Песни В. Высоцкого на английском языке.


Песни легендарного певца советского периода Владимира Высоцкого на английском языке. Перевод составлен американцем  русского происхождения Вадимом Астраханом, он же является исполнителем песен. Тем, кто хорошо знаком с его творчеством будет не трудно понять смысл и запомнить его знаменитые куплеты на английском. 

If Your Friend «Песня о Друге» (1966)

Lyrics & Melodies: Vladimir Vysotsky
Translation: Vadim Astrakhan & Tim Sergay

Текст песни В. Высоцкого «Песня о друге» на английском языке:

If your friend has turned out to be
Not a friend, not an enemy,
If you can’t tell right off the bat
If he’s good, or he’s bad,
Take him climbing and test his best.
You will know if he stands a chance.
When he’s roped-in with you, like glue,
You will see if he’s true.

If the guy the slopes just mopes,
If he whines when it’s time to climb,
Sets one foot on the ice — no dice!
Stumbles, breaks down, and cries,
He does not belong here — it’s clear.
Don’t you scold him for this — dismiss!
Don’t be wasting your time, and I’m,
I’m not wasting my rhyme.

If he did not complain of pain,
If he’d stubbornly scale the shale,
When beneath you the stone was gone,
He would groan but hold on!
All the way to the top, he kept up.
From the summit he gazed, amazed.
Then you know that you always can
Trust your life to this man!


Ships  «Корабли» (1966)

Music & lyrics: Vladimir Vysotsky
Translation: Vadim Astrakhan

Текст песни В. Высоцкого «Корабли» на английском языке:


Ships they rest for a while and then set on their course.
But they always come back.  Any storms they can bear.
Half a year goes by, and then I return
Just to leave once again, just to leave once again, for another half a year.

Everybody returns.  Everyone in the fleet.
Everyone but the best friends and most faithful women.
Everybody comes back, except those we need.
Destiny I don't trust, and myself I don't trust, as it's common for seamen.

But I want to believe that it's not a trend.
Old ships are never burned but are always spared.
I will surely return, full of plans, full of friends.
I will surely sing, I will surely sing, after less than half a year.

One day I will return, full of dreams, full of friends.
I will sing once again, I will sing once again, after less than half a year.


The One Who Was with Her Before

«Тот Кто Раньше С Нею Был» (1962)

Music & lyrics: Vladimir Vysotsky
Translation: Vadim Astrakhan

Текст песни В. Высоцкого «Тот кто раньше с нею был» на английском языке:

That night I didn’t even drink, I didn’t talk, I didn’t sing.
I was just watching her and sipping beer.
But the one who was with her before said: “You’re heading out the door,”
He said: “You’re leaving now, for you there’s nothing here!”

And he, who was with her before, began to bully me some more,
But I ignored him.  I just ignored him.
When it was time for me to go, she said:  “You’re leaving?  No, no, no!”
“You aren’t leaving, no, no, no.  It’s still too early.”

But he, who was with her before, decided to engage in war:
He did remember me, yes, he remembered.
Once me and a friend walk down the street.  Guess whom, with company, we meet?
Guess whom with company we meet?  Eight, altogether!

I didn’t run, I drew a knife.  You bastards won’t take my life!
We’re gonna make it!  We’ll make it through it!
For nothing I’m not gonna die.  I was the first to strike the guy,
I was the first to stab the guy.  I had to do it!

They charged ahead, they didn’t wait.  The fight was going all the way,
No chance to stop it.  No chance to cool it.
Somebody jumped me from behind.  I tried to reach him and struck blind
I tried to reach him and struck blind, but it was too late.

The cops appeared on their tail and they got hospitals in jail.
It was rewarding.  It was rewarding.
The surgeon cut me with both hands, he said:  “Hold on, bro, if you can,”
He said:  “Hold on, man, if you can,” and I was holding!

I left the hospital too late.  Regretfully, she didn’t wait.
But I forgive her.  There is no hating…
Of course, I let it go for her!  As for the one who was before,
As for the one who was before – I will be waiting!

Race to the Horizon «Горизонт» (1971)

Lyrics & Melodies: Vladimir Vysotsky
Translation & Vocals: Vadim Astrakhan

Текст песни В. Высоцкого «Горизонт» на английском языке:

To cover up the tracks they brushed away the dirt.
Now you can curse at me, deride me, & despite me.
The horizon is my finish line, the very edge of earth!
I’ll be the first to race to the horizon!
The wager had its terms. Both parties made demands
And then shook hands in clear hesitation.
There’s really just one rule: I ride until the end,
The highway’s end, & never change direction!


The shaft is reeling in the miles.
I ride along the power lines.
Still, every now and then I see a shadow:
A man in black… a black cat… a black widow…


They will not play it clean. I know it for a fact.
I know exactly when they’ll try to slash my tires.
I know where, with a smirk, they’ll sabotage my act,
And where across the road they’ll stretch the wire.
The power to the max! The needles sunk & jammed!
The sand, like bullets, dashes by my side, and
I just clamp the bar until my wrists are cramped.
There’s little lime before the screws are tightened!


The shaft is reeling in the miles.
I ride straight up the power lines.
They’re coming down hard now, but I hope
That I will pass before they raise the rope.


My stomach is in knots: the climax’s coming fast!
The asphalt starts to melt. I smell the rubber burning.
The rope snaps in two: I break it with my chest!
I am alive, and you can stop your mourning!
Whoever forced me to accept this crazy bet,
In their dirty tricks are quite ferocious!
The gambling spirit’s high, but still, it must be said,
On slippery turns I am being cautious.


The shaft is reeling in the miles.
I tear across the lines and through the wires!
I only hope the losers will get wiser,
When I show up on the horizon.


My destination point is still so far away.
I haven’t crossed the line, but I’m done with wires.
The rope didn’t cut between my vertebrae.
But suddenly at the wheels shots are tired!
I didn’t start this ride for money or for pride.
The question I’ve been asked was so enticing:
Is there indeed an end, a limit beyond sight?
Can one expand his borders and horizons?


The shaft is reeling in the miles.
The bullets I evaded with a smile!
But suddenly the breaks are failing, crazy!
And straight through the horizon I am blazing!

Robin Hood

«Баллада о Вольных Стрелках», «Робин Гуд» (1975)

Music & lyrics: Vladimir Vysotsky
Translation: Vadim Astrakhan (with special thanks to Gennady Pritsker)

Текст песни В. Высоцкого «Робин Гуд» на английском языке:


If they hunt for that rebellious and unruly head of yours
To make your neck at the gallows even thinner than it was.
You can find yourself a shelter in the woods; you won’t regret!
It is definitely better than the whip you always get!
All you paupers and you beggars, born to live the life of rats
And the vagabonds and stragglers who have nothing but their debts.
If you find yourself in trouble, seek your freedom in the wood,
It’s the kingdom of the noble King of Rebels, Robin Hood!

They’re happy with each other, not afraid of edgy jokes.
They accept and treat with honor all the crazy rough neck rogues.
Even knights sometimes are hiding in the forest for a time
Those that aren’t law-abiding never have a silver dime.
Looking out for deer and merchants that may take the forest route.
They were slaves and they were servants, but free archers they are now.
Those who’ve lost all of their fortune, given shelter, given food.
On the forest path is walking King of Rebels, Robin Hood!

So they live without a care and against all sheriff’s laws.
And they’re happy in their lair, with their arrows and their bows.
They’re sleeping barely covered, underneath the rustling trees.
By the cold they aren’t bothered, glad to be alive and free!
Yet at times they miss their homes, then the wistful mood prevails,
And they tighter grip their bows so in battle they won’t fail.
But tomorrow they will march – a mighty freemen’s brotherhood.
At their helm – the king of archers, King of Rebels, Robin Hood!

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