Vladimir Vysotsky: Songs: Trans. by Anna Zaigraeva

Vysotsky's Lyrics: Translation by Anna Zaigraeva

All the rights are protected. Contact the author: annaz@uchicago.edu

The tale of the wild boar
Russian title: Skazka o dikom vepre
In a kingdom where things are calm and pleasant,
And there's rarely a battle or a storm,
A mysterious wild beast was eating peasants, 
Like a weasel or a buffalo in form.

Their king was sick with hernia and measles
And his cough alone could give a man a fright;
In the meantime that half-buffalo half-weasel
Gobbled peasant after peasant every night.

So the ailing monarch made a proclamation:
"This vile creature must be trounced, by force or guile!
And whoever undertakes this operation,
Will escort the kingdom's princess down the aisle!"

And in that desolate and miserable region,
In a castle just beyond the northern border,
Lived a marksman from the Royal Archers' Legion, 
Now retired, in corruption and disorder.

Mead and ale flowed like a river in his castle,
And the singing could be heard from miles away;
But one night the Royal Guards informed the vassal,
He was wanted by the King without delay.

And the King coughed up an offer: "I decided
To discount your lack of morals and class;
So if you overcome the beast by this Friday,
You will lead my only daughter to the Mass."

But the man said: "No offense to your daughter,
But I'd rather get a cask of wine instead! 
Keep your precious little princess, I don't want her -
By this Friday you will have the monster's head."

Said the King: "You know what, pal, you're too choosy:
I have offered you my girl and you gripe?
She's the daughter of a King, not some floozy!"
Said the archer: "I don't care, she ain't my type."

While the archer and the king conferred and bartered, 
That half-weasel, who had since gained a load,
Got fed up with eating peasants and had started
On a trip towards the monarch's own abode.

In the end, the archer got what he wanted,
Killed the beast and rolled away his reward.
And he even to this day remains undaunted 
By the fact that he's detested by his lord.
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