“I do not like” (“Я не люблю”), Vladimir Vysotsky

A collaborative translation.

lingua fennica


A collaboration with Ian Mac Eochagáin. We paid especial attention to accuracy, scansion and register.

Vysotsky was a hugely popular actor, singer-songwriter and poet, especially famed for the gravelly quality of his voice. He died during the 1980 Moscow Olympics. An enormous crowd gathered on Tagan’skaya Square, which uncomfortably placed the spotlight on the regime when the world was watching.

Here is Vysotsky singing this song.

I do not like unhappy mortal ending,
I’m not the sort who weary grows of life.
The seasons with each other all are blending
Unless guitar is playing merry strife

I do not like cold cynical beholder,
I don’t believe in idle rapture too,
I hate it when a person over shoulder
Stands reading letters meant for only you.

I do not like unfinished conversations,
Or when a person interrupts my flow.
A shot in back is cause of reservations,
And bullets in…

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