The Story of Vasa Ladački

The Story of Vasa Ladački

By Đorđe Balašević

D’ you know the story of Vasa Ladački? I admit
that only recently I myself heard it.
Once he drank for nine days in a row to drown his woe,
Everyone thought he was a queer fish…
His dad was poor indeed with seven hungry mouths to feed.
His mum was pale, quiet, sickly and frail,
She died when she was thirty something…
They had a few acres of land and a house not so grand.
Never scarce was their bread, fairly well they fed,
But Vasa wanted so much more…
He wanted horses black prancing on a green track,
A gold-chain watch and farms….
He wanted fertile fields, vineyards of lush yields,
Horses grey and a cart so gay, but couldn’t have his way.
He loved Joan, pretty, but poor, he would’ve married her
if only he’d known:
You only love once in life, a rich or a poor wife,
with heart you choose, not with mind…
He hoped in vain his love would wane.
He left the village for good.
He wrote to no one, got married to a rich one:
The single daughter of some wealthy man…
He gained horses black prancing on a green track,
A gold-chain watch and farms…
He gained fertile fields, vineyards of lush yields,
Horses grey and a cart so gay he got-he had it all,
yet he had naught.
Soon he took to drink and reached the brink.
A guest of many an inn, he sought solace in gin,
But solace he couldn’t find…
At an inn he died in his young day, his heart  gave way.
Just sagged his head but he was already dead.
Yet, his last words and will everyone recalls still:
The hell with the horses black prancing on the green track,
The hell with the gold-ring watch and farms…
The hell with the fertile fields, vineyards of lush yields,
The hell with the grey horses and the cart so gay,
When I’m not with the one I love.
When I’m not with the one I love.
When I’m not with the one I love,
Oh, when I’m not with the one I love.
D’you know the story of Vasa Ladački? I admit
that only recently I myself heard it.
Even those like him think that his life was grim,
And that he was a queer fish…

Translation from the Serbian by:
Ljiljana Parović

Priča o Vasi Ladačkom

Znate l’ priču o Vasi Ladačkom? I ja sam je tek onomad čuo.
Jednom devet dana nije izlazio iz birtije, kažu da je bio čudna sorta…
Otac mu je bio sitni paor, ‘ranio je sedam gladnih usti’.
Mati mu je bila plava, tiha, nežna, jektičava,
umrla je s trideset i nešto…
Imali su par jutara zemlje, malu kuću na kraju sokaka.
Na astalu navek hleba, taman tol’ko kol’ko treba,
al’ je Vasa hteo mnogo više…
Želeo je konje vrane, po livadi razigrane,
sat sa zlatnim lancem i salaše…
Želeo je njive plodne, vinograde blagorodne,
u karuce pregnute čilase, ali nije mog’o da ih ima.
Voleo je lepu al’ sirotu, uz’o bi je, samo da je znao:
voleš jednom u životu, sad bogatu il’ sirotu,
to ne bira pamet nego srce…
Sve se nad’o da će ljubav proći. Zanavek je otiš’o iz sela.
Nikad nije pis’o nikom, venč’o se sa miraždžikom,
jedinicom ćerkom nekog gazde…
Dobio je konje vrane, po livadi razigrane,
sat sa zlatnim lancem i salaše…
Dobio je njive plodne, vinograde blagorodne,
u karuce pregnute čilaše, sve je im’o ništa im’o nije.
Propio se, nije proslo mnogo, dušu svoju Đavolu je prod’o.
Znali su ga svi birtaši, tražio je spas u čaši,
ali nije mog’o da ga nađe…
Mlad je, kažu, bio i kad je umro, sred birtije, od srčane kapi.
Klonula mu samo glava, k’o da drema, k’o da spava
i još pamte šta je zadnje rek’o…
Džaba bilo konja vranih, po livadi razigranih,
džaba bilo sata i salaša…
Džaba bilo njiva plodnih, vinograda blagorodnih,
džaba bilo karuca, čilaša…
Kada nisam s onom koju volem,
kada nisam s onom koju volem.
Kad ja nisam s onom koju volem,
E, kad nisam s onom koju volem.
Znate l’ priču o Vasi Ladačkom? I ja sam je tek onomad čuo.
Čak i oni slični njemu, kada razmisle o svemu,
kažu da je bio čudna sorta…

 

 

 

 

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