Seeking classical cliché music for toil
October 18, 2010 10:13 AM   Subscribe

I am looking for a classical music piece, or snippet, connoting "toil" or "hardship", and I think it's Russian or at least Eastern European.

The kind that is cliché soundtrack fodder for scenes of arduous marches or noses to grindstones, with maybe a soupçon of despair.

I have at least one particular melody in mind, but open to others in this vein.
posted by everichon to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Oh and it's not Marche Slave, though bits of that do work.
posted by everichon at 10:14 AM on October 18, 2010

Best answer: The Song of the Volga Boatmen?

The catchy tune of The Song of the Volga Boatmen has led to its being used in many musical situations, particularly as background music, often with the theme of unremitting toil (or, alternatively, devotion to duty).
posted by pocams at 10:16 AM on October 18, 2010 [3 favorites]

The Bydło movement of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition.
posted by Rash at 4:07 PM on October 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Aha! "Volga Boatmen" has been a family joke for years, wherein, say, if you are playing Yahtzee, and the game is tedious and seems like it will never end, you sing dolorously: "Playing YAHTzeeeeeee". Or what have you.
posted by everichon at 8:44 AM on October 19, 2010

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