“La-La Topolya” by BI-2 translated from Russian into English


“La-La Topolya” is an OST by BI-2 for the movie “Things That Men Talk About.”

The song has some metaphorical phrases that can be translated literally, but actually mean something else in a fixed context.

  1. La-la topolya” – literally means “la-la poplar trees”. But it actually means something like “blah-blah-blah”, “yada-yada-yada”, “etc. etc. etc.”
  2. Skol’ko vody uteklo” – literally means “(how) much water has run away”. But the phrase also means “it’s been a long time”, “a lot has happened since… [we last met].”
  3. Sbezhim s koroblya na bal” – literally means “we will flee the ship to the ball”. But the expressions “to come from the ship to the ball” means “to experience an abrupt change of setting”, for instance, when five minutes ago you were in a dusty train compartment and now you’re addressing a UN General Assembly meeting.
  4. Sanitarnaya kareta” – literally means “medical carriage” (like the one with the horses). This is an archaic/poetic name for “ambulance”.

Here is the complete translation:

Much water has run away
And now it doesn’t matter: whether it’s blood or wine
I won’t have regrets anymore
Try answering this – who has had luck?

(CHORUS)
La-la, poplar trees! We’ll flee the ship
To arrive at the ball in a medical carriage.
La-la, poplar trees! Have a good day, everyone
And may the summer never end.

Tears are crawling down my face,
And your kiss has hops-like bitterness.
If the Earth is round,
Will the ailing soul slip down or will it stand?

(CHORUS)

And here’s the line-by-line translation with the Russian version:

Сколько воды утекло,
Much water has run away
И теперь всё равно: что кровь, что вино.
And now it doesn’t matter: whether it’s blood or wine
Больше не буду жалеть.
I won’t have regrets anymore
Попробуй ответь, кому повезло?
Try answering this – who has had luck?

Ля-ля, тополя! Сбежим с корабля
La-la, poplar trees! We’ll flee the ship
На бал в санитарной карете.
To arrive at the ball in a medical carriage.
Ля-ля, тополя! Всем доброго дня,
La-la, poplar trees! Have a good day, everyone
И пусть не кончается лето.
And may the summer never end.

Слёзы ползут по лицу,
Tears are crawling down my face,
И твой поцелуй горчит словно хмель.
And your kiss has hops-like bitterness.
Если Земля – это шар,
If the Earth is round,
То больная душа устоит ли на ней?
Will the ailing soul slip down or will it stand?

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