Thursday, November 17, 2005

Gremlins on the Volga River?

Like many people, I occasionally watched Bug Bunny cartoons while growing up. One that I always remembered was called "Russian Rhapsody," where little Russian gremlins chop up Hitler's plane, all the while singing "We are gremlins from the Kremlin..." in a rather catchy tune.

Over the summer, I was watching a British TV show called "Ray Mears' Extreme Survival" where this guy named, surprisingly, Ray Mears shows how to survive in random places around the world without any real tools, food and so on. One of these episodes was on how to survive in the Belarus forests. Along the way, he told the story of a group of Jewish partisans who fought the Nazis in those forests. At some point in the show, I noticed that the background music was the tune of "Gremlins from the Kremlin," in choral form!!! I couldn't imagine why the BBC would want to use a Loony Tunes tune in a serious pseudo-documentary about the partisans. So I figured that Carl W. Stalling, the music person for Russian Rhapsody, must have made use of an already existing song. But what song was it?

After much Google searching, I discovered that the Gremlins are singing a song that is based off of a combination of two Russian folk songs: "Song of the Volga Boatmen" and "Dark Eyes."

Now, for your listening pleasure this blog is proud to present, in convenient MP3 form (please right click and save the files to your computer):
Gremlins from the Kremlin (6.04 MB)
Ray Mears' Version of Song of the Volga Boatmen (1.74 MB)
Red Star Army Chorus' Version of Song of the Volga Boatmen (3.49 MB)
Red Star Army Chorus' Version of Dark Eyes (4.2 MB)

And, for your viewing pleasure, in convenient (104.2 MB) .mov form [thanks to Area 77]:
Russian Rhapsody

Finally, I would like to point out that the
Song of the Volga Boatmen works well for Lecha Dodi.


  1. wow.. hehe, u actually found it (them).. :)
    thx for mentioning me ;)

  2. Congratulations. All those hours of searcching finally paid off.

  3. An impressive bit of research. Well done.