Translations by Maik

As long as Ivan-Chai blooms, As long as Ivan-Chai blooms, I won't need any books - none other than you… I won't need them, I won't need them… Take a canvas of snowy white, Dab it with green and yellow, Streaks of blinding blue, Add a few trees and the trees will tell you That all I ever wanted turned to wind, The wind that kisses their boughs… And I say thank you for this joy, I say thank you for this joy… As long as Ivan-Chai blooms, As long as Ivan-Chai blooms, I won't need any books - none other than you… I won't need them, I won't need them… And this is the perfect method; It's such a shame we're so impatient 'Cause this is the perfect method… Sooner or later we'll surely meet again And what was once our pain will turn into wind; Flames will consume my heart… And I'll say thank you for this joy, I'll repeat thank you for this joy. As long as Ivan-Chai blooms, As long as Ivan-Chai blooms, I won't need any books - none other than you… I won't need them, I won't need them…

Translation Notes

I end this translation with a 1987 excerpt from the Soviet radio show "Youth." It may clear up some of the debate I've seen at BoB about the meaning of "Ivan-Chai" and explain why I chose to leave it untranslated: Interviewer: Boris, tell me: "Ivan-Chai" - what's it about, grass?
BG: Yeah, it's about grass.
[General laughter.]
BG: But then, with us, everything's about grass.
ROMANOV: Basically, all Aquarium songs are about grass.
BG: No, it's a kind of symbol. Of the people. As long as Ivan-Chai blooms, the summer wouldn't dream of ending…

Пока цветет иван-чай, пока цветет иван-чай,  
Мне не нужно других книг, кроме тебя,  
Мне не нужно, мне не нужно.  
 
Возьми снежно белый холст,  
Тронь его зеленым и желтым,  
Ослепительно синим.  
Cделай деревья, и они тебе скажут,  
Как все, что я хотел,  
Становится ветром, и ветер целует ветви.  
 
Ветер говорит с ними.  
Это совершенный метод,  
Жалко, что нам не хватает терпенья.  
Но это совершенный метод,  
Рано или поздно, мы опять будем вместе,  
И то, что было больно, станет как ветер,  
 
И пламя сожжет мне сердце,  
И я говорю: спасибо за эту радость !  
Я повторяю: спасибо за эту радость !  
 
Пока цветет иван-чай, пока цветет иван-чай,  
Мне не нужно других книг, кроме тебя,  
Мне не нужно, мне не нужно.