The Volokh Conspiracy

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Ukraine War Music

"And Luck Is a Reward for Boldness"


I saw this on a list of anti-war songs compiled by Russian journalist Mikhail Kozyrev. It's not obviously antiwar to me, but I'll take his word for it. It's also

It's also a highly un-Russian song, because (at least on the surface) it seems optimistic, and indeed the song is called "Hope." (Compare the Russianest Russian Song Lines I Know, "Who of death will tell us a couple honest words?" / … / "About the things that happened, there'll be many lies." / "Will the inquest tell us how hard it is to die?") The singer is Manizha, who is Tajik, but the lyrics are by Anna German, who was an Uzbekistan-born Pole. Here's an excerpt:

Believe, that here, from afar
Much can no longer be made out
The thunderclouds melt
Our resentments seem ridiculous

We just need to learn to wait
We just need to be calm and stubborn
So that we sometimes get from life
Miserly telegrams of joy

Hope is my compass to the world
And luck is a reward for boldness
And all I need is one song
So long as it sings about home

UPDATE 3/28/23: I originally translated the key line as "And luck is a reward for courage," but on reflection I think the better translation is "… boldness." Cf. "Fortune favours the bold."