Lenochka (song by Alexander Galich)

Article

August 19, 2022

“Lenochka” (“The song about Lenochka and the Ethiopian prince”, also known from the first line “On an April night, Lenochka stood at the post ...”) is the first author's song by Alexander Galich. It tells the story of the "modern Cinderella", the "Ostankino girl", which drew the attention of an African prince. Galich himself called this song "nonsense", but regularly performed it during his performances, believing that it was with "Helen" that he "began as a poet"; At the same time, Galich composed poetry from his youth and, being a successful playwright and screenwriter, wrote a number of poems and songs for his plays and films. “Lenochka” is one of the few cheerful parody songs of Galich, although the story told in it turns out to be rather sad in fact. However, the author does not focus on this, and the satirical charge of the song is balanced by the carnival, comic style of presentation and outwardly happy ending.

The plot and artistic features of the song

The song "Lenochka" was written by Alexander Galich in 1961. It tells the fairy tale story of the "Ostankino girl" Lenochka Potapova, who served in the police and accidentally attracted the attention of a handsome prince who came to the USSR on an official visit. The song is written in a light, humorous manner and at the same time plays with the features of Soviet reality in an ironic, parodic way. The writer Vasily Aksyonov recalled that in the 1960s, the story told in Lenochka was “enjoyed by all of Moscow,” and its author, a well-known playwright and screenwriter, began to be called “Zoshchenko with a guitar.” According to Aksyonov, the story of Lenochka belongs to the genre of urban myths, "the epic of Moscow scourges and taxi drivers." The first verses of the song describe the “beautiful and proud” heroine, who stands at night on duty at the exit of the city, and her difficult service: Deliberately primitive presentation with repetitions of lines and exaggerated vernacular emphasizes the humorousness of the song and gives the narrative a stylized tale character. During the performance of the song, Galich strengthened its fairy tale component, repeating the last line in the part of the verses and preceding it with the rhythmic addition of “Ta-ti-da-ri, ta-ti-da-ri ...” or the saying “Such a story ...”. In the original