CHASTUSHKI:
Russian Limericks


These chastushki are all from the Soviet era and reflect a wide range of societal concerns from crappy leaders to lack of birth control to shoddy workmanship to disillusionment with the ideals of communism. Warning : Some of these chastushki deal with mature subject matter.
[Image:Lenin on car] [Image:Lenin]
What sort of Bolshevik is this
Climbing on the armored car?
He wears a little buttoned cap,
He canít pronounce the letter r.
His arm is lifted to the sky,
Can you guess who this is? Try!


[Image:Russian text]

[Image: Russian text Who is this old bogeyman,
Crawling on the mausoleum?
His eyebrows are as black as coal,
He canít pronouce his words at all.
Whoever tries to answer this,
Will get a good ten years for it.
[Image: Brezhnev on Mausoleum]


[Image: Brezhnev as pig] [Image: Russian text
The guelder rose is blooming in the field, by the stream.
It blooms because our Lenin told it to, it seems.
Piggies in the flowers gather roses sweet,
The piggishness is Brezhnevís and now thereís no more meat.

[Image:Raisa in fur]
[Image: Russian text


Get off your high horse, Raisa,
Youíre no queen, no actress either,
Donít wear those furs for foreign fans,
In the Soviet Union youíre a flash in the pan.



Translations by A. Wallace, 1985-92
Line drawings by Herb Allred, 1993

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