Glorious Sea – Holy Baikal

A view of the Baikal from the southwest shore.

This song, Славное море – священный Байкал [Glorious sea – Holy Baikal] has been stuck in my head for the past week and it’s driving me crazy. Therefore I shall attempt to get it stuck in your head as well.


Click here to see on YouTube if embed doesn’t work.

It’s an old Russian folk song from the mid-1800s, based on a poem written at about the same time.

Here are the lyrics, if you’re interested, in Russian and English. The English translation is from here because I’m too lazy to translate.

Славное море — священный Байкал,
Славный корабль — омулёвая бочка.
Эй, баргузин, пошевеливай вал,
Молодцу плыть недалечко.

Долго я тяжкие цепи носил,
Долго скитался в горах Акатуя;
Старый товарищ бежать пособил —
Ожил я, волю почуя.

Шилка и Нерчинск не страшны теперь,
Горная стража меня не поймала,
В дебрях не тронул прожорливый зверь,
Пуля стрелка — миновала.

Шёл я и в ночь, и средь белого дня,
Вкруг городов озираяся зорко,
Хлебом кормили крестьянки меня,
Парни снабжали махоркой.

Славное море — священный Байкал,
Славный мой парус — кафтан дыроватый,
Эй, баргузин, пошевеливай вал,
Слышатся грома раскаты.

A glorious sea is the holy Baikal,
a glorious ship is my salmon barrel.
Hey, Bagruzin, stir up the waves!
This fugitive has to sail on still a bit.

For a long time I had to wear clanking chains,
and dragged myself through the Akatui mountains.
An old comrade helped me to escape.
I draw a deep breath when I felt I was free!

Shilka and Nertshinsk don’t frighten me anymore,
the mountain guard did not catch me.
In the thicket I did not meet predacious animals,
and the bullet of the marksman missed me.

I walked also at night, and when it was day
I avoided the towns and was on my guard.
The country-women fed me with bread,
the lads provided me with tobacco.

A glorious sea is the holy Baikal,
a glorious sail is my ragged coat.
Hey, Bagruzin, stir up the waves,
I hear the thunders of an approaching storm!

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Natalie K.

Banker. I like good things like foreign languages (I speak Russian!), history, writing, reading, playing violin, and knitting. I have a fabulous blog about all of the above.