This song’s Russian WP entry tells us that this refers to Group H of the 1998 World Cup, 20 years ago. Chayf‘s lead singer Vladimir Shakhrin’s inspiration was the sight of disconsolate black drummers, perhaps Jamaicans for the day, wailing in the unreliable shade of the Eiffel Tower, while Argentines danced and cheered next to them. A dirge widely parodied, Russians have adopted it to accompany their local team’s latest defeat, and it was used as a flash-forward in the Russian version of the musical, We Will Rock You. All together now:
Our women forgive us our weakness
Our women forgive us our tears
They forgive the whole world its laughter and mirth –
Maybe the Morris men were consolated somewhat when Jamaica got its first World Cup points against Japan in the final group match.
Russian WP says that Chayf are from Yekaterinburg (Sverdlovsk), window to Asia, where the Urals crease the interminable flatlands. Their name combines chay, tea, and kayf, buzz, and has nothing to do with Jamaican tea. Early influences included Creedence Clearwater Revival, T. Rex, and the Rolling Stones. Shakhrin, whose paternal grandfather survived Hitler and Stalin on the Western Front, and whose maternal grandfather liberated Mongolia from the Japanese, has been praised(?) as the Uralic Bob Dylan:
Will they ever return to London?
- Top 10 Russian football songs: No. 5: Match (The Match) by Splin (Splean (spleen)) (2006)
Yet another Anglophile.
- Top 10 Russian football songs: No. 8: the 1938 Futbol’nyy Marsh (“Football March”) by Matvey Blanter, composer of Stalin-era patriotic ditties
With a recording of a barrel alarm clock, a Shostakovich anecdote, a copyright tussle between the Russian Premier League and the Russian Authors’ Society, and more Blatner material.
- Top 10 Russian football songs: No. 6: Manchester United FC by Whiteman the Blacksoul (2013)
Russophone Kazakh rapper tramples the identitarian jungle in praise of his idols. With William Blake, and Guf and his granny.
- Top 10 Russian football songs: No. 7: the unofficial anthem of FC Zenit St Petersburg (1981)
It takes its tune and several lines from a 1960s song evoking the Siege of Leningrad and a verse and style from Liverpool fans’ 1979 performance against Dinamo Tbilisi of You’ll Never Walk Alone.