Saturday, July 2, 2022
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“He Is Right Who Is Defending His Home”


Max Korzh, said to be one of the most prominent Belarusian musicians, just put out this anti-war song (Russian lyrics here), titled “His Home” (or, if you prefer, “His Own Home”); between YouTube and Instagram, I counted about 4M views in just the last couple of days since it was released. I thought the song was especially noteworthy given that Korzh apparently still lives in Belarus, and has extensive plans to continue performing in Russia (though who knows whether that will still happen). And I also appreciated the theme that I have also seen in some other such songs—the pain of senseless waste, of former peace and affection pointlessly and likely irretrievably squandered.

Here is my translation (thanks to my mother Anne for help with some of the words), though I have taken some liberties with it, and may well have erred in various details:

We probably didn’t understand what we had when all was good
We blindly hoped that someone higher up is taking care of it all
From childhood we were raised to be noble, and that the world is saved only by good
The naïve dreamers with backpacks lived and made plans
“We don’t want what belongs to others,” they shouted in their incomparable speeches
Pissed in people’s ears about the friendship of peoples, but they already had a machinegun ready for each of us
In short, there are few options here, sign for your country at the bottom of the enlistment papers
And right from the start, if you believe in God, well—welcome to hell.

[Refrain:]
Hey brother, so long, where will we end up, who knows?
The war is on, and it has its law,
They shoot—you shoot, everyone lies, but know:
He is right who is defending his home.
Spring weeps, Ukraine burns.
The world hasn’t changed, this is the way it is.
Hey brother, so long, where will we end up, who knows?
But he is right who is defending his home.

We probably didn’t think, that it would come to figuring out what we now have to figure out
Our generation always understood each other without borders and passports
There, where we sang about friendship, today people dream only of complete revenge
All that normal people built over the years—all is obliterated
God, how many innocent lives have been taken, killed point blank
How many maimed boys, and for what? No-one can explain even today
How many ordinary people got screwed, all buried in one pit?
What you fucking did, you still don’t understand.

All these armchair warriors, fanning the flames of enmity, adding strife
All these animals, who all these years poured spit into the cauldron of hatred
All these history buffs, who will justify everything, so long as they satisfy their pride a bit
But people just wanted to live, to smile, and to enjoy each day
Whoever couldn’t fucking stay home—it would have been better if he had just banged his head against the walls
Whoever fucking wanted to repeat things—well fucking look at this and put it on repeat
And how everything will turn out—only God knows.

[Refrain]



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