Iím bathed in light, before the crowd, alone; Iím here to give my darling public pleasure. Itís like an icon-stand, this microphone... But - no! Tonight, itís more like an embrasure. This microphone seems to dislike, my voice - Indeed, thereís quite a few who find it trying, Iím sure if I make one, just one false noise - Itíll mercilessly amplify my lying. Footlights beat me fiercely from below, In the darkness, evil lanterns glow. Spotlights blind me - I am in a spot - And itís hot! Itís hot! Itís hot! Itís hot! Tonight my voice sounds more than ever hoarse, But I canít change the key - I do not dare, I know that if I slip, if I sound false, The mike will not put right my slightest error. The beast is like a well-honed razor sharp. Pitch absolute - it hears the least false quarter. Iím not in voice - it does not give a crap: I am onstage, I must sing as I ought to! Footlights beat me fiercely from below. In the darkness, evil lanterns glow, Spotlights blind me - I am in a spot - And itís hot! Itís hot! Itís hot! Itís hot! The snakehead writhes, keeping time with my song, Itís rearing like a cobra before stinging. The moment I fall silent, I am gone - Till I drop dead, Iíll have to go on singing. Donít stir, donít move, you snake, do not you dare! Iíve seen your tongue - you are a deadly viper! Me, Iím a charmer, I do not sing airs. Iím charming snakes - a latterday Pied Piper! Footlights beat me fiercely from below, In the darkness, evil lanterns glow, Spotlights blind me - I am in a spot - And itís hot! Itís hot! Itís hot! Itís hot! Itís greedy like a nestling, it will strain To snatch voraciously at every sound. Itís sure to put a bullet through my brain: My hands hold the guitar, my hands are bound! Again!.. There is no end to this disgrace! To what can I the microphone liken? Itís like an icon-lamp now near my face, But I am not a saint - and itís no icon!         My melodies are simpler than the scales, But if I wander from the truthful tone, I get a stinging smart slap in the face From that slick shadow of the microphone!         Footlights beat me fiercely from below, In the darkness, evil lanterns glow. Spotlights blind me - I am in a spot - And itís hot! Itís hot!
© Sergei Roy. Translation, 1990