lpetrazickis (lpetrazickis ) wrote in linguaphiles ,

However, we are brigands, robbers, or possibly marauders

On a lark, I'm translating the lyrics of this song from the classic 1969 Soviet "Bremen Musicians" cartoon.

I'm having a little difficulty tackling the "Ах, и не выносим нежностей телячих, Но любим мы зато телячьи души" line. There's clearly some wordplay going on in the use of "calf-like"/"veal", but it's not an idiom I'm familiar with.

Is "calf-like mercies" - "нежностей телячих" a standard expression? Is it a pun on "body" - "тело"?

Why do they love the souls of veal? Is "calf" a slang term for crime victim similar to "pigeon" or "mark" in English? If so, does a veal's soul equate to their bodily possessions?

Here's what I have so far:

А, как известно, мы народ горячий,
Ах, и не выносим нежностей телячих,
Но любим мы зато телячьи души
Мы любим бить людей,
Любим бить людей,
Любим бить людей,
И бить баклуши.

Мы раз-бо-бо-бобойники,
Разбойники, разбойники
Пиф-паф, и вы покойники,
Покойники, покойники.
Пиф-паф, и вы покойники,
Покойники, покойники.

А кто увидит нас, тот сразу ахнет.
И для кого-то жареным запахнет.
А кое-что за пазухой мы держим.
К нам не подходи,
К нам не подходи,
К нам не подходи,
А то зарежем.

As you may know, we are a fiery people
And we do not deal out mooing mercies
But we love our veal
We love to beat up people
Beat up people
Beat up people
And beat off

We're rob-rob-robbers
Robbers, robbers
Piff-paff, and you're corpses
Corpses, corpses
Piff-paff, and you're corpses
Corpses, corpses

Anyone who sees us immediately screams
And soon will smell the scent of frying meat
And you don't want to see what's under our shirts
Don't come up
Don't come up
Don't come up
Else we'll cut you.
Tags: russian
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