What is this song?
February 26, 2015 6:23 AM   Subscribe

Hi Folks, I am trying to obtain information about this song and hopefully locate an audio file of it. It's apparently a Tarkovsky song but which one and how do i locate a recording? Can you help? Thanks! Here is a link to it via youtube.
posted by lawild to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Googling "kumushki" produces some references to "Nostalgia" -- following the bread crumb trail a bit further it seems that the song was used in a film called "Nostalghia". That's all I've got, but perhaps it's a starting point.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:39 AM on February 26, 2015

According to this page, the version in the film was sung by Olga Fedoseevna Sergeeva. There's an mp3, but it seems to be a different recording. Googling for кумушки turns up a lot of results for the version by singer Pelageya.
posted by neroli at 7:17 AM on February 26, 2015

It's a Russian folk song (in dialect); I found here a set of lyrics that are close to, though not identical with, the ones sung in your clip. The title, "Кумушки" [Kumushki], is the plural of the diminutive of the Russian word for 'godmother,' кума [kuma]; it can have an extended sense of 'good women' as well as the literal sense. I'll translate the lyrics, followed by the original:

Oh, godmothers, godmothers,
Be godparents (of my child; i.e., be supportive of me), be loving.
Be godparents, be loving;
Love me.

You're going to the green garden,
Take me along.
You're going to pick/pluck flowers,
Pick me too.

You're going to braid/plait wreaths,
Plait me too.
You're going to the swift river [in your version, "the river Danube"],
Take me along.

You're going to put the wreaths in the water,
Put me there too.
Your wreaths float on the surface,
But mine went to the bottom.

Your (male) friends came back from the war,
But mine didn't come back.

Ой, кумушки, кумитеся.
Кумитеся, любитеся.
Кумитеся, любитеся
Любите мене.

Вы пойдети в зялёный сад
Возьмите мене.
Вы будети цвяты рвать
Сорвите вы мне.

Вы будете вянки плясти
Плятите вы мне.
Вы пойдити к быстрай ряке
Возьмите мене.

Вы будете вянки в воду пускать
Пустите вы мне.
Ваши вянки по верху плыли,
А мой на дно пошёл.

Ваши дружки с войны пришли,
А мой не пришёл.
posted by languagehat at 7:27 AM on February 26, 2015

Best answer: The Sergeeva recording Tarkovsky used is one from 1971-72, according to this. There's a different version available on Amazon for 99 cents.
posted by neroli at 7:34 AM on February 26, 2015

Response by poster: Thank you all. I have spent over a week trying to track this down. You are incredibly helpful. If anyone knows how to obtain a copy of the original recording, please let me know. the mp3 is a slightly different version, as neroli points out. Thank you Languagehat for the translation. Beautiful imagery.
posted by lawild at 7:35 AM on February 26, 2015

Response by poster: Thanks Neroli!
posted by lawild at 7:37 AM on February 26, 2015

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