Long before karaoke was invented, singing at the table was an integral part of Russian culture.
Russians belive, with this songs everything’s going to be alright! Source: PhotoXPress
There is an old tradition in Russia – when everybody at the holiday table has already drunk enough and somebody starts singing a droning song, and then everybody joins with their uncoordinated voices. This tradition continues, and we have made up a list of all the most popular Russian drinking songs.
Oiy da ne vecher (Oiy, it’s not evening yet)
A song about the Cossack ataman Stepan Razin, who lived in the 17th century and rebelled near the Volga River. In the song the ataman is complaining that he couldn’t sleep well and is singing about his dream.
Sigmund Freud had not been born yet, so Razin is trying to interpret his dream using various people’s methods. This song was first written down by folk-specialists in the Ural region around the 1880s, where it was dictated by an old Cossack. Today it is performed by the ensemble Kazachiy Krug.
Kazachiy Krug - Oiy, it’s not evening yet. Source: YouTube
Oiy moroz, moroz (Oiy, it’s freezing, it’s freezing)
This song is a request to the winter cold not to freeze the traveler and his horse while they are on the road, because his beautiful wife is waiting for him at home. It is as if this song came out of nowhere. The singer Maria Morozova-Uvarova had confirmed that she was the one who wrote it in 1954, but it has not been confirmed. It is performed by Valery Zolotuhin (from the movie Lord of the Taiga region).
Valery Zolotuhin - Oiy, it’s freezing, it’s freezing. Source: YouTube
Povorot (A turn)
What does a new turn on the road bring us? What about a turn in life? We won’t know until we actually turn… One of the most popular songs performed by legendary rock-group Mashina vremeni (Time’s Machine). Music by Alexander Kutikov, lyrics by Andrei Makarevich - both are the group’s front men.
Time’s Machine - A turn. Source: YouTube
Cherniy voron (The black raven)
This song is a Cossack folk song. The main hero compares his death to a black bird, which is flying in circles over his head. He is sure that if he sings this song, then his bad fate will give way to good fate. This song was first heard in 1934 in the movie “Chapayev” and sung by the actor Boris Babochkin.