A Jolly Song About Corpses

The below is a translation of a Vladimir Vysotsky song which is called “Веселая покойницкая” in Russian. This song has been translated many times into many languages. Here, for instance, is a Czech version. So the purpose here is not to do something new, but just to do something fun. Please let me know what you think, what should be changed, etc.

Whether you’re riding a bus or a sports car
Or strolling around as you sip from your flask
With this profusion of motorized transport
Walking life’s path is a difficult task

Here’s an example: three people were driving
To bury a fourth one when their hearse got hit
All three were injured among the surviving
Only the dead man was not hurt a bit

Then at the funeral, there was fake crying
The pastor read out his sermon by rote
As for the musicians, they weren’t even trying
Only the corpse didn’t strike a false note

His former boss who’s a non-former con-man
Kissed the man’s forehead then wiped off his lips
Everyone followed suit, only the gone man
Was far too modest to offer a kiss

But soon the sky filled with lightning and thunder
Funerals too, are within weather’s sway
Everyone found something dry to hide under
Only the dead man did not run away

Why should he tremble from a bit of weather
Far be it from him to make such a fuss
People are weak, but ex-people are better
They are brave people, and quite unlike us

Our lives are filled up with all sorts of stresses
worries grab hold of us, there’s no release
The only time you feel truly at rest is
When in a casket, resting in peace

Whether their shroud is rich or in tatters
It doesn’t mean much to those in the grave
Lacking concern for such trivial matters
A perfect example of how to behave

Critics will say — he is too fond of corpses
No — I am only disgusted with fate
All of the living get run down or worse it’s
Only the dead ones for whom life is great

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