Wherever I may drag my soul, adrift or gone to ground. My helpless fate - a mangy dog - trots everywhere along. I tried to pelt the cur with stones - but she still stuck around; With bulging eyes she gazed at me, spit dribbling from her tongue. My fateís such a bother, Iím lost in a pother, My eyes become duller, My heart feels a sting. My guts begin freezing. I canít go on breathing, Iím not good at living, I donít want to sing. But these arenít sorrows A hangman canít cure. Iíll swing from the gallows - And pay him his due. I often swore Iíd boot my fate to hell, and stop this nonsense, But she would whine and tremble so - I pitied the damn clod. Then out of pity I began to feed her juicy morsels - When she has eaten all she wants, she always sleeps a lot. Then I will go whooping It up - Iíll go ripping - How I will go nipping All over the place! But I guard the puppy. And I do the yapping - Whenever Iím happy, Whenever I please! Iíd rather die young, man, I should be strung up. A job for the hangman - Iíll pay for the job. I sometimes get into such scrapes, such free-for-alls and carnage. That even fate in fear recoils, and cowers, pale, a-tremble. One day I poured the fink a drink, to give it liquid courage. Since then, the cur has turned a booze-hound, and - sheíll even grumble: What swill weíre drinking! You know, I keep thinking Youíd be less a stinker In New York - by far!.. Then I in a hurry Fate on my back carry - I know I canít tarry - We must find a bar! It seems I grow callous, Iím getting fed up. Iíd swing from the gallows - And pay for the job. One day my fate went over the eight - I poured and erred a little. She went completely off the rails and off her chump, the sot. She bawled and swore and snarled and kicked, my ugly fate turned fatal, And, jumping on me from behind, she caught me by the throat. Unbearable, really, I choke - itís too silly, I plead willy-nilly - Half-strangled, I wheeze: Let go, you damn bully! Let go, you damn bully! Let go, you damn bully! I canít sing like this! Iím telling you fellows, If someone strings up My fate from the gallows - Iíll pay for the job!
© Sergei Roy. Translation, 1990