A long time ago (mostly in the early 1980-s) I had translated a bunch
of naughty Russian quatrains (called chastushki) into English
These quatrains are actually the lyrics for the songs, also called
chastushki, that are performed mostly by naughty Russian youths
with the accompaniment of guitars and concertinas. It used to be
a popular way to alleviate the evening boredom in the Russian
countryside. Quite a few of them are rude and sexually explicit,
don't read if you are easily offended.
According to Gershon Legman, who is one of the leading
authorities in erotica, chastushki are the closest poetic relatives
of the baudy limericks (see G.Legman, The New Limerick, 1977,
p. xxiv). I took the Russian originals from the 1982 collection
"Novaya Nepdtsenzurnaya Chastushka" (The New Ucensored
Chastushka) by Vladimir Kozlovski (Russica Publishers, New York),
and that's where the numbers come from. Numbers 885 and 832 come
from V.S. Bahtin's collection "1000 Chastushek Leningradskoi
Oblasti" (Lenizdat, 1968). Unlike limericks, most of chastushki are
not dirty, see a superb collection "Chastushka" by Vladimir Bahtin
(Sovetskii Pisatel', 1966) with an interesting introduction.
Translating chastushki is a tough balancing act. I tried to
preserve the spirit of the originals, and took some liberties with
the exact content to get the rhymes and the meter straight.
The sheet music with sample lyrics (typeset using ABC tools)
I also made MIDI by abc2midi from the abc file so you can
listen to the tunes.
the merry tune the sad tune
All the source files are downloadable