Me & Russia
by Velemir Khlebnikov
as set to music by Leonard Lehrman, op. 80
English translation by Leonard Lehrman
Fair Russia's granted us freedom a thousand times over.
Isn't that something!
Good cause to reflect on a long time.
But I took my shirt off
and every glinting hair of mine
glowed like a skscraper,
every pore of the whole body politic
was greeting the news,
displaying shining red carpets,
All mankind and womankind
who lay in my power,
exercis'd with thousands of snares,
now storm'd to the windows,
Igors and Olgas
without prior orders,
seeking the sunlight,
they see through the skin.
The dungeon of the shirt has fallen!
And I - I just took my shirt off!
I gave to my people the sun!
Naked I stood, v stood by the ocean:
Thus did I grant the people their freedom:
I tann'd the masses.