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March 21, 2021 12:08 pm

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I. Frenkel. Voroshilovgrad. January 1942. Main Archive of Moscow

Among them are photographs of poets and their poems.

The Glavarchiv contains documents from the personal funds of the poets Semyon Rodov, Nikolai Kool, Agnia Barto, Reuben Moran, Ilya Frenkel, Yevgeny Dolmatovsky, Nina Bialosinskaya and many other authors. These are drafts and variants of literary works, letters and photographs.

Many of the poems of these poets were set to music and became evidence of historical events. On World Poetry Day, the Glavarchiv displays photographs of poets Nikolai Kool, Ilya Frenkel and Yevgeny Dolmatovsky.

The revolutionary song of Nikolai Kool

In the early 1920s, the Komsomol member Nikolai Kool, being a student of the Kursk Soviet Communist Party School, composed topical ditties. They were published in the newspapers Kurskaya Pravda and Komsomolets. Some time later, at a concert in Moscow, Kool heard an old Siberian song, which began with the words: “As soon as dawn breaks in Siberia, people wake up in the village …”. He composed new verses to this melody:

“In the village across the river the lights were on,

In the summer sky, the dawn was burning out.

A hundred young soldiers from the Budyonnovsk troops

I rode to the fields for reconnaissance … ”.

It happened on March 27, 1924. And almost a month later, on April 24, the young man was drafted into the army. When a new song was needed for the drill, Nikolai Kool showed his fellow soldiers his. They liked her. So the song became popular in the Moscow garrison, and later it was sung throughout the country.

In the choral arrangement of the composer Alexander Alexandrov, the song was included in the collection “50 Russian Revolutionary Songs” edited by the musicologist Mikhail Druskin. At that time, the name of the author of the original text remained unknown; Nikolai Kool formalized his authorship only in 1950. Photographs of the poet can be seen in the Glavarchiv.

Front song “Let’s smoke” by Ilya Frenkel

On January 22, 1942, the newspaper “Komsomolskaya Pravda” published Ilya Frenkel’s poem “Let’s smoke”, which later became a famous front-line song. Subsequently, the author himself wondered how such simple words could remain in the memory of many people.

The first performance of the song took place in February 1943 – it was sung by Klavdiya Shulzhenko. After that, “Let’s smoke” was entrenched in the singer’s repertoire. By that time, Soviet troops had already defeated the German army at Stalingrad and Rostov-on-Don, and the Southern Front, which was mentioned in the song, was gone. Then the singer changed the beginning of the text:

“About our campaigns, about battles with enemies

For a long time people will sing songs.

And in a circle with friends

Often in the evenings

Someday we will remember these days … ”.

So, the Southern Front, Taganrog, and Rostov-on-Don, which were discussed in the original text, disappeared from the song. And that means that what connected it with the time when it was created is gone. The Glavarkhiv contains a clipping from a newspaper with a poem by the poet and even a photo in which Ilya Frenkel reads poetry to the soldiers.

“Streets-Roads” by Evgeny Dolmatovsky

From 1939 to 1945, Yevgeny Dolmatovsky, as a war correspondent, was in the active units of the Red Army and marched with it from Stalingrad to Berlin. On the way, the poet wrote down the names of the streets of the liberated cities. So, in 1943, the poem “Streets-Roads” appeared. A newspaper clipping with the poet’s publication for 1965 is kept in the Glavarchiv.

The poem was published in the front-line newspaper, and a couple of days later the soldiers were already composing their songs on its basis. The singers took as a basis the names of the streets along which the Red Army soldiers walked from the liberated cities to the new ones, they came up with a recitative march, and the soldiers walked under it. Thus, new lines appeared in the text. Later the name was changed – on the radio the song performed by Leonid Utesov sounded like “The Road to Berlin”.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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