Listen below to the Tetris theme song from the original version of the game released in 1984. The song is based on a popular Russian folk tune.
The song is called "Korobeiniki", which means peddlers.
The korobeiniki sold haberdashery (men's clothing), fabric, books, and other small items on the streets of Russia prior to the 1917 Revolution.
The tune itself is based on the poem "Korobeiniki" by Nikolay Nekrasov published 1861 in Pushkin's Sovermennik ("Contemporary") magazine.
The song Korobeiniki became very popular in Russia as a dance tune due to the increasing tempo and associated dance style.
Here are the lyrics translated from the Russian:
Oy, my crate is so full,
I've got chintz and brocade.
Take pity, oh sweety,
Of this lad's shoulder.
I will, I will go out into the tall rye,
I will wait there 'till the night comes,
Once I see the dark-eyed lass,
I will showcase all my goods.
I paid no small price myself,
So don't bargain or be stingy,
Bring your scarlet lips to me,
Sit closer to this fine lad.
The foggy night has already come,
The daring lad is awaiting,
Hark, it's her! The desired one has come,
The merchant is selling his goods.
Katya is haggling with care,p>Only the deep night knows,
She is afraid to pay too much,
A lad is kissing his lass,
Asking her to raise the price.
What they agreed upon,
Straighten up now, oh tall rye,
And keep their secret scrupulously!
Oy, my crate is so light,
The strap is no longer cutting into my shoulders!
And all my lass took
Was one turquoise ring.
I was surprised to find the lyrics so clever and funny. I never realized the Tetris theme song was really about a romp in the hay (rye in this case).
The song in the video above is the Type A music from the original Nintendo Game Boy version of Tetris released in 1984. Despite the many Tetris knock-offs that have many different tunes, the original Game Boy version is recognized in Western countries as the official theme song for Tetris.
Last Updated: 06/11/2020
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