Skip to Content Skip to Navigation

Thom Moore: Music

Clamberine (2010)

(Thom Moore)
January 17, 2010
transl fm Vladimir Vysotsky, new words and music by Thom Moore
first of five translations of the songs of the late Vladimir Vysotsky from Russian to English, translating not just the lyrics but the music as well. This is the third recorded version, January 2010.
I ask'd you why you people climb those mountain walls,
how you can yearn to scale them all:
"Take a plane and view the highest mountaintops!"
You laughed and took me bounding up.

From then on, you've been the sweetest in the whole wide world
my mountain whirlwind climber-girl!
Extricating me the first time from a deep ravine
you smiled at me, my clamberine.

But then, because of all those damned ravines,
when I said how fine your cooking seems
you whacked me twice – and now my ears still ring –
I didn't mind, I just opined:

"Oh, you’re the sweetest in the world to me,
my mountain striding clamberine!
And every time you look for me in deep ravines,
my climber-girl, you talk so mean."

And ever after, now, when we head off to climb --
just what about me changed your mind? --
You take a lot of pleasure in insuring me,
my india-rubber clamberine.

No more the sweetest in the whole wide world,
my mountain whirlwind climber girl!
You swear like troopers when they shoot and miss
as you haul me off some precipice.

I tried with all my might to keep on up with you --
my hand outstretched, what else to do? --
almost there and just about to call for time,
I slipped away, but sang this rhyme:

"Oh, you’re the sweetest in the world, to me,
my mountain scrambling clamberine!
You and I are roped in twain, and all that I can say
— we're climbers now — together — all the way!"