Belarus' President Alyaksandr Lukashenko, pop icon
Last week, the performance of the Belarusian group RockerJoker was unexpectedly canceled at the festival of independent Belarusian culture in Poznan, Poland. The reason was the group's song "Sanya Will Stay with Us," which it performed on the eve of the 2010 presidential election in Belarus. Alyaksandr Lukashenka followed up on his disputed reelection by violently cracking down on peaceful protesters and jailing many of the opposition candidates.
The Polish organizers of the festival said that the song was about Lukashenka ("Sanya" is the Belarusian nickname for Alyaksandr) and that the group supported his campaign. During his 18 years as president, Lukashenka has been the hero of many songs, and not only in Belarus. Here are seven songs about the man once dubbed "Europe's last dictator."
1.) The public in Belarus continues to debate whether this song is just a joke, or made to order. During the 2010 campaign, the RockerJoker song was ordered played on most Belarusian FM radio and public TV stations, and it topped the official charts (although it's hard to tell if "Sanya" himself much likes it).
RockerJoker: "Sanya Will Stay With Us"
Father asked you to stay with us.
If Sanya will stay with us,
Everything will be OK!
Sanya, stay with us!
We cannot be by ourselves, we cannot.
Sanya, stay with us, Sanya.
I'm with you.
2.) One response to RockerJoker's hit was performed by the popular Russian radio anchors Murzilki International and broadcast by the Russian station Autoradio just ahead of the December 2010 vote.
Murzilki International: "Song About Sanyechka"
"Song About Sanyechka" is sung to the tune of the popular Soviet song "Ah, Tanya, Tanya, Tanyechka," and was a hit on the Belarusian Internet as well.
He wants to stay in his position for a fourth term.
Soon Belarusians will go to the polling stations,
And give their votes for Sanyechka because of his mustache.
He doesn't want to be friends with Vovochka [Russian leaders Vladimir Putin] and Dimochka [Dmitry Medvedev].
He is swearing, kicking, spitting,
Over there, that's what they call leading the country.
3.) This rap track appeared a year after the 2010 election, during a fairly routine conflict between Lukashenka and Russian leaders. In its various versions, this song got over 1 million views on YouTube. The Russian group Ilich openly mocks Lukashenka as they portray him appealing to the Russian authorities for more gas and oil deals.
Ilich: "Give Us Gas"
The group says in the video description, "All the characters are
fictional, all the matches are random." But the light-hearted disclaimer
didn't spare them Lukashenka's wrath -- Ilich has been banned in
Potatoes, squash, carrots, and no money.
Oh! I said already,
That in general we need a little bit of gas to make people love me.
In short, I said that the problem is resolved already
You, Vovka, tell Dima for me.
GIVE ME GAS to failure!
Why are YOU so greedy!
GIVE ME GAS to failure!
Finally, when Lukashenka understands that he will not get gas from Russia, he tries to call the EU and NATO, with no success.
Hello, this is the president of NATO. Belorussia, **** you....
4.) Syabry has been very popular since Soviet times, and they've changed their politics often. The song "Listen to Father" was presented to the public on March 8, 2006 -- 11 days before the 2006 presidential election. Belarusian State TV broadcast the concert live and the song got a lot of airplay.