Monday, June 11, 2012

Musical Monday: I Am Glad, 'Cause I'm Finally Returning Back Home by Eduard Khil (with an assist from the crew of the Enterprise)

Ray Bradbury died this week, so the natural thing to do for Musical Monday would be to post Rachel Bloom's Fuck Me, Ray Bradbury as the featured song this week. However, I already posted that song on October 18th, 2010, and I don't like to repeat myself.

Instead, I'll feature a song from another man who passed away this week: Eduard Khil, who is probably more familiar to people now as "Mr. Trolololo", singing I Am Glad, 'Cause I'm Finally Returning Back Home, which most of you will probably recognize better as the "Trolololo Song". Just to add some more science fiction flavor, in the attached video Mr. Khil gets an assist in his performance from Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, Doctor McCoy, and the rest of the bridge crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise. The song itself is apparently the result of a dispute between the song's composer Arkady Ostrovsky and the Lev Oshanin, lyricist he normally worked with. Purportedly Oshanin claimed that a composer wasn't as important as a lyricist, and to get back at him, Ostrovsky decided that the song would be just fine with no lyrics. The intended lyrics supposedly told the tale of a cowboy returning to his home, and from what little there is available of them, were pretty bad, so the song is probably better without them. And if the song had had lyrics, then it would have been just another forgettable piece of Soviet era pop music.

The performance is gloriously awful, mostly due to the 1970s Soviet sensibilities. With a bad haircut typical of the disco era and a double breasted jacket, Khil wanders out onto a really awful looking set doing some fairly obvious lip-synching. To make the song "cheerful", Khil wears a slightly deranged but oddly beatific expression on his face while going through some stiff choreography. Despite the lack of lyrics, Khil seems to be trying to tell something of a story and infuse some emotion into the performance, which is both unnerving and strangely enjoyable. It is a testament to his talent that despite being hampered by a song with no lyrics and the very worst support that Soviet era television could offer, his performance is actually somewhat enjoyable to listen to. Sadly, Khil died on June 4th (which also happens to be my mother's birthday), but he left us something that will probably endure forever. Or at least until the attention of YouTube is captured by the next thing.

Previous Musical Monday: Skullcrusher Mountain by Jonathan Coulton
Subsequent Musical Monday: I Will Sing a Lullaby by Paul & Storm

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