Leningrad's new song about drinking in St. Petersburg wins praise from city tourism official
A St. Petersburg city official has publicly thanked the music group Leningrad for its latest song, “In Peter, You Drink.” Viktor Kononov, the head of the city's Tourism Development Committee, said the song will attract tourists to St. Petersburg.
According to Kononov, whatever someone's attitude about Leningrad's song, listeners are overcome with the desire to visit St. Petersburg, after hearing it. “You don't have to get up to everything that happens in the song, but it does make you want to see for yourself that here in St. Petersburg there's everything: monuments, museums, restaurants, events, and festivals for all tastes and all ages,” Kononov said.
Below, Meduza offers a stylized English-language translation of the Russian lyrics in Leningrad's song. (This translation compromises on some of the song's meaning, in order to preserve some of the song's rhyming.)
We've got a lot of cities here in Russia,
You couldn't count them on your toes.
Every year they get a little prettier,
Buried in the sunlight and the snows.
In Rostov the hash is quality.
The size will blow your mind.
In Moscow it's fucking coke.
In Chelyabinsk you just get high, you find.
But in Peter, you drink!
In Peter, you drink!
In Peter, by liters, you drink!
Now I've done my share of traveling.
I've done things to remember and to forget.
I even made out to Yamal,
and saw things that would make you sweat.
And despite all the shit you see,
I love my country with my heart.
This song is really about tourism,
and it's to the tourists I present this art.
Kononov said the music video would attract a younger audience most of all. “We can only thank [Leningrad frontman] Sergei Shnurov for not forgetting his native city, which really is a center for tourism,” he added.
Leningrad released the music video for “In Peter, You Drink,” on YouTube on April 30. At the time of this writing, the video has nearly 3 million views, almost 3,500 comments, and 68,200 upvotes.
Evgeny Bryun, the chief psychiatrist-narcologist of the Russian Public Health Ministry, has criticized Leningrad's song, complaining that it advocates drinking vodka. “When you hear songs like this and listen to the band Leningrad, you realize that Leningrad will never become ‘St. Petersburg.’ [...] And [the city] won't become [Russia's] cultural capital, while bands like this exist. And there's nothing that can be done about them. They're just offensive and low brow,” Bryun told the newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets.