Itís all behind: the city jail and court, The prosecutor, my attorney, judges. Iím now just waiting, Waiting to be called And transferred somewhere to work without wages. So, my mom, she starts to weep, Starts to guess and tries to think, To where, to where they will send me And my mom, she starts to weep, But I, myself, donít give a shit To where, to where they will send me To Vorkuta1 all shipping goes forever, A little faster if to Magadan2, But there everyone Is such a scumbag, vermin, pervert, That I for sure can kiss my mail good-bye. So, my mom, she starts to weep, Starts to guess and tries to think, To where, to where they will send me And my mom, she starts to weep, But I, myself, donít give a shit To where, to where they will send me But now I hear: itís time, they came for me. The door is opened, and they take me from my sleep. And now they will, oh, yes, they will, Will transfer me... But where, of that these bitches hardly ever speak. So, my mom, she starts to weep, Starts to guess and tries to think, To where, to where they will send me And my mom, she starts to weep, But I, myself, donít give a shit To where, to where they will send me We have arrived: the railway stationís hum. At least tobacco is not yet at shortage. So finally, they told us where we go: Tmutarakan3, The Kola Tundra in the Murmansk Oblast4. And my mom, she starts to weep, Starts to guess and tries to think, To where, to where they will send me... Dear Mom, please stop your weep, Better try to guess and think Of when will I return from my long trip!
1 A coal-mining town in the Komi Republic, Russia, situated just north of the Arctic Circle. In Soviet times it was the location of one of the largest GULAG camps with over 73 thousand prisoners. Itís also the coldest city in all of Europe, boasting a record cold temperature of -52įC.
2 A port town in the Russian Far East. It was nicknamed a "capital of Kolyma region" notoriously known for countless GULAG camps.
3 Here it is used jokingly, as some distant place with strange sounding name. It actually was a medieval Kievan Rusí principality.
4 Kola Peninsula in the original, a peninsula in the extreme northwest of Russia, also the location of numerous GULAG camps in the Soviet era.
 
© Kirill Tolmachev. Translation, 2021