War Song: Farewell Cadets – English Translation Of Окуджава – Проводы Юнкеров

Translation of one of Bulat Okudzhava’s popular songs into English. If this is your first time listening to this song, here is how the original sounds:

It’s an interesting way to honor the military by showing the good and the bad, and the naive and what people learn in hindsight. This song is gentle, yet it doesn’t hold back and has beautiful lyrics. This is a good song for Veteran’s day or Memorial Day. This is a song about the military.

English lyrics for this war song:


Our life is just a game.

Played by someone else…

Parade uniforms – joyful horses.

Oh dear cadets, kids yesterday

Today disappeared into battle

Oh dear cadets, kids yesterday

Tonight won’t come back from battle


Gentlemen cadets, who were you yesterday?

Without an officer’s title.

Oh you can still recall but hurts to recall

River strolls holding hands with your lady.


We’re parting with a regimental hurrah!

But the farewells don’t cost very much.

In the first world war, only cannons have worth.

As another man comforts your lady.


Our life is a game. Bayonet charge, hurrah!

Now our trenches are empty and frozen.

Gentlemen cadets, in love yesterday

You’ll remain romantics forever