Around the world the little guys are swarming, they live on time thatís on loan, The worse ones and the better ones, in gangs or on their own. I hardly know the better ones - That sort should have wings of course; But Iíve got friends among the scum And they all want to get a gun, To get a gun, to get a gun And use force. The big guys with the Midas touch Have succumbed to missilesí charms; The little guys, though, canít do much In this world without firearms. You see that hopeless wino - His pockets have no cash. Heís hiding a V-sign though - The cocked gun that he stashed. From morning through to afternoon He dreams of having lunch; His jacket hasnít got much room - Itís straining and itís bunched. Iíll gladly go, not laden down, With him when day is done, My sweaty fingers curled around The trigger of my gun. Iím focused on my goals, Iím feeling cranked up; Iíve had a fix, Iím stoned and Iím tanked up. Hey, why are you looking at me like that? Iím not really a cripple - And I can pass for human if you let me have a tipple. Come gather round, you stumbling bums, Weíll drink and chew the fat, lads, And just as soon as dinnerís done Iíll sing for you a song of guns, A song of guns, a song of guns, A ballad. The big-time gamblerís pocket-sized But plays cards with a passion; They bluff most times when stakes are high And bet high-roller fashion. The bomb thatís just a toy for them Is not for you or me. We donít have all that cash to spend - A pistolís what we need. Weíve pocketed the modest guns We bought, and there as well Stilettos, known to everyone, Lie sharp as if theyíre shelled. The little people scuttle down The right side terrified, While tanked and tooled up we march round The land with heavy strides. The barrel finds a stream of random faces - You face the wall! Now freeze! Stay in your places! Donít look to find your highs inside the chemistís like a fool, man; You ought to get an axe at least so you become a human. Iíll twist my tongue until itís spun Truths naked as theyíre valid; Iíll sing no worse than anyone A song about beloved guns, Beloved guns, beloved guns, A ballad. So should we buy new underwear? How will that help our plight? Buy firearms round the corner there - That turning on the right. Learn shooting, come on everyone - Letís start, itís all the rage. The newspapers now write of guns On every single page. The sweet thrills when we started out To bitterness give way; They took the little artist out For papier mache. Go, shoot till you desire no more, At people, kittens, pups; The right to sell guns, thank the Lord, Wonít soon be given up. And all the time that nothingís done to ban it Donít worry, all is fine here on this planet!         The toothy barracuda without guns still knows itís lethal; The big guys without guns are still the big guys - we respect them; But little people without guns donít qualify as people; All little people without guns know othersí guns will get them. The big guys shoot at elephants; Theyíre on the hunt for tigers too - But you and I donít get the chance; Such funís denied to me and you. Leave bigwigs blessed with wealth and rank To solve big problems if they choose; Thereís one who played with Panther tanks - And others play until they lose. Theyíre shiny new and minnow-sized, The shooters in our pockets now; For us the earth is pillow-like, A floor cloth made of softest down. Blood pulses through the temple wet And glutinous as slime; Around the trigger, damp with sweat, The bluing fingers wind. We little people are to this society a rupture But if you take a look at us while to the side you pause Behind the narrow shoulders of a man of modest structure There stand, dejected, gloomy, stupid, two enormous wars. Lie low and they wonít take you out - Thatís fantasy, donít kid yourself, For in this country they donít tout Sweet guns just to improve their health. And there the north-east wind still raged, The costs continued to be reasonable; But over here by the Lordís good grace The country has its freedom still. Oh, lifeís like dust - one puff, itís gone, Itís barely worth a groat; Itís sold in parts and for a song, Itís cheaper than a smoke. This strange old life will rip as if Itís wispy as a hair... Just one push of a fingertip Upon the trigger there. While purchasing is easy, you and I will have no trouble; We kill like we were sucking eggs; they taught us how to fight. Warís all around, in peacetime too, but while you have bare knuckles Youíll not make threats, nor bang in nails, nor hijack any flights. Thereís no one bullets cannot touch - They know no devil, have no god; And we just keep on shooting but Stay well away from those in shot. For every colour, shootingís fun - All ages kneel before it; Both he and she, both old and young, Black, yellow, white adore it. Again those sweet thrills stir in us; Itís normal now to see The cover with the murderer, The girl in lingerie. The world is full of losers and Each brandishes an axe, The small-boy fingers of his hand Upon the trigger catch.
© Margaret & Stas Porokhnya. Translation, 2008