.

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