Rasputin (1:34)

Cover of The Definitive 70's

From The Definitive 70's and 125 other releases

“Rasputin” is a 1978 euro disco hit single by the Germany-based pop and euro disco group Boney M., the second from their album Nightflight to Venus. The song is a semi-biographical song about Grigori Rasputin, a friend and advisor of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and his family during the early 20th century. The song variously sensationalizes Rasputin as a playboy, mystical healer, and political demiurge. The tune of the song is based on Turkish song Kâtibim.

The song references Grigori Rasputin’s alleged healing of hemophiliac Tsarevich Alexei of Russia, and how this endeared him to the boy’s mother, the Tsarina Alexandra Fyodorovna (former Princess Alix of Hesse). It also claims that Rasputin was Alexandra’s paramour (“Ra Ra Rasputin: lover of the Russian queen - there was a cat that really was gone”). As “Russia’s greatest love machine”, the “Moscow chicks” thought him lovely. The song states that Rasputin’s political power overshadowed that of the Tsar himself in “all affairs of state”. When his sexual and political acts became intolerable “men of higher standing” plotted his downfall, despite the fact that “the ladies begged” them not to.

The end of the song recounts a modified version of a popular description of the events that culminated in Rasputin’s assassination, as perpetrated by Felix Yusupov, Vladimir Purishkevich, and Dmitri Pavlovich of Russia on December 16, 1916 (O.S.). Specifically, the song states that Rasputin’s assassins fatally shot him after he survived the poisoning of his wine with a very large dose of cyanide.

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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

MetroLyrics Full lyrics at MetroLyrics

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