Folksongs: Oy Tsvetyot Kalina

Here’s a singable translation I did of the lovely Russian khorovod

Oy Tsvetyot Kalina”.

 

The Snowball Trees

 

Snowball trees are blooming  down along the streams.

I’m in love with someone,  the center of my dreams,

Someone young and handsome—but pain now fills my mind:

I must keep it secret;  no words dare I find.

I must keep it secret;  no words dare I find.

 

He lives on, not knowing  anything of this,

That a girl is thinking,  dreaming of his kiss.

By the brook the snowballs  shed down their petals white,

Yet this girlish passion  never grows more slight.

Yet this girlish passion  never grows more slight.

 

But this girlish passion  grows stronger with each day.

How can I reveal it  and give my thoughts away?

I hesitate, not daring  to make my feelings known.

Oh my darling charmer,  please guess it on your own!

Oh my darling charmer,  please guess it on your own!

 

[The first verse is then repeated.  I’m still not satisfied with making that verse both accurate and euphonic, so here’s another try—you can mix or match the couplets:]

 

Snowball trees are blooming  down along the shore.

I’m in love with someone,  someone I adore:

Someone young and handsome  who preys upon my mind—

Yet I keep my secret;  no words can I find.

Yet I keep my secret;  no words can I find.

 

 

 

And here’s a transcription of the original, done phonetically for English-speakers.

Accents indicate where the main beats of the music fall.

 

Óy tsvyityot kalyína  fpólye u ruchyá.

Párnya maladóva  pályubila yá.

Párnya palyubíla  ná svayu byidú.

Nyí magu atkrïtsa,  slóva nyi naydú.

Nyí magu atkrïtsa,  slóva nyi naydú.

 

Ón zhivyot, nyi znáyit  nyíchivo a tóm,

Shtó adna divchína  dúmayet a nyóm.

Ú ruchya kalínï  átlyitayit tvyét,

Á lyubov dyivíchya  nyí prakhodit nyét.

Á lyubóv dyivichya  nyí prakhodit nyét.

 

Á lyubov dyivíchya  skázhdïm dnyom silnyéy.

Kág-zhe mne rishítsya  rásskazat’ a nyéy?

Yá shazhu, nyi smyéya  vólyu dat’ slavám.

Mílïy moy charóshi,  dágadaysya sám!

Mílïy moy charóshi,  dágadaysya sám!

 

Óy tsvyityot kalyína  fpólye u ruchyá.

Párnya maladóva  pályubila yá.

Párnya palyubíla  ná svayu byidú.

Nyí magu atkrïtsya,  slóva nyi naydú.

Nyí magu atkrïtsya,  slóva nyi naydú.

 

[Notes:

The vowels are roughly as follows:

a  as in Eng. mama

e  as in met

í  as in meet

i  as in mit

o  as in more

u  as in moot

ï  as in Pass the butter said quickly

(and if that sounds like the u in butter, you said it too slowly/carefully!)

t’ represents lightly palatalized “t”, as in Tuesday said by New Englanders.

In the last verse, shazhú = shchazhú.]