Leave the Capitol

A view of Nevsky Prospect, Petersburg’s main thoroughfare, with the Russian National Library (the so-called Publichka), Gostiny Dvor shopping center, the tower of the former City Duma building, the cupola of Kazan Cathedral, and the cupola of St. Isaac’s Cathedral visible on the left in ascending. This picture-perfect cityscape was used by the Facebook page I Love St. Petersburg to illustrate the bizarre, banal, pseudo-historical sentiment that I’ve translated, below. Petersburg was built on the land of the Ingrian people and the captured Swedish fortress of Nyenskans. Or rather, that’s a no less valid way of putting it.

St. Petersburg is the only European capital that has not been captured by the enemy in any period of history.

Source: I Love St. Petersburg (@spb.love.you), Facebook, 13 August 2022. Translated by the Russian Reader


(Upper left, in Russian) “Kiev is the mother of Russian cities.”
(Lower right, in Ukrainian) “If I had known, I would have had an abortion.”

Source: Petya Pyatochkin, Facebook, 12 August 2022. Thanks to Volodya Y. for the heads-up. Translated by the Russian Reader


Leave the Capitol

Lyrics

(1)

The tables covered in beer
Showbiz whines, minute detail (2)
Hand on the shoulder in Leicester Square (3)
It’s vaudeville pub back room dusty pictures of
White frocked girls and music teachers
The beds too clean
Water’s poisonous for the system (4)

And you know in your brain
Leave the capitol!   (5)
Exit this Roman Shell!   (6)
Then you know you must leave the capitol

Straight home, straight home, straight home
One room, one room  (7)

Continue reading “Leave the Capitol”

Talomerkit: Songs of Ingria We Sing


Antonovka Records
Facebook
December 10, 2021

57th release from Antonovka Records

Ingria is roughly the southwestern quarter of what is now Leningrad region of Russia, including the city of Saint Petersburg.

Talomerkit are signs of clans that local Finno-Ugric people carved on their wooden houses in ancient times. The ensemble members belong to different ethnic groups who traditionally live in this area: Ingrian Finns, Russians, Izhorians and Estonians.

This album is completely devoted to the music of the Ingrian Finns. There are about 20,000 of them in Russia now.

Talomerkit Ensemble (from left to right on album cover photo):
Nikolay Kochetkov — button accordion player
Irina Demidova — leader
Aina Yakkola
Svetlana Tregub (Lappalainen)
Tatiana Demidenko (Bjorn)
Julia Tuomo
Dmitry Harakka-Zaitsev

Recorded at the premises of Ingrian Finns Society “Inkerin Liitto”, St. Petersburg, April 20, 2021.

Thanks to the ceaselessly curious and generous Dimitrii Ivanov for the heads-up. This album was recorded two doors down from our house in Petersburg, at Inkerin Liitto, where I have spent more hours studying Finnish than I can count, all of them happy ones. ||| TRR