A Sunday Poem
This week’s poem comes at the recommendation of a friend of the blog and gets us out of our standard Old Poets of Azerbaijan theme. It’s a song by Aygün Kazımova, featuring Miri Yusıf, and is called Petrol:
One spark. This gasoline will set you on fire.
This gasoline will take as far away, far away.
This gasoline will take us forward.
Oh, petrol, give power to my engine.
My country’s growing faster.
I don’t care how far away you are —
I will catch you anyway.
Black gold and money
And gasoline will help you when you’re in trouble,
Will make the long roads shorter,
Will make our cold days warmer.
Our gasoline, our gasoline.
Obviously, this is just part of the song. I couldn’t find a full translation for the entire set of verses. Instead, it looks like the RFE/RL folks cut up the song and added commentary:
The legions of faceless, helmeted motorcycle riders pulling through the gas station evoke Iran’s oppressive Basij militia or Azerbaijan’s own notorious riot police.
The moronic-looking station attendants mechanically pumping gas are equally disturbing.
And could the line about making “our cold days warmer” be a nod to the link between oil dependence and climate change?
And what about the ending? Since independence, Azerbaijan’s economy has been something of a one-hit wonder based on oil. The government has been criticized for doing little to pave the way for the time when the wells run dry. The “Petrol” video ends abruptly, without warning, on a close-up shot of Kazimova with a wry smirk on her face. I’m not so sure she loves gasoline quite as much as it seems.
The full lyrics in Azerbaijani are here, and here are the Azeri verses for what is posted above:
Sənin içinə alov salacaq,
Bir qığılcımla yanacaq yanacaq,
Bizi çox uzaqlara aparacaq,
İrəli, yanacaq, na-nay-nanay.
Petrol, mühərrikimə güc ver,
Mənim ölkəmin artır sürəti,
Nə qədər olsan da sən uzaq,
Mən sənə çatacam.
Qızılım qara, dolu pul, para,
Kömək olur yanacaq düşəndə dara.
Uzun yolları sən mənə az elə,
Soyuq həyatımı sən gəl yaz elə