Can Anyone Help with a Russian Folk Song?

Kim wrote asking for help with a Russian song.  Here’s her email:

I believe this is a Russian folk song I learned at school many years ago.  I am unable to remember the last verse, but I do remember the tune.  I would appreciate any help to fill in the blanks  I believe it ends with, "Darling little Miishka!" or something similar.

Great Website!!

Kim 

If you can help, please let us know in the comments below.

Thanks!

Mama Lisa

This article was posted on Wednesday, May 8th, 2013 at 10:29 am and is filed under Children's Songs, Countries & Cultures, Folk Songs, Languages, Questions, Russia, Russian, Russian Children's Songs. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

15 Responses to “Can Anyone Help with a Russian Folk Song?”

  1. Hana Says:

    Are you looking for these rhymes?

    С. Маршак. Сказка об умном мышонке:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDDHPBvWqkY

    Сказка о глупом мышонке 1940:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQrb18qUN4g

  2. Olga Says:

    Maybe it is bear’s lullaby? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KwH5uEkg64

  3. Pat Habisohn Says:

    I too am looking for a children’s Russian folk song. I know some of the lyrics. The chorus goes ” balalaikas cry cheeks grow red and sashes fly. Also “three steps forward Russian children love to dance. I learned this song in school in Chicago in the 50’s. can’t find it anywhere. I believe it was called ” song of the Cossacks”

  4. Lisa Says:

    We have a Cossack Lullaby here. But I don’t think that’s the song you’re looking for… check it out and see.

  5. John D Says:

    I know the song but can’t come up with it all, but here are some more words:

    From the barnyard, From the Barnyard, polkas sound on summer nights. In the Meadow, In the Meadow, Fireflies hang yellow lights!
    Bal-a-laikas cry, cheeks grow red and sashes fly. Girls wear crimson boots, boys wear blouses with their suits.

  6. Lisa Says:

    Thanks John! Would you be able to help with the tune?

  7. Vaughn Says:

    LOL, this song has been on my mind for a while now…I remembered the chorus and can sing the melody, and really appreciate John D adding a few more lyrics at the beginning…but I’d love to hear this song again (also from my childhood!)…Everyone keeps saying that all human knowledge is on the internet now, but somehow this song seems to be missing…

  8. Sabrina Says:

    I’m a bit late to the party, but I do remember the song being referred to. I learned it when I was in parochial school in Cleveland. Early 1975 (but in a defacto 1950s neighborhood lol). Had no idea it was Russian. I assumed it was Polish. The 3d verse I remember it going From the barnyard, from the barnyard, polka sounds on summer night. In the meadows, in the meadows, fireflies hang their yellow lights. Three steps and a hop. On they dance and cannot stop. Day breaks on a hill. and the crowds are dancing still! Hopefully, someone who has a better memory will provide verses 1 and 2. I remember the line about ‘boys wear blouses with their suits.” Used to make me laugh because only girls wear blouses. Boys wear shirts.

  9. Sabrina Says:

    Just a thought: The song is a bit strange in a way. it mentions “polka sounds on summer nights” but yet the lyrics also mention a balalaikas. Balilakas don’t generally figure in polka music (and there are about 6 subgenres in that style of music). The line of ‘girls wear crimsom boots’ gave me an idea. I googled, and found an entry at Wikipedia about Carpatho-Rusyns. There’s a lovely picture there of a dance group and sure enough the gals are wearing red boots with their native garb, and the boys are wearing a “blouse-ey” looking shirt with loose pant…and they have on sashes! So that leads me to believe the song is not of Russian origin but of Carpatho-Rusyn (Ruthenian) origin and is probably closer to Ukrainian, Slovak or Polish heritage. At any rate, i’ve put out a call at my facebook to see if anyone else remembers the song and if so to post lyrics. Let’s ‘get-er’ done’ lol :)

  10. Sabrina Says:

    Well, here I am again. In my obsession with finding that song, I went to amazon and ordered all of the music books I had from 3rd through 8th grade. Got them all this past week. Went through the books with a fine toothed comb. Sadly I couldn’t find that particular song. Looks like it remains a mystery…for now. Not giving up yet lol

  11. Jane Says:

    I remember something like “step, step, step, hop
    Step, step, step, hop, Russian people love to dance.
    Three steps forward, three steps ?? then a kind of hop and ??
    Then came the “balalaikas cry, cheeks go red etc.”

  12. Jane Says:

    I also learned this song in Catholic elementary school in a suburb of Philadelphia. Looks like, maybe, it was part of the music curriculum. I also remember a song about Copenhagen. Lyrics mentioned that it was “?? Star of the sea, once I went away, now I’m here to stay, singing Copenhagen, wonderful, wonderful, Copenhagen for me”

    Maybe the nuns taught us songs about various places in the world.

  13. Linda Says:

    I was just thinking about this song and decided to see if I could find it. The only lyrics I could remember were: “step step step hop, step step step hop, Russian people people love to dance,” (then blanking on the next line, then:) “dance dance heel and toe, then repeat the dance just so, girls wear crimson boots, boys wear blouses with their suits.” I learned it in grade school at an Iowa public school in the 1950s. A few years ago I heard the tune and thought, I know that song!, but don’t recall where I heard it. I have a big collection of Ukrainian, Carpatho-Rusyn and Russian records, so it’s possible it was on one of those records, I’m thinking maybe one of the Carpatho-Rusyn ones, but not sure, and don’t have a turntable hooked up at this time so can’t take a listen. This website is the only reference I have found on the internet that includes these lyrics. And now I’ve learned a few more :-) Although I’m guessing the lyrics are likely a very loose translation of the original. With others recalling it, I’m surprised no further trace has appeared to date.

  14. Nickelen Says:

    Hi – i am also looking for a Russian folksong learnt at primary school in English – a sad one as I remember the singer describes their love and the countryside and the song ends ‘is lying by the Volga dead’ :(
    Beautiful music though!
    Can anyone help please?
    Thank you!

  15. Daniel Kordiak Says:

    WOW! Here I thought I was the only one who never forgot PARTS of this song! Gotta love the internet on a good day. I must have learned it in Minneapolis in my parochial grade school in the 60s? Born in 55. Anyway, thanks for the help. I remember only the parts mentioned here so Im no help to you. I love the commitment to the cause here and best of luck to everyone here in finding it. It must be in Russian on the Russian speaking internet. I would hope something that was loved by so many would not be lost forever.

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