Ochi chyornye

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Singed by Dmitri Hvorostovsky, originally this Russian folk song was a poem written by an Ukrainian (Yevhen Pavlovych Hrebinka), and set to music written by a German named Florian Hermann. Later, an original arrangement of the music, recorded by Belgian gypsy Jean “Django” Reinhardt, turned it into the manouche popular song, ‘Les Yeux Noirs’ which we can also hear in the film Swing, by Tony Gatlif.

Ochi chyornye

Ochi chyornye, ochi zhguchie
Ochi strastnye i prekrasnye
Kak lyublyu ya vas, kak boyus’ ya vas
Znat’ uvidel vas ya ne v dobryi chas

Ochi chyornye, ochi plamenny
I manyat oni v strany dal’nye
Gde tsarit lyubov’, gde tsarit pokoi
Gde stradan’ya nyet, gde vrazhdy zapryet

Ne vstrechal by vas, ne stradal by tak
Ya by prozhil zhizn’ ulybayuchis’
Vy zgubili menya ochi chyornye
Unesli na vek moyo schast’ye

Vy zgubili menya ochi chyornye
Unesli na vek moyo schast’ye

Dark eyes (translation)

Dark eyes, burning eyes
Passionate and splendid eyes
How I love you, How I fear you
Verily, I saw you at a sinister hour

Dark eyes, flaming eyes
They implore me into faraway lands
Where love reigns, where peace reigns
Where there is no suffering, where war is forbidden

If I hadn’t met you, I wouldn’t be suffering so
I would have lived my life smiling
You have ruined me, dark eyes
You have taken my happiness away forever

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