Song: Nautilus Pompilius- Goodbye America

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While this band is from a past era, their music still remains in the hearts of many. The song Последнее письмо, more commonly known as Гуд-бай Америка, is not one of my favorite songs (так много тоски!) but it’s worth getting familiar with.

It was featured in the movie брат 2 (follow up to the cult classic брат). Spoiler alert if you haven’t seen the film yet- this is the final scene. The music starts around 2 minutes into the clip.


“Goodbye America” seems to be very sentimental for people, I suspect because it appeals to that well-documented inner poetic gloom found in most Russians. D disagrees with me, saying he never met anyone who liked it. Despite bajillions of YouTube comments to the contrary, I don’t think that this is an anti-American song… but do note that Russia chose to play it during the 2014 Winter Paralympics opening ceremony. What do you think of the song? Who is the goodbye for: an old life, an unrealized dream, a way of living, or “the American empire”?

The band Nautilus Pompilius has long since broken up but lead singer Vyacheslav Butusov is still out there. Here he is performing the song a few years ago.



And here is Butusov’s new band (U-Piter) playing the same song to a huge crowd in Moscow in 2012.



Когда умолкнут все песни,

Которых я не знаю,

в терпком воздухе крикнет

Последний мой бумажный пароход.

Гуд-бай Америка, о,

Где я не был никогда.

Прощай навсегда.

возьми банджо,

Сыграй мне на прощанье.

Ла-ла-ла-ла-ла-ла, ла-ла-ла-ла-ла-ла

Мне стали слишком малы

Твои тертые джинсы.

Нас так долго учили

любить твои запретные плоды.

Гуд-бай Америка, о,

Где я не буду никогда.

Услышу ли песню,

Которую запомню навсегда.

Гуд-бай Америка, о,

Где я не буду никогда.

Услышь мою песню,

Похожую на поминальный звон.

When all the songs that I don’t know

fall silent,

my last paper ship

will cry out in the bitter air.

Goodbye, Oh America,

where I’ve never been.

Goodbye forever.

Take your banjo,

Play me a farewell

La la la la la la, la la la la la la.

Your ripped-up jeans

have become too small for me.

We were taught for so long

to love your forbidden fruits.

Goodbye, Oh America,

somewhere I’ll never be.

Will I hear a song

that I’ll remember forever?

Goodbye, Oh America,

somewhere I’ll never be.

Hear my song

that sounds like a death knell.


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