Russian Video: Odnozvuchno Gremit Kolokolchik!


Recently we all enjoyed Beautiful Russian Folk Song – Sung by The Kremlin Capella! on Russian Video from Russia. Readers ask us to tell more about this song. The name of this song is The Lonely Coach-Bell (Odnozvuchno gremit kolokolchik/Однозвучно гремит колокольчик). Today we are listening this song by Russian Red Army Choir and I promise you they sing greatly too:

Now it’s time to tell you a story of the song “The Lonely Coach-Bell” (Odnozvuchno gremit kolokolchik):
First of all I need to say that is Russian Road Romance [Coachman’s song/Ямщицкий романс] type of song. Such songs were extremely popular in Russia 20s – 30s years of XIX century. There were created so many Coachman’s songs that time. Some of them were sad, some were cheerful, some were dashing… Soon they started to named Coachman’s song (what Russian people loved) as Folk sons but all these songs had their authors and their story.

The story of this song is tragic: In Siberia in 1852 they found a dead body of coachman who got frozen during a long road. There was a notebook with handwriting poems in his bag. Name of the author of the poems Иван Макаров (Ivan Makarov) was not known during his life time. After a year since they were published the poems composer Александр Львович Гурилев (Alexander Gurilev) (1803 – 1858) wrote music for a poem what he liked the most. That was a start for the famous Russian romance “The Lonely Coach-Bell”. In three years another Russian composer К. Сидорович (K. Sidorovich) wrote his version of music for the poem and this romance has got a long life and all people love!

People who knows how to play music can look at this page for notes: Однозвучно гремит колокольчик.

Here we publish the poem and it translation in English:

Однозвучно гремит колокольчик

Однозвучно гремит колокольчик,
И дорога пылится слегка,
И уныло по ровному полю
Разливается песнь ямщика.

Столько грусти в той песне унылой,
Столько грусти в напеве родном,
Что в душе моей хладной, остылой
Разгорелося сердце огнем.

И припомнил я ночи иные
И родные поля, и леса,
И на очи, давно уж сухие,
Набежала, как искра, слеза.

Однозвучно гремит колокольчик,
И дорога пылится слегка.
И замолк мой ямщик, а дорога
Предо мной далека, далека…

The Lonely Coach-Bell

Oh, how lonely the coach bell is ringing,
And the dust from the road fills the air.
And the coachman’s sorrowful singing
Floats across the wild fields in despair.

That sad song overflows with such feeling,
So much grief can be heard in that strain,
That my cold heart, long hardened and weary
In my bosom was kindled again.

I recalled other nights, other wand’rings,
And the fields and the forests so dear,
And my eyes, which so long have been arid,
Became moistened like jewels with a tear.

Oh, how lonely the coach bell is ringing,
As it swings in the night to and fro.
And my coachman has now fallen silent,
And I still have a long way to go

Take a look to this CD – we were stunned how many great songs by Russian Red Army Choir it has!

Russian Video from Russia
Svet and Kyle

comments always welcome.

4 thoughts on “Russian Video: Odnozvuchno Gremit Kolokolchik!

  1. Roger Braga

    Hi – I hope you good people can help me –
    I have been fortunate enough to find probably the most beautiful choral song I have ever heard, it is by the KREMILIN CAPELLA, and the song is THE LITTLE BELL. Who is the amazing main singer, he is obviously of Asian origin but why have we never heard of him in the west ? I have tried to get a CD from this group but everything seems to be MP3 download. Are there any CDs in Russia of this group ? and if so, how can I buy one.
    Many thanks
    (My Mother’s middle name was Olga but we have no connection with Russia)

  2. Mike Hawryluk

    Have long treasured this song. It and Stenka Razin are among if not the most moving, in my life’s experience.

    This rendition is particularly good. I have a number of Red Army albums. Unfortunately, this song is not among the many I have.

    I learned to sing it by listening to tapes over and over again. Russian friends, and visitors, including The Moiseyev Dance Ensemble who were guests in our home, have been pleasantly impressed.

    Thank you for this rendition, the translation, and brief “coachman” history. Incidentally, your translation is the best by far, of all I have seen. I may have a small improvement, or two if you are interested.

    Cpaciba bolshoy


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