The song of longing (from a Soviet icon) that we briefly heard evoked an audible gasp/scoff and tension-filled chuckles.
Oh thank you for that! I found these 2 of Utyosov singing it in c1955
a. Audio only
in true "Soviet period" dance band style which obviously owes a lot to Transatlantic influences!
Utyosov, whose career went back to the 1930s, had apparently been a "favourite" of Stalin! Can you just picture the "great man", Uncle Joe, sitting somewhere in the Kremlin, after spending a day signing a few death warrants and patting some little children on the head , puffing on his pipe listening to a crackly 78rpm vinyl recording of it.......! I wonder if Putin does the same with more modern technology (Алекса - спектакль "У Черного моря")....... dreaming that he too, one day soon might be sitting by the side of the Black Sea......in "Odessa".
The song, and its use by the Russian rep say so so much about Russia and its relationship with Ukraine (and Odesa!). Note the song's reference to "native land", the Great Patriotic War and the "Hero city" (Odesa was one of 12). Such a shame it couldn't establish a positive, friendly one with Ukraine as an independent country, where Russians could continue to go for their holidays and be friends with their fellow Slavs with whom they share so much......
The period music also took me back to my slightly later (1969!!!!) visit to Odessa (as it then was)...... somehow I had got a ticket for the opera (photo of the building on this Web site) to see Pikovaya Dama (Queen of Spades - Tchaikovsky) and found myself in a box where my fellow audience was a group of "Soviet" girls .... they couldn't speak English and I had no Russian, but, no matter, we shared a мороженое afterwards and the Cold War seemed a long long way away...... happy days!