Pop Archives

The Seekers - The Carnival Is Over (1965)

(Tom Springfield)
#1 UK #1 Sydney #1 Melbourne #1 Brisbane #1 Adelaide #1 Perth #3 NZ

Based on the melody of the Russian folk song Stenka Razin (or Stenka Rasin).

Australian folk lite quartet who found worldwide success after moving to London and recording with producer Tom Springfield, who wrote most of their biggest hits (I'll Never Find Another You, World Of Our Own).

Tom Springfield and his sister Dusty, born Dion and Mary O'Brien, were members of folk-pop group The Springfields with Tim Field. They were best known in Australia for Silver Threads and Golden Needles and Island of Dreams.

Thanks to Helen for clarification.

[Russian Folk Song] - Stenka Razin

(Traditional melody - lyrics by Dmitri Sadovnikov)
Russia Russia
Original melody

Also spelt as Stenka Rasin, and known as Volga, Volga mat' rodnaya from the lyrics.

Stenka Razin was a 17th century cossack rebel leader who has been celebrated in a number of songs.

See 1921 English translation by Jacob Robbins at Frank Petersohn's folk song site.

The lyricist's name is rendered as Dmitri Sadovnikov or D. N. Sadovnika.

Click here for versions of Stenka Razin at Amazon.com.

Thanks to Kees van der Hoeven for suggestion and background. See also the Wikipedia entry.

Pete Seeger - River Of My People (1953)

(Traditional + Pete Seeger)

English-language version of the Russian folk song Stenka Razin, the melody later used by Tom Springfield for The Carnival Is Over.

The song is copyright 1953; The Originals (book & website) gives 1956, perhaps the recording date.

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - The Carnival Is Over (1986)

(Tom Springfield - Frank Farian)
Later version

This Australian singer, songwriter, poet and novelist, born in Warracknabeal, Victoria (me too!), had been in Melbourne band The Birthday Party in the early 80s. Like that other Melbourne success story The Seekers, his career took off after moving to Europe.

From the 1986 album Kicking Against The Pricks.

“Les Francs-Juges” [opera] - Overture (1826)

(Hector Berlioz)
France France

Some listeners have heard an echo of Stenka Razin in this work, others are not convinced. Decide for yourself: Pop Meets the Classics has mp3 samples of the relevant works.

Thanks to Ostin Allegro at Pop Meets the Classics.