Gloomy Sunday
In February 1936 in Budapest, when a man who had committed suicide left behind a farewell letter citing the lyrics of a 3 year old, then little known Hungarian song, a legend was born. And it's certainly no coincidence that one year before another legend had embraced the same song, given it Russian lyrics and recorded it - Pjotr Leschenko, the charismatic singer of tangos and gypsy romances, then well on his way to conquering the whole of Europe from his exile in Bucharest.

On the one hand, the ballad of "Gloomy Sunday" which subsequently threatened to turn into a kind of anthem for those in danger of suicide and which was consequently banned from the airwaves in Hungary, the USA and Great Britain; on the other, the Russian patriot Leschenko, banned from returning to his mother-country because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time (namely in Bessarabia during the Rumanian occupation) and whose musical style was lambasted as decadent and bourgeois by the Soviet cultural authorities - lambasted despite the enormous popularity he enjoyed in Russia where his records were smuggled in, sold and copied illegally.

A lot of speculation has taken place as to what exactly "Szomorú vasárnap" - to give the song its original Hungarian title - owes its impact. The original lyrics by Reszô Seress, who also composed the music, were deeply despairing, a lament to the sins of the humankind, war and violence. The later lyrics by the poet László Jávor talk about the end of a love affair - making the text private and introspective as it were - but are likewise also imbued with a deep despair.


Gloomy Sunday - English lyrics by Sam M. Lewis

Sunday is gloomy, my hours are slumberless

Dearest the shadows I live with are numberless

Little white flowers will never awaken you

Not where the black coach of sorrow has taken you

Angels have no thought of ever returning you

Would they be angry if I thought of joining you?

Gloomy Sunday

Gloomy is Sunday, with shadows I spend it all

My heart and I have decided to end it all

Soon there'll be candles and prayers that are sad I know

Let them not weep let them know that I'm glad to go

Death is no dream for in death I'm caressing you

With the last breath of my soul I'll be blessing you

Gloomy Sunday

Dreaming, I was only dreaming

I wake and I find you asleep in the deep of my heart, here

Darling, I hope that my dream never haunted you

My heart is telling you how much I wanted you

Gloomy Sunday



1. Skutschno (Tango) 3:05
2. U Samowara - (Foxtrott) 3:00
3. Mratschnoje Woskresenje - (Romance) 3:19
4. Ty I Eta Gitara - (Tango) 2:58
5. Vjesjelis, Duscha - (Gipsy Romance) 3:18
6. Uwjali Grezy - (Tango) 2:51
7. Saschka (Foxtrott) 2:54
8. Serenada - (Romance) 3:12
9. Miranda (Tango) 3:04
10. Kawkaz - (Foxtrott) 3:09
11. Komarik - (Ukrainian Folksong) 2:59
12. Spi, Moje Bednoje Serdtse - (Tango) 3:15
13. Karije Otschi - (Ukrainian Folksong) 3:11
14. Marfuscha (Foxtrott) 3:02
15. Vino Ljubwi - (Tango) 2:53
16. Loschadki - (Foxtrott) 3:14
17. Pesn Gitary - (Romance) 2:59
18. Ja By Tak Chotel Ljubit - (Tango) 3:12
19. Koletschko - (Romance) 3:27
20. Andrjuscha (Foxtrott) 2:52
21. Osennij Mirasch - (Tango) 2:58
22. Aljescha (Foxtrott) 2:52
23. Moje Posledneje Tango - (Tango) 3:09

Total Time: 71:07


Recorded 1931, 1934, 1935 & 1937 in Berlin, London and Riga
Mastered and restored at Misiak Mastering, Hamburg
Release date: 20th of October, 2005

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