"What I have to say": 5 facts about Vertinsky's romance

In 1917 there was a revolution - one of the darkest events in the history of Russia. Some may say that this benefited the country, but the millions of deaths during the revolution and the subsequent Civil War suggest otherwise. We recall the tragic romance of Alexander Vertinsky "What I have to say."

5 interesting facts about romance "What I have to say" Alexandra Vertinsky

Famous actor and singer Alexander Vertinsky endured many difficulties. In 1914 he voluntarily went to the front work as a nurse. The artist could not remain idle in Moscow, knowing that people were dying at the front, so he decided that he would save them.


For a year at the front, Vertinsky made more than 35 thousand dressings, and he would like to help even more wounded, but he was wounded most. After that, Alexander had to return to Moscow, where it was relatively calm. However, the artist remembered the horrors of the war for the rest of his life. He personally saw how in the war were dying not soldiers, but just boys who really didn’t want to fight. This left a huge imprint on the artist's work.

While many popular cultural figures rejoiced revolution, there were those who sang about all its horrors, about the horrors of the Civil War - the most terrible war, because on both sides of the barricades there are those who still yesterday were neighbors, friends, brothers. Vertinsky sang about what he himself experienced. For this, his work received great respect among the people and great hostility from the government that started the revolution.

Alexander Vertinsky
Alexander Vertinsky

tragic event, described in song, took place on November 26, 1917 in Moscow near the Church of the Great Ascension at the Nikitsky Gate.

On this day, Metropolitan Evlogii buried 300 Moscow cadets and students who died in battles with the Bolsheviks. Sheet music and poetry published publishing house "Progressive news". The text began with the dedication "To their blessed memory."

Facts about the song

Many stories and legends are associated with romance. Because of his fame, and also because of the courage of the author, who not afraid to write such a romance, various theories quickly began to arise around him, many of which did not correspond to the truth.

Controversy over who the song is dedicated to

After the release of the romance appeared different versions of who Vertinsky dedicated his work to. The most famous was based on memories Konstantin Paustovsky. The writer in 1918 was at the artist's performance in Kyiv. In his book eat lines like this:

"This song is about the cadets who died in Borshchagovka, about the young men who died fighting against a malicious gang."

Konstantin Paustovsky
Konstantin Paustovsky

But the battle of a group of Kiev volunteers against the Petlyura detachment, about which Paustovsky writes, took place in December 1918.

Repression because of the song

There is a legend that Alexander Vertinsky was summoned to the Cheka, headed by Dzerzhinsky, because of a romance. Artist declared:

“It’s just a song, and besides, you can’t forbid me to feel sorry for them!”

Chekist supposedly parried:

If necessary, we will forbid you to breathe.

Confirmations this fact No. But Vertinsky was indeed summoned to the Extraordinary Commission. And the phrase about "forbid breathing" in general corresponds the spirit of that time. Many artists at that time intimidated, especially for those who could undermine the "revolutionary" mood among the people.

Felix Dzerzhinsky
Felix Dzerzhinsky

Influence of the song on white soldiers

Shortly after writing the romance, Vertinsky left for the South, occupied by the Whites. Singer in Odessa Meets with General Yakov Slashchev. The military then said that "What I have to say" is extraordinary popular with his soldiers. Under it they went to die ...

Alexander Vertinsky
Alexander Vertinsky

Recording a romance in exile

While in exile, Alexander Vertinsky recorded the romance on a record by the German company Parlafon.

Performance by Grebenshchikov

“I don’t know why and who needs it” is considered one of the most significant pacifist works. The romance of Alexander Vertinsky was performed by many contemporary artists.

In the late 80s he sang a song Boris Grebenshchikov. Then the romance fit perfectly into the theme war in Afghanistan.


And in February 2014, Grebenshchikov, speaking in Smolensk, said before performing the romance:

“All the time the thought does not leave me that some people not far from us are killing others.”

A replica was heard from the hall: “Peace be upon them!” Grebenshchikov on it sad answered:

“And they don’t need him. Neither to those on one side, nor to those on the other side.


RY X - "Blood Moon" (2022): interesting facts about the album

Blood Moon" album (2022) by RY X Ry Cuming, better known under the pseudonym RY X has shared with listeners his new album, which is titled "Blood...

Magic that touches the soul: Fuzz Music magazine's Top Exciting Guitar Solos

The most heartfelt guitar solos of all time Often we see lists of "top guitar solos," and they no longer surprise anyone, to be frank. The best...

"Only Russia": Olga Kormukhina about life, love, and Alla Pugacheva

Olga Kormukhina: what the "native Tina Turner" thinks about - amazing facts and deep thoughts of the singer Olga Kormukhina is charismatic, wise, talented. She is our pride:.

Related Articles

Bright and extraordinary representatives of the Moscow rock lab - Part Two

Moscow Rock Lab - we continue to remember the most interesting representatives Today we continue to talk about the brightest, most extraordinary and in their own way unique bands that made the Moscow Rock Lab famous! These...

The brightest and most unorthodox representatives of the Moscow rock lab

The Moscow Rock Lab - Let's Remember the Most Interesting Representatives Often "scouring" the Internet, you come across the already legendary phrase: "Leningrad Rock Club". It consisted of many iconic national...

James Vincent McMorrow - "The Less I Knew" (2022): Everything about the album

The Less I Knew" (2022) album by James Vincent McMorrow James Vincent McMorrow has shared with listeners his new album, called "The Less I Knew"...

Interesting facts about R.E.M. legends

R.E.M. - what you didn't know about the legendary band The band R.E.M. has had a great influence - it is rightly considered one of the most important in...

"Vice" is already here - how the participants' fate turned out

Beware of the Vice: a look back at one of the most flamboyant Russian bands of the 90s. This female duet went down in history as the most flamboyant in the domestic scene of the 90's! "Police ...

"Welcome to Picnic" - the story of a great band

History of the band "Picnik" - the beginning of the way, creativity, phenomenon "Picnic" is one of the most unusual bands. Many listeners are surprised when they learn that its history began in...

Why We Love Jeff Beck, or Briefly Why He's a Genius

Why Jeff Beck is a legend of exciting guitar playing When Jeff Beck picks up his guitar and starts playing, we can hardly hear...

These albums almost "destroyed" their creators, but became legendary as a result

Legendary albums that almost "ruined" their creators It's unlikely that when listening to a favorite album, any of us think about how it was created. We just...

The strongest vocalists in Russian rock according to Fuzz Music magazine

We tell you about the strongest and most inimitable vocalists in Russian rock How important a role does the vocalist play in a rock band? Well, as it seems to us - almost absolute! Maybe...