So I heard this song in Pskov and then again on the train home. I was struck by the choice of the name Vova, which is convenient because it sounds similar enough to the word "love" (lyubov') to make for easy lyric-writing. But it's also short for Vladimir. As in... Putin? The song goes something like this:
Vova, you know, I love you.
I don't need anything else.
I love you, and that's the best way
To always be under your power.
Vova, I'm ready to run into a burning hut,
Or stop a wild horse,
Just so that you'd come back again –
That will be happiness!
Upon hearing it, with the references to "power" and "coming back again" (which is exactly what the Putinophiles hope Putin will do after he cools his heels for four years in the office of the Prime Minister), I asked the Russian we were with whether she thought it was about Putin. She said no. I'm not so sure, though, and from a quick Google search, at least a few Russian bloggers agree with me. Ha.
I wonder if the group's next hit will be about Dima? Actually, that would be a good idea; if they wrote the lyrics right, it could serve as a thinly-veiled reference both to Medvedev and to bemulleted pop star Dima Bilan, who's earned the status of national hero (well, sort of) for having brought Russia its first-ever victory at Eurovision last month.
That reminds me, the taxi driver who drove me to the train station in Rostov told me this joke about Putin and Medvedev:
So, after Medvedev is elected, Putin informs him that he's going to bestow on him his car, a Volga. Medvedev, who does not own a car, is rather excited about this. He eagerly takes the keys, opens the door and sits in the driver's seat, whereupon he notices that something is missing. "Where's the steering wheel?" he asks Putin.
"Oh, this?" Putin replies, holding up the wheel. "Don't you worry about that. I'm going to be the one doing the steering."
Yeah, more dark than funny. (The part about Medvedev not owning a car is a reference to the fact that when the candidates for president were disclosing their personal assets, his statement claimed he didn't own a car. Makes you look like a man of the people, you know? Of course, it turned out that his wife owned a Porsche or something.)
The taxi driver was mad that I refused to tell him a joke about Bush in return. I wanted to, but I couldn't think of one...