Russians

It’s Music Monday here on Nicky’s blog and today I’m bringing you a real classic.  I’m posting no other than the first single I ever bought! It was a proper single, for those of you who remember the shiny black vinyl 45rpm plastic disks you used to get in traditional style record shops.

The motivation: a crush
I was thirteen and I bought it the day after a party at a friend’s house, where I had been asked to dance to (yes, you guessed it) just this song by the boy on whom I had a big crush.  It was a heavenly moment, and I tried to prolong the exprience by obtaining the music the very next day.  I wasn’t really into music then; I was just awakening to it, shall we say.  So I didn’t have a clue what or who I was looking for, and I had been too embarrassed the previous night to show up my complete ignorance and ask.

Instead, I opted for making a bit of an idiot out of myself in front of a complete stranger in the record shop.  I sang bits of the song to him.  Luckily it was very high in the charts, so he recognised it despite my subpar performance.

The fascination: the story in the lyrics!
Having got it home, I put in on play non-stop for something like three weeks.  Why’s that, you ask?  Well, it wasn’t just to do with having shared a dance with my crush.  The lyrics drew me in and didn’t let me go.  This is where it all started, my obsession with lyrics!  Anyway, here it is… I hope you enjoy.  The sentiment of the song is eternal, I feel, even though the actual historical circumstances have (thankfully) changed dramatically.

The insight: rock meets classic
Last but not least, I frequently rant on about how rock music and classical music aren’t actually a million miles apart. I often cite Verdi’s Requiem as a case in point, but consider this! Russians uses the Romance theme from the Lieutenant Kijé Suite by Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev! Just for the love it, I attach a link for the theme as well… and you can see how amazingly skilfully Sting used this music in his own work. Rock on!

Russians by Sting

In Europe and America, there’s a growing feeling of hysteria
Conditioned to respond to all the threats
In the rhetorical speeches of the Soviets
Mr. Krushchev said we will bury you
I don’t subscribe to this point of view
It would be such an ignorant thing to do
If the Russians love their children too

How can I save my little boy from Oppenheimer’s deadly toy
There is no monopoly in common sense
On either side of the political fence
We share the same biology
Regardless of ideology
Believe me when I say to you
I hope the Russians love their children too

There is no historical precedent
To put the words in the mouth of the President
There’s no such thing as a winnable war
It’s a lie we don’t believe anymore
Mr. Reagan says we will protect you
I don’t subscribe to this point of view
Believe me when I say to you
I hope the Russians love their children too

We share the same biology
Regardless of ideology
What might save us, me, and you
Is if the Russians love their children too

PS: I feel I ought to say “thank you” to Sting here for teaching me invaluable phrases. You would not believe the surprise on my English teacher’s face when, challenged during a class discussion, I offered a nonchalant, “Well, I don’t subscribe to this point of view.” 🙂

Here’s the vid:

 

And here’s the Romance theme from the Lieutenant Lieutenant Kijé Suite by Prokofiev. It’s very quiet, so listen carefully… 🙂

So, hand on heart: what do you feel when you hear this song? Does it give you goosebumps?

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11 responses to “Russians

  1. Nicky, I love Music Monday on your blog. Thanks for sharing this – love everything about it x

    • Shaz, that’s such a wonderful thing to say, thank you! I think I will definitely keep this going, thank you for stopping by and enjoying the feature. Rock on! 🙂

  2. Whooo! Now I understand why Sting’s Russians always sounded familiar….it was the Prokofiev element!
    Thanks for sharing the *two* videos, because I’d never been aware of that link 🙂

    I confess I probably prefer the music to the lyrics in most songs (insofar as they can ever be separated), but of course, it’s also the emotion portrayed by the vocalist that affects me. Steve Perry in Journey’s If You Love A Woman….well, I’d hire him to sing that for me if I could afford it (and I can’t!) In the video of that song, you can see/feel/taste the emotion he pours into that song, and his voice just blows me away….

    • Thanks for visiting, Joanna! Isn’t it amazing how the two types of music complement each other! I hear what you’re saying about the vocalist, there are some voices that just move you (to laughter, joy, tears). So glad you’re enjoying Music Monday… I might have a treat for you next week! 🙂 x

  3. I love that line: “There’s no such thing as a winnable war.” How very true. Seems the players are different these days, but the same old rhetoric circulates.

  4. My first ever proper 45 vinyl that I paid for out of my own money was Abba and ‘Does Your Mother Know’. I didn’t actually go to the shop, one of my brothers went for me as we lived miles from no-where and I couldn’t get into town on my own. I think the single that I actually bought myself in a shop was Adam and The Ants, Stand & Deliver.

    That’s made me feel all nostalgic now :0)

    Sue x

    • Hey, Sue! Fantastic choices, thanks for sharing! Love both… and feel nostalgic too. I actually had to walk 45 mins to the nearest shopping centre (across greenfields, lovely walk), humming the tune all the way in a desperate effort not to forget. I really didn’t have a clue! Nor did I expect it would still haunt me and move me over 25 years later….

  5. I love this song! I’m in the midst of catch up as I’ve been offline for almost a week, so am sorry this second I can’t say more, but wanted to say that as soon as i saw the blog title in my inbox, I immediately heard the song start playing in my head! It’s a great song. I remember the video featured a kid called Felix ( i think that was his name? he was in the Madonna video for Open Your Heart) and he went on to present The Tube for a while back in 1986-87. I love the memories you have wrapped up in this song Nicky. xx

    • Hey You! I thought you would like this!! Hope you had a great time on your birthday trip??? Take it easy catching up and we’ll ‘speak’ soon. Thanks for taking the time to visit!

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