Songs

Otchego ('Why?')

by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

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Text & Translation

Otchego ('Why?')
Russian source: Lev Aleksandrovich Mey

Otchego poblednela vesnoj
pyshnocvetnaja roza sama?
Otchego pod zeljonoj travoj
golubaja fialka nema?

Otchego tak pechal'no zvuchit
pesnja ptichki, nesjas' v nebesa?
Otchego nad lugami visit
pogrebal'nym pokrovom rosa?

Otchego v nebe solnce s utra
kholodno i temno, kak zimoj?
Otchego i zemlja vsja syra
i ugrjumej mogily samoj?

Otchego ja i sam vse grustnej
i boleznennej den' oto dnja?
Otchego, o, skazhi mne skorej ty,
pokinuv, zabyla menja?

Why?
English translation © Philip Ross Bullock

Why has the sumptuous rose
Grown pale in spring?
Why is the blue violet so mute
Under the green grass?

Why does the little bird’s song
Sound so sad as it rises up to heaven?
Why does the dew hang over the meadows
Like a mourning veil?

Why is the morning sun in the sky
Cold and dark, as in winter?
Why is the earth so damp
And gloomier than the grave itself?

Why do I grow sadder
And sicker each day?
Why, oh tell me why, did you leave me
And forget me?

Otchego ('Why?')
Russian source: Lev Aleksandrovich Mey

Why?
English source: Philip Ross Bullock

Otchego poblednela vesnoj
Why has the sumptuous rose
pyshnocvetnaja roza sama?
Grown pale in spring?
Otchego pod zeljonoj travoj
Why is the blue violet so mute
golubaja fialka nema?
Under the green grass?

Otchego tak pechal'no zvuchit
Why does the little bird’s song
pesnja ptichki, nesjas' v nebesa?
Sound so sad as it rises up to heaven?
Otchego nad lugami visit
Why does the dew hang over the meadows
pogrebal'nym pokrovom rosa?
Like a mourning veil?

Otchego v nebe solnce s utra
Why is the morning sun in the sky
kholodno i temno, kak zimoj?
Cold and dark, as in winter?
Otchego i zemlja vsja syra
Why is the earth so damp
i ugrjumej mogily samoj?
And gloomier than the grave itself?

Otchego ja i sam vse grustnej
Why do I grow sadder
i boleznennej den' oto dnja?
And sicker each day?
Otchego, o, skazhi mne skorej ty,
Why, oh tell me why, did you leave me
pokinuv, zabyla menja?
And forget me?

Composer

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was a Russian composer of the Romantic period. His works are still among the most popular music in the classical repetoire, and he is widely acknowledged as the first Russian composer to make a lasting international…

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