One of the greatest Russian singers of the Soviet era, Eduard Khil, has died at the age of 77 in St. Petersburg. Our condolences to his family, friends, and millions of fans in Russia and all over the world.

Those of you in North America may know Khil as Mr. Trololo, the smiling singer from the internet meme that was the spiritual successor to RickRolling. Video of Khil lip-syncing to “I’m Very Happy Because I’m Finally Going Home” has been a crutch of internet yucksters for the last few years, but Khil has been a big deal in Russia for decades.

In addition to being a beloved singer, Khil was also a big sports fan. He sang what is maybe the famous Russian song about hockey: “Coward Doesn’t Play Hockey.” It’s basically a hockey anthem (like Tom Connors’ “The Hockey Song” in North America), and it can often be heard at games or other hockey-related events.

Music by Alexandra Pakhmutova, lyrics by Nikolai Dobronravov.

Translation:

The dashing music of the attack is ringing in the ears,
Throw an accurate pass to the stick, shoot hard,
And everything is OK if
The excellent five and the goalie are on the ice.

The ice squad is in the stern battle,
We believe in the courage of the desperate guys,
The real men play hockey,
The coward doesn’t play hockey.

Let the lamp behind the opponent’s goal
Pulse more and more in the victorious lightning,
But if it’s needed the excellent five and the goalie
Defend brilliantly.

The ice squad is in the stern battle,
We believe in the courage of the desperate guys,
The real men play hockey,
The coward doesn’t play hockey.

There will be many beautiful games played
And we won’t forget, we won’t forget like in the old times
The gold and the cups were won by
The excellent five and the goalie.

The ice squad is in the stern battle,
We believe in the courage of the desperate guys,
The real men play hockey,
The coward doesn’t play hockey.

To me, Eduard Khil was the Russian Frank Sinatra. And this was one of the greatest songs ever written about hockey.

Thanks for everything, Mr. Khil.

And now, one last time, Trololo. (Running time: 10 hours):

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  • http://twitter.com/kyle_mace Kyle Mace

    God bless the internet.

  • JRosen

    Its no Hit somebody by Warren Zevon

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    aka the greatest song ever

  • http://dmitry.pe Dmitry

    Фёдор, у тебя получилось перевести песню. Respect!

  • http://twitter.com/FedFedRMNB Feds

    Спасибо АББИИ Лингво))) У меня голова кругом шла)