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What happens when I translate and rewrite lyrics of great poets

Alex Genadinik

I recently translated and then rewrote a relatively popular old Russian song. This song was popular decades ago. It’s very pretty and features a nice melody over a poem written by a very good poet.

Of course, me being me, I thought I could improve on the lyrics. And I think that I did improve a few lines, especially the last two lines of this song. I am proud of them and they are imaginative. Here is the track on YouTube:

But since the video went live, I’ve had a few reservations about this song. In the first verse, there is a line that says about a beautiful woman “and flowers wish to bloom as bright as her.”

At first glance, this line sounds nice. But the romance in this line can also feel a little too forced and cheesy. If I took more time perfecting the lyrics, I would have probably fixed it. I did spend a considerable amount of time on the lyrics of this song, even the lyrics I like least. But I was trying to re-write a great poet so I had to do extra-good. In the end, I wish I had gotten more feedback on the lyrics and had taken it through more rounds of revisions. It would have really elevated the song to a whole new level.

As it is now, I am 90% happy with how the song came out. But I also know that it could have been a little bit better. In the future, I have to just be more disciplined and wait longer before releasing songs. Sometimes there is so much impatience and anxiety before releasing a song. It can be very hard to wait. But if you release a song that’s not great, it won’t get the hoped-for growth anyway.

-Written by Alex Genadinik.

Alex Genadinik is a singer-songwriter influenced by both US and Russian singers like Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Bulat Okudzhava, and Vladimir Vysotskly. Alex’s songs feature imaginative poetry and beautiful, thoughtful lyrics that are bound to make you daydream into new worlds.

Alex also runs https://www.problemio.com and https://www.waveifyoulike.com

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