Now these are beautiful singing faces.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is a world-class hockey player, but he’s also a prolific musician too. Consider his ever-growing library of songs: he dropped some sick rhymes and weird gyrations in Sasha Belyi’s Champion. And also whatever this was. And the time the Caps started a fake rock band!

And then on Wednesday, Ovechkin’s first foray into back-up vocals found its way onto the internet. This is worth four minutes of your undivided or somewhat distracted attention. Maybe pretend to work on a spreadsheet or something while watching this.

During the lockout, stars of the Russian national team gathered in Novogorsk along with Russian pop star Irina Allegrova to film a music video for the song Shaybu Shaybu, a pump-up pop number for the Sochi Olympics.

Here’s the chorus translated by Igor Kleyner.

Shaybu! Shaybu! Victory will be ours!
Shaybu! Shaybu! Guys, we are with you!
If we have to, we’ll score even more!
Shaybu! Shaybu! Russia is behind you!
Shaybu! Shaybu! Guys, you are strong!
We are the Russian team! We are are the Red Machine!

Ovechkin can be seen laughing, giggling, and kinda-sorta singing with Ilya Kovalchuk, Evgeny Malkin, Alex Radulov, and Ilya Nikulin. Pavel Bure and Vladislav Tretiak also make appearances as well as well as an A list of Russian IIHF hall of famers.

The tune itself is an overblown jingle in the style of the Full  House theme– complete with a canned horn section and glam-rock singalongs. While the group-sing shot of Ovi and company looks fun, there’s no way they used that audio on the actual record. Nikulin (the Tom Petty of this particular Traveling Wilburys lineup) really shouldn’t be moving the mic stand while he’s singing. Tretiak’s “We are the World” one-ear headphone thing is pure gold though.

It’s fun. And how could we ever hate a song all about the “Red Machine”?!

The Olympics cannot get here soon enough. Things are just gonna get weirder from here.

Thanks to RMNB reader Amanda D. for sending us the video.

  • Priscilla Villanueva

    Pretty sure “Shaybu Shaybu” in the Philippines is crack cocaine. This explains a lot.

  • Graham Dumas

    Shaybu, shaybu, of course, being the rough Russian version of “crash the net!” (Literally, “put the puck in the net,” but you know… who’s counting.)

    BA in Russian Studies: like, a billion dollars;
    Student loan interest: another trillion or so;
    Trolling RMNB for Russian stuff: priceless.

  • I couldn’t find a place to work this in, but Igor tells me this lyric is also in the song. It is amazing: “The best game for our men was born by accident in Canada!”

  • OlietheGoalie

    This is the only time that Malkin and Ovie are courteous around each other.

  • SM74

    The first words are some high-level trolling.

    The kind of miracles that happen sometimes
    This one’s like a joke, kinda
    The most fitting game for our Russian guys
    Was accidentally born in Canada

    The song then goes on to reference the famed Ice Battle in which medieval and severely drunk Russian troops destroyed the knights of the Teutonic Order. Thus implying that fighting Russians on ice is never a good idea.

    The Teutons, incidentally, all drowned after the ice broke under the weight of their armor. Contemporary reports indicate that Russians, true to the old saying (“The sea will only reach a drunkard’s knees”), escaped unscathed but remembered little from the night’s proceedings.

  • Chelsea Winot

    Now of course it’s stuck in my head.

  • Anna S.

    I LOVE it! 🙂

    We are the Russian team! We are are the Red Machine! <3

  • SM74

    Of course, the implication of those lyrics is that if Canadians didn’t cheat and hurry to sneakily invent hockey before Russia freed its serfs, we’d invent it for sure, like it was meant to happen.

    The same way we’ve invented all those other sports which are popular all over the world, like Lapta, Gorodki and the one where you drink shots against a bear.

  • holtbysaidno

    In Soviet Russia, Filipino crack cocaine smokes you!

  • Dan

    I’ll never get over how much Malkin looks like Bob Geldof.

  • Sausaged

    Geno’s teeth are wayyyy too nice to be a professional hockey player. Someone please change that.

  • Sabrina

    Didn’t know what Shaybu, Shaybu was a reference to…went to YouTube to watch the Shaybu, Shaybu video there…and then this: (but perhaps I’m the only one who didn’t get the cartoon ref?)

  • Benjamin Scarbro

    No Semin? Poor Sasha!

  • SM74

    Yes, it’s a classical Soviet cartoon in which a bunch of identical clean-cut Young Communist League members dismantle a team full of Ovechkins. The deep meaning being that in hockey, like in all other aspects of Soviet society, toeing the party line, as opposed to having a personality, is the only way to win.

    As for Shaybu-Shaybu! itself, it’s the Russian hockey chant, equivalent to “Let’s go, Buffalo! (or any other team of your choice, though I can’t imagine what kind of choice there can be)”

  • Capslass

    Flash to Chekhov on the Enterprise saying that Shakespeare was Russian (and I’m showing my age with the original Star Trek reference.)

  • SM74

    Another lyric which is consistent with today’s mindset.

    No need for idols form overseas
    To set our sight on
    We have our own kings

    They should’ve worked in something about how everyone in America is gay or something. Since it’s legal here and everything.

  • Sabrina

    Thanks for the info SM74!

  • let’s shave Malkin’s eyebrows

  • SM74

    Shakespeare wishes he were Chekhov!

    Of course, I am not entirely sure which of Anton Chekhov’s enterprises you are referring to. I am only aware of literature, medicine and anti-Semitism.

  • [head explodes]

  • SM74

    This happens a lot when people come into contact with our glorious culture. Has something to do with huge differences in external air pressure.

  • Isabella_St

    Why didn’t I learn about that in my Medieval history class?? My professor clearly spent way too much time on German universities.

  • Red

    This is god-awful in the best way possible. Needs more Datsyuk.

  • yv

    You can watch about this battle in classic movie ” Alexander Nevsky” with famous music score by A. Prokofiev. DVD and CD available in many places, including public libraries.

  • Graham Dumas


  • yv

    I see the hand of Slava with this Buffalo reference!

  • Graham Dumas

    And youtube, I believe. Along with the rest of MosFilm’s catalog.

  • Isabella_St

    I’ve always meant to watch that. The music’s beautiful.

  • yv

    meant S. Prokofiev. Thanks for the info. All music is there, but full good quality movie and episodes are not subtitled. Netflix has it before (not now) and libraries’ DVDs are with subtitles

  • nogoodtrying

    Slava’s comments on here are equally awesome.

  • SM74

    The music is beautiful. But not as beautiful as the propaganda value. The film was made in the 1930s and is meant to be the allegory for Stalin’s glorious rule. Several cleverly rephrased Stalin’s quotes were put into Prince Alexander’s mouth. Great family fun all around.

    Not a single Soviet boy escaped the influence. We all made Teutonic helmets and shields out of cardboard and hacked at each other with sticks till nightfall… Curiously, everyone wanted to be a Teuton, never a gloriously drunk Russian. I am still pondering the deep psychological meaning of this.

  • Priscilla Villanueva

    I wish they were really singing. Would have been way better than “We Are The World”.

  • Guest

    I got something in my eye …

  • Roman Z.

    I might need a tissue RMNB …

  • Boutros23

    The comments on this post are pretty much the best thing ever