Iím on the stage - this brightly lighted space, To start to sing on it myself Iím bracing; A mike is like an icon that I face, But no! It is a cannon that Iím facing! This mike and I - we hardly get along, It doesnít like my singing, no wonder! If in the song I slip or go wrong, This microphone will amplify my blunder! Blinding lamps around the stage are flashing, At my ribs their beams are lashing, lashing, And the footlights piercing my feet - And the heat... the heat... the heat... Today my voice is very gruff and hoarse But I canít change the key, whatsoever... If what I sing is insincere and false - The mike will not correct my failed endeavor! This bloody mike is sensitive like hell, It hears even when Iím erring slightly, It cares not that Iím tonight unwell - I have to sing these hellish notes rightly! Blinding lamps around the stage are flashing, At my ribs their beams are lashing, lashing, And the footlights piercing my feet - And the heat... the heat... the heat... Its snake-like head is turning left and right, Its pliant neck before my mouth tenses, And if I stop my singing it can bite! - I have to sing until I lose my senses! Itís not a mike - I saw its deadly sting, It is a snake, its moves are so alarming; I have to sing but - no! - I canít sing! Instead, a cobra on the stage Iím charming! Blinding lamps around the stage are flashing, At my ribs their beams are lashing, lashing, And the footlights piercing my feet - And the heat... the heat... the heat... This mikeís a chick whose hungerís never gone, From me it snatches sounds, a starving bully, Perhaps, itís not a chick but itís a gun - From it one day, I guess, Iíll catch a bullet! Again I stand against this little scamp, What is my mike? Who can explain the matter? Itís burning now as an icon-lamp, Though Iím no saint - the mike is no better! Blinding lamps around the stage are flashing, At my ribs their beams are lashing, lashing, And the footlights piercing my feet - And the heat... the heat... the heat... My melodies are simple, but in case I start to lie or lose my honest tone, A shadow will slap me in the face - A long thin shadow of a silent microphone.         Blinding lamps around the stage are flashing, At my ribs their beams are lashing, lashing, And the footlights piercing my feet - And the heat... the heat... the heat...
© George Tokarev. Translation, 2001
Edited by Robert Titterton