Rasputin – The magic of Boney M

Time to tell the world about my induction into western music.

I was 17. Honestly, western music hadn’t made an impact on me till then.
I could only relate myself with Indian film music. Knowing the lyrics and knowing what is being sung was important to me.

My dad had a few english tapes.  Eddie Rabbit, Nana Mouskouri, Air Supply – they sounded kind of nice, but I didn’t understand what was sung any way.

Partly, because the we didn’t have a stereo system at home. There was this old Panasonic mono system with a single speaker which had to handle all the music that entered my ears. I loved it, no matter how elementary. Poor thing had stopped singing after surviving years of torture.

Then Dad decided to go stereo.  In came a brand new black coloured Philips music stereo, about 1/2 foot tall, 1/2 foot wide and as long 3 feet. I loved those flimsy red buttons on 5-band graphic equalisers.

A friend who had come to see it, suggested that I listen to Boney M on it, because Boney M had a lot of sound effects. He wasn’t much of a music buff, but wasn’t interested in the Kishore Kumar songs I was forcing on him. It was Chennai and the guy didn’t even know Hindi.

I decided to postpone Boney M, till I found suitable time for it. Soon, there was really boring movie on TV on a Saturday evening and every one in my house decided to watch it.

I knew what to do.  I locked my self in the other bed room, which had this stereo system on top of our old refigerator. Popped in Boney M and turned it on. And Lo!

Thus, began an exciting journey which has taken me places.
I remember that the cover on the cassette, said “The Magic of Boney M”.
And the magic has held me strong enough to last a life time.

I suddenly felt, I could understand what they were singing.
Rivers of Babylon almost brought tears to my eyes.
A few tracks down, was Rasputin.

I think, this is one song that has it all.
The music, the rhythm, the story, the plot and the conclusion.
Rasputin, in my opinion is the best song Boney M has ever made excluding songs on Jesus and Christmas, ofcourse.

So here is one of my early day favourites:

Lyrics to Rasputin:

Hey hey hey hey hey hey hey hey
Hey hey hey hey hey hey hey hey
Hey hey hey hey hey hey hey hey
Hey hey hey hey hey hey hey hey

There lived a certain man in Russia long ago
He was big and strong, in his eyes a flaming glow
Most people looked at him with terror and with fear
But to Moscow chicks he was such a lovely dear
He could preach the bible like a preacher
Full of ecstasy and fire
But he also was the kind of teacher
Women would desire

Ra Ra Rasputin, lover of the Russian queen
There was a cat that really was gone
Ra Ra Rasputin, Russia’s greatest love machine
It was a shame how he carried on

He ruled the Russian land and never mind the Czar
But the kasachok he danced really wunderbar
In all affairs of state he was the man to please
But he was real great when he had a girl to squeeze
For the queen he was no wheeler dealer
Though she’d heard the things he’d done
She believed he was a holy healer
Who would heal her son

But when his drinking and lusting and his hunger
for power became known to more and more people,
the demands to do something about this outrageous
man became louder and louder.

Hey hey hey hey hey hey hey hey
Hey hey hey hey hey hey hey hey
Hey hey hey hey hey hey hey hey
Hey hey hey hey hey hey hey hey

“This man’s just got to go,” declared his enemies
But the ladies begged, “Don’t you try to do it, please”
No doubt this Rasputin had lots of hidden charms
Though he was a brute they just fell into his arms
Then one night some men of higher standing
Set a trap, they’re not to blame
“Come to visit us,” they kept demanding
And he really came

Ra Ra Rasputin, lover of the Russian queen
They put some poison into his wine
Ra Ra Rasputin, Russia’s greatest love machine
He drank it all and said “I feel fine”

Ra Ra Rasputin, lover of the Russian queen
They didn’t quit, they wanted his head
Ra Ra Rasputin, Russia’s greatest love machine
And so they shot him till he was dead

{Spoken} Oh, those Russians…


One thought on “Rasputin – The magic of Boney M

  1. Yeah… I do remember the wonder of discovering Boney (M)… Accentuated by the India that was of the 1980s/1990s… Abba and Boney (M) – they always went together… well, they still do.

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