Irina Krug

Irina Krug (Ирина Круг) is a Russian singer, and the widow of Russian shanson singer-songwriter Mikhail Krug (Михаил Круг).

Born in Chelyabinsk, Krug was interested in music and theater from a young age, but it took a while for her musical and theatrical career to kick off—she worked as a waitress initially. She met Mikhail Krug when he came to her restaurant after a concert, and she was charged with taking special care of him. He offered her work almost on the spot—but she refused, saying she had a young child and couldn’t leave Chelyabinsk. A few months later, though, she became Krug’s costume manager. She moved to Tver’ to be with him and they married soon after. Mikhail was murdered only a year later, in 2002, in what was deemed a home invasion. Irina and their children were also home at the time, but they managed to get away.

After Mikhail’s death, Irina began her own musical career, which started out as a tribute to him. She recorded an album in 2004, The First Autumn of Separation (Первая осень разлуки), in which she sang duets with Leonid Teleshov (Леонид Телешов), a close friend of Mikhail’s. Irina won the Shanson of the Year award for Discovery of the Year. In 2006 she released her next album, For You, My Last Love (Тебе, моя последняя любовь), featuring songs and music by and in some cases also performed by Mikhail—Irina had found recordings for an unfinished album after Mikhail’s death. Many of the songs became extremely popular on Russian charts.

After this, Irina’s career deviated from its original focus, as she released more albums of new music. She has recorded solo albums and albums in collaboration with fellow shanson artist Aleksey Bryantsev (Алексей Брянцев). As of now, she has released a total of 10 albums and has won several shanson awards, for both her singing and her fashion sense. Her 2013 album, Chanel (Шанель), is considered part of the genre of women’s shanson or women’s pop. Her most recent, Absolute Love (Матёрая любовь), appeared in 2015.

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“For You, My Last Love” (“Тебе, моя последняя любовь”), from Irina’s 2006 album:

Lyrics for “Тебе, моя последняя любовь”:

Тебе моя последняя любовь
Ложу в конверт,
Чуть пожелтевший снимок
Наивный взгляд
Приподнятая бровь
И губ незацелованных изгибы
Храни его на письменном столе
Где ноты неоконченных мелодий
Скажи всегда ревнующей жене
Её причёска,вот уж год не в моде

Проигрыш.

И давность фото явно подтвердит
Загадка глаз как у Марины Влади

Что этой девочки давно потерян след
А фото так,из юности привет
Храни его на письменном столе
Где ноты неоконченных мелодий
Скажи всегда ревнующей жене
Её причёска,вот уж год не в моде

Соло.

Храни его на письменном столе
Где ноты неоконченных мелодий
Скажи всегда ревнующей жене
Её причёска,вот уж год не в моде

 

“Absolute Love” (“Матёрая любовь”), from Irina’s most recent album:

Lyrics for “Матёрая любовь”:

Хочу любовь матёрую с невинными глазами
Люблю не молодого с седыми волосами
Ты не умеешь тихо, ты любишь свою боль
Моя любовь охрипла, позволь любить, дозволь

Я люблю твои ладони, твой тигровый взгляд
Я нашла тебя в июле сотню лет назад
Нашла скупые ливни, нашла грозу
Матёрый мой, я тебя люблю

Люблю твой взгляд усталый, не бойся, не проси
Моя любовь искала те жгучие дожди
Жила я, догорая, казалось, что люблю
Надеялась, гадала, я без тебя умру

Я люблю твои ладони, твой тигровый взгляд
Я нашла тебя в июле сотню лет назад

Нашла скупые ливни, нашла грозу
Матёрый мой, я тебя люблю

Ты же знаешь свою силу, мою страсть
До конца дозволь дойти мне и не дай упасть

Я люблю твои ладони, твой тигровый взгляд
Я нашла тебя в июле сотню лет назад
Нашла скупые ливни, нашла грозу
Матёрый мой, я тебя люблю

Я люблю твои ладони, твой тигровый взгляд
Я нашла тебя в июле сотню лет назад
Нашла скупые ливни, нашла грозу
Матёрый мой, я тебя люблю

 

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Julie is currently studying Russian as a Second Language in Irkutsk (and before that, Bishkek) with SRAS's Home and Abroad Scholarship program, with the goal of someday having some sort of Russia/Eurasia-related career. She recently got her master’s degree from the University of Glasgow and the University of Tartu, where she studied women’s dissent in Soviet Russia. She also has a bachelor’s degree in literature from Yale. Some of her favorite Russian authors are Sorokin, Shishkin, Il’f and Petrov, and Akhmatova. In her spare time Julie cautiously practices martial arts, reads feminist websites, and taste-tests instant coffee for her blog.