a prelude to a series of posts in which my own cultural ignorance is laid bare, or, are cover songs transformed in translation such that they constitute a genre type?

In 1969 the Dutch band Shocking Blue had a No. 1 chart hit with “Venus”, better known to us from its catchy chorus: “She’s got it/ Yeah, baby, she’s got it”; the Bananarama cover (that also topped the charts, but in 1986); and the Schick razor ads that use it as soundtrack. What may be less known here in the non-Cyrillic world is that Russian teens (especially the hippies and “hooligan subcultures” [Ed: ?!!!??]) adopted it as a kind of anthem. A generational anthem, if you believe wikipedia. In another chapter of The Triumph of Enthusiasm Over Fidelity, the first line of the chorus gets a bit garbled, taking the form, over time, of: “Shizgarah” (“Шизгáра”) [sheez-ga’-rah], which is what most of the Russian covers of the song are titled. PL sent me a complete list, and I haven’t watched them all, but this one caught me eye, especially:


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