His songs were sung by the whole country - the Soviet Union. “Let there always be sunshine!”, “From afar, the Volga River flows for a long time...” and many others became popular. And, of course, "And in our yard there is one girl...". (By the way, this April marked the 60th anniversary of its first performance, in 1962.) The success was fantastic. There were kilometer-long queues behind the plates. From every window rushed: “Among the noisy friends, she is inconspicuous... And I keep looking, I don’t take my eyes off”.
A continuation immediately followed - “And again, in the yard, the record sings to us, and still doesn’t let you say goodbye...”
Because we had to say goodbye. After all, then, in early youth, we all rushed somewhere, left our yards. Who is in the institute, who is on an expedition, who is on the shock construction sites in Siberia, where the party and the Komsomol called us. Romance of distant roads, distant wanderings. And the girls were waiting.
The following year, in April 1963, composer Arkady Ostrovsky and poet Lev Oshanin completed the lyrical trilogy with the song "You looked at me...". It sounded all over the country performed by the unforgettable Maya Kristalinskaya: "You looked at me, you looked for me everywhere ... I'll wait for you, only you come forever." (Robert Rozhdestvensky said about Kristalinskaya: “You were the echo of our youth”).
Lyrical code, lyrical password of the sixties. Yes, probably. Everyone sang it - both school kids and gray-haired old people. That baby is now under seventy and over seventy years old. Oshanin wrote this lyrical trilogy of youth and youth at the age of 53.
Tall, gray-haired, imposing, Lev Ivanovich was the personification of success, prosperity: for popular, often performed songs, there were large royalties. But few people guessed that even such a person did not have complete peace and satisfaction in his soul. Not only because of personal life. She, like many others, was striped.
However, the main thing, in my opinion, was something else.
We were not well acquainted with him, only occasionally met in editorial offices, trips around the country - at the "Days of Soviet Literature", which were regularly held in cities, territories, regions, republics. Writers of different generations, from different parts of the country, gathered together for a short time. In carriage compartments, at banquet tables, in hotel rooms frank conversations about life and literature were in full swing. In public, in a more or less wide circle of comrades in the shop, Lev Ivanovich always behaved confidently, if not victoriously. He had reasons: at speeches in factory, factory floors, at construction sites, he was welcomed like no other. But from our rare short conversations in private, from some of his remarks, I got the feeling that he felt hurt. Despite wide recognition among the masses, on the poetic Olympus, in the literary world, especially in snobbish circles, he was considered a poet with a certain prefix - a songwriter . The rulers of thoughts were others, and he is a songwriter. Oshanin felt this attitude, got annoyed, angry. Although he didn't show it. So, in some replicas broke through.
And so I think: did none of those who fancied themselves or really considered themselves masters of thoughts, inhabitants of the poetic Olympus, those who called Oshanin a songwriter , did not understand that Oshanin was a genius? The genius of one song.
That they, and all of us, since 1945, live next to a genius?
Songwriters and lyricists often tend to work on commission. In 1945, an order was received for the Victorious Spring program. We needed a song about the return of soldiers from the war. Composer Anatoly Novikov and poet Lev Oshanin wrote this song. At first it was called "Under the sound of wheels". Director Sergey Yutkevich staged the mise-en-scène: a train, a freight car, our soldiers returning home from Germany are quietly singing...
Oh the roads...
Dust and fogs
Yes, steppe weeds.
You can't know
Can you fold your wings
In the middle of the steppes. <…>
The shot is fired
The raven is circling
Your friend in the weeds
And the road goes on
And all around the earth smokes -
Alien land! <…>
The Sun is rising.
At the porch of the native
The mother is waiting for her dearest son.
It's not written on paper. It's written in heaven. In sad Russian skies. About the age-old Russian share.
You can’t know your share, the road, the steppe, weeds, the raven is circling, the mother of her son is waiting - these are far from just words, even the best ones (according to Coleridge’s definition, “poetry is the best words in the best order”). These are archetypes, prototypes of Russian folklore. And more broadly - the prototypes of the Russian consciousness, the original worldview and reflection in the word.
And the person who wrote it lived next to us. We knew him. Someone listened to his reflections at seminars at the Literary Institute, someone drank vodka with him in a restaurant and cafe of the Central House of Writers, in Koktebel, Jurmala, or on trips around the country. Again I remember the seventies, the beginning of the eighties, literary disputes, conversations. No one talked about the "Roads", as if they did not exist and do not exist. So, probably, it happens when a great song lives on its own, already without an author. Or maybe they didn't really understand.
Suppose we young people did not understand, we were carried away by the topic of the day, by the momentary passions of the literary stream. But I didn’t hear from my older comrades, writers of the same generation with him ... I didn’t hear his peers at the tables in the Central House of Writers say to him: “Leva, you are a genius!” Or at least like this: “Leva, your “Roads” are brilliant!”.
But many, many then repeated the lines from Bulat Okudzhava's song dedicated to Yuri Trifonov:
Let's exclaim, admire each other.
High-sounding words are not to be feared. <…>
Let's live, indulging each other in everything, -
Especially since life is so short.
Rest in peace, Lev Ivanovich. Eternal memory to you. And you created a monument to yourself. For all time. As long as at least one Russian soul is alive in the world.