When it came to false names I had forty, Seven passports I kept on the go, There were seventy women adored me But I also had two hundred foes. But Iím not complaining! Much as I always tried hard, Much as I always aimed high, There was always some diehard Out to fight me who came by. Though my road may be weary and twisted And I earned words of praise on the way My obituary still wonít be listed In a small corner of the back page. But Iím not complaining! Much as I always tried hard, Much as I always aimed high, Some guyíd catch me off my guard Each time I tried to stay dry. Though I never once doubted that glory Was our Soviet peopleís true fate Theyíll not put up a monument for me In the square by the Petrovsky Gate. But Iím not complaining! Much as I always tried hard, Much as I always aimed high, I turned into a drunkard And I fell by the wayside. I sing songs about pickpocketsí lives with All their tragedy, drama and farce, But youíll not see my name advertised with Those of popular cabaret stars. But Iím not complaining! Much as I always aimed high, Much as I always tried hard, Iíd get caught and Iíd pay my Dues with stretches behind bars. People say Iíll get out of this pickle. Give up drink? No, that canít be my lot... Still theyíll not take the hammer and sickle Off our coins and put me in that spot. But Iím not complaining! So then why should I aim high, So then why should I try hard? Iím so muddled and dazed I Drink to work out the right path.
© Margaret & Stas Porokhnya. Translation, 2008