May 9th is Victory Day in Russia, commemorating the end of World War II. The Admins wish to express our gratitude to all of the veterans for the sacrifices they made. This year we present two versions of the lighthearted song, Vasya-Vasilyok, composed in 1942. Poor Vasya (Vasily)! His girl hasn’t written to him in weeks. His fellow soldiers try to cheer him up with some good-natured teasing and words of encouragement.
This song was written by the famous Soviet composer Anatoly Novikov in 1942. The first time the song was performed was right at the Front that same year. The Ensemble’s first soloists Georgy Babayev and Vasily Pankov sang it for Soviet Army soldiers while standing on an open truck bed.
The song became very popular straight away. Later the same year, it became a part of the musical movie Concert for the Front, which was made to raise the spirits of the Russian soldiers at the Front. You can see soloists Babayev and Pankov perform it in this video clip from the movie (below).
The song remained very popular many years after WW II, and new soloists were chosen to perform it in 1965 – Ivan Bukreev (tenor) and Leonid Kharitonov (bass baritone). The singers gave new life to the song, and it became known even outside Russia. (Second video below.)
Unfortunately nowadays it is almost totally forgotten in Russia and no one performs it anymore. We hope that you, the many fans of the Alexandrov (Red Army Choir) Ensemble, will enjoy it and help make it more popular again!
1942 – Babayev and Pankov
1965 – Kharitonov and Bukreev
(Turn on Captions for English sub-titles.)