I first heard this song not in its original form but as a Russian language “remix” by Sergej Minaev, whose repertoire in late 80’s consisted largely of jocular takes on popular “foreign” songs. Not translations to any degree, his numbers normally used only a key refrain or an image from the original song to make it appear to the non-English-speaking masses as being a Russian version of the original. The music was entirely expropriated. Among the songs that I have already posted in this series that Minaev thus “parodied” were Modern Talking’s Brother Louie, Gipsy Kings’ Bamboleo, Kaoma’s Lambada, Status Quo’s In the Army Now, plus many others, all the way to Deep Purple’s Smoke on the Water.
The Violin was different. First of all, it was not a funny number, but rather an emotional piece. Second, its lyrics had absolutely nothing to do with those of Careless Whisper, except a faintest connotation of a loss.
If I have to think of a reason why George Michael’s song stands out as a reminder of my high school years, that must be it. Every time I hear it, I can’t help but think back to Minaev’s version, and then invariably recall something about my teens. Regardless of the reasons, though, it is one of my favorite melodies.
For anyone interested in what Minaev’s version sounded like – I’m sure my Russian readers will enjoy it considerably more than the rest of my audience – I’m including that as well.