Russian Optimism



These excerpts from Russian Optimism: Dark Nursery Rhymes To Cheer You Right Up, are translated from classic (dark) Russian rhymes by Ben Rosenfeld. Russian Optimism is an illustrated coffee table book containing thirty of Russia’s most horrifically hysterical nursery rhymes, in English.

Mom’s Bedroom

From mom’s bedroom,

A crooked legged cripple

Emerged. It was dad…
I walk the same way!

Our gene pool is bad.

Как из маминой из спальни,

Кривоногий и хромой 

Вышел папа… Я такой же! 

Генофонд у нас плохой.

The Bright Side

In my childhood, my mom gouged out my eyes,

So that I wouldn’t find the jam.

Now I don’t watch movies and I don’t read fairy tales, 

But on the bright side, I smell and hear really well.

Мне мама в детстве выколола глазки, 

Чтоб я в шкафу варенье не нашёл.

Теперь я не хожу в кино и не читаю сказки, 

Зато я нюхаю и слышу хорошо.

The Old Lawnmower

An old man was cutting the lawn,
His blade caught a pair of lovers.
The red blood covered the grass,
Don’t fuck in the morning.

Дедушка в поле травку косил,
Пару влюбленных косой зацепил.
Красною кровью покрылась трава,
Не занимайтесь любовью с утра!

The Lovely Couple

A madly in-love couple strolled on the railroad tracks,
They chatted pleasantly and filled with desire.
Like an arrow, the Siberian express came through:
There used to be two people, now there are four.

Влюбленная пара по рельсам гуляла,
Мило болтала и томно вздыхала.
Стрелою пронесся экспресс из Сибири:
Было их двое, а стало четыре.

Ben Rosenfeld is a comedian and writer who has appeared on FOX’s Laughs, CBS This Morning and Rooftop Comedy.