28 Oct 2015

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin Sings Louis Armstrong's Version Of “Blueberry Hill” For Children’s Cancer Research

By Brent Van Arsdell: You’ve just gotta love what some politicians are willing to do for a good cause. Take Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, for example. When the cause was a benefit concert for children’s cancer research in St. Petersburg, he picked up the microphone and sang the Louis Armstrong version of “Blueberry Hill” . . . in English!

When the show’s emcee asked him to sing, he didn’t want to at first, but she finally talked him into it.
Then he sat down at the piano, tapped out the tune and sang the melody. Unfortunately, his microphone was turned off.
Then the band picked up the tune, so Putin walked to center stage, where he started to sing.
He had Maceo Parker’s excellent jazz band with some back-up singers accompanying him, so when you watch this YouTube video, you can’t always tell exactly how he sounds.
But where you can hear him clearly, he’s definitely on key and having a good time!

Hollywood Stars Came to Russia

The Hollywood crowd jetted off to St. Petersburg to support this benefit concert in full force.
When this video cuts away from Putin, you’ll first see Gérard Depardieu, then Kurt Russell with Goldie Hawn, then Kevin Costner.
The Russia Times reported that Mickey Rourke, Sharon Stone, Vincent Cassel, Monica Belucci, Ornella Muti, and other stars were there too.
The stars all looked as though they were having a wonderful time. I bet that at least some of them took time to learn some Russian before they settled into their private jets for the flight to St. Petersburg!

Putin Learned “Blueberry Hill” as Part of His English Studies

Putin is obviously a native speaker of Russian, but he also speaks good German because he lived and worked in Germany for several years.
Now he’s learning English. Apparently he’s learning popular American songs as part of his method for learning English.
What a great idea!

How to Learn a Russian Song

Say, for example, that you’re a big Hollywood star and you’re going to meet the president of Russia at a charity event. You just might want to learn some popular songs in Russian, in case you get a chance to sing with him.
According to the Russia Times, something like this actually happened:
When the concert was over, Putin took Sharon Stone by the arm and, together with other guests, they went on stage to sing a Russian song about cosmonauts, “Grass Near Home.”
I bet Sharon Stone wished she knew more Russian songs!

Here’s a famous Russian song for both you and Sharon Stone to learn. It’s called, “If You Don’t Have an Aunt,” and it’s been turned into an easy Russian lesson.
To hear the song, first click on the button labeled

“Play Complete Lesson Soundtrack or Video.”
Below that, you can click to hear the Russian words pronounced both slowly and at normal speed. You can also read the Russian text and both a literal translation and a good translation in English.
To try it, click on If You Don’t Have an Aunt.
This song is from a classic Russian movie called, “The Irony of the Fates.” This movie is a popular love story that’s played all over Russia every New Year’s Eve.
Putin would definitely know this song.
You should too!


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