I’m Staying

Gray cat, on right: “Tamara! We forgot the fish!” Goldfish, on left: “We’re staying…”
I’M STAYING, 27 AUGUST, 8:00 P.M. WRITE TO SASHA @arossius

Six months ago, my friends started leaving Russia. More and more loved ones ended up far, far away from me. I had to make a difficult decision. Did want to leave with the others, or should I stay in Russia?

After much thought, I came to the conclusion that I had to stay. In those days, I listened to Anatoly Krupnov’s song “I’m Staying” all the time and was amazed at how accurately the song conveyed my feelings. Therefore, when the girls and I were developing the concept of a support group for activists who, like us, had decided not to leave, I suggested calling our project “I’m Staying.”

The “I’m Staying” community has been around for four months. In addition to the support groups, we also became a kind of cultural project. We held a concert, and in the near future we are going to put on a theatrical performance.

But recently, the song “I’m Staying” has been used by completely different people for completely different purposes. Many people have seen the cover of this song by pro-government musicians. In my opinion, it’s a very bad cover, but that’s not the point. They now want to make the song “I’m Staying” a tool of propaganda, completely distorting its original message.

I don’t want to let propaganda steal the song from us. Therefore, I remind you that “I’m Staying” is us. And our next meeting, the twenty-first in a row, will take place this Saturday, August 27. If you want to come, write to me on Telegram @acrossius and send me links to your social networks.

See you!

Source: Aleksandra Rossius, Facebook, 26 August 2022. Thanks to Yana Teplitskaya for the link. Translated by the Russian Reader


Anatoly Krupnov and Black Obelisk, “I’m Staying” (1994; remixed, 2018)

We are at a standstill again, and there is water in the hold,
And you keep telling me to run again,
And you’re saying again that you have to go there,
Where the keel is even, it is dry, and there is air to breathe.
But even here there is a chance, albeit one in ten,
Maybe time moves forward here at a crawl, not a run,
And maybe it’s more difficult to stay here than to leave,
I still believe that I will be lucky…

And I-I-I-I-I, I’m staying,
Where I want to be,
And even though I’m a little afraid,
But I, I’m staying,
I’m staying to live!

You say there’s enough evil here,
And you’re in a hurry to get out as soon as possible,
You say that bondage is sweet to me,
And you firmly believe in the truth of the other way,
Run, swim, fly — where it doesn’t matter,
If only to where we are not and haven’t been,
You say everything died here a long time ago,
And there are too many strangers among us…

But I,
I’m staying,
Where I want to be,
And even though I’m a little afraid,
But I, I, I’m staying,
I’m staying to live!
I’m staying!
I’m staying!

I’m used to it here, even though it’s like I’m in the service,
I can see everything, even though there are few lights here,
And here I stand so firmly on my feet,
And to stand, I have to stick to my roots.
I’m used to it here, I’m not so lonely here,
At least sometimes I see my kind,
When the last bell starts ringing,
I’ll be here if I’m alive…

For I,
I’m staying,
Where I want to be,
And even though I’m a little afraid,
But I, I’m staying,
I’m staying to live!
I’m staying!
I’m staying!

Source: Teksty Pesenok. Translated by the Russian Reader. Anatoly Krupnov died in February 1997, aged thirty-two, from a heart attack.

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