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Official website of the Spasskaya Tower International Military Music Festival
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Official website of the Spasskaya Tower International Military Music Festival
17 July 2020

Farewell, Rocky Mountains

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In Spring of 1940 Nikolai Bukin, author of the ‘Farewell, Rocky Mountains’ song, was drafted for military service and assigned to serve in the Navy. He was sent to Musta-Tunturi mountains on Rybachy or Fisher Peninsula, the northernmost part of continental European Russia. It was there Bukin met the beginning of the War.

Almost fully surrounded by water, that tiny piece of land was bravely defended by the Red Army soldiers and sailors. Rybachy Peninsula was the only border post that wasn’t captured along the 4500 kilometres western border of the Soviet Union. Four years in a row the Nazis tried to reach the city of Murmansk, but failed as they couldn’t take the peninsula over. Hence, sailors labelled it the granite battleship.

In 1942 Bukin came up with the following lines
I know, I won’t survive without the sea,
As the sea will be dead without me.

Kochetov composed the music, thus the poem became a song. The Politburo of the Navy recommended the All-Union Radio Committee to air the piece at the Red Navy rádio hour as it would have contributed to the song’s popularity. And the bureau proved itself right.

Later Evgeniy Zharkovskiy, prominent Soviet composer, wrote another version of music to turn Bukin’s lyrics into a song.

Sources: «Советская музыка» (Soviet Music), «Военный альбом» (Military Álbum), «Победа.екатеринбург.рф» websites.

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