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15 Mar, 2010 05:21

“Trololo man” becomes Internet sensation

A Soviet hit composed almost half a century ago has become the latest craze on the Internet, after nearly 2 million people watched the vintage video clip featuring Soviet crooner Eduard Khil performing his golden oldie.

From Kansas City to London, from Canada to Philippines – fans from around the globe have recently been responding to it, begging the 75 year-old baritone, Khil, to go on a world concert tour with his unorthodox hit, "I Am So Happy to Finally Be Back Home".

An official petition has even been launched and published on Facebook, referring to Eduard Khil as the “Trololo man”, and urging the singer to go on a tour with his “greatest song ever”.

Eduard Khil says the news of his global popularity was as much of a surprise for him as a snowfall in the middle of July.

“I found out about it from my 13-year-old grandson. He walked into the room humming the song – and I asked him: why are you singing it? He says: grandpa you're home drinking tea here, in the meantime everyone is singing your song on the internet,” he recalls.

Khil's signature style and optimism have proved infectious to the point where the Oscar-winning star of “Inglorious Basterds”, Austrian actor Christoph Waltz, performed his version of the Soviet hit when he recently appeared on the Jimmy Kimmel show.

The song is an evergreen, but in fact, it is called a “vocalization”, i.e., singing without words.

Khil told Russian online source Life News that initially the song was meant to go with the following lyrics: “I'm riding my mustang horse on the prairie, while my beloved Mary is a thousand miles away knitting my socks…” But in Soviet times, such lyrics would not have survived the harsh censorship, so Khil and the composer of the song, Arkady Ostrovsky, decided to get rid of any words at all.

“The song is very naughty – and since there are no words in it, it had to have something special to attract listeners, which is why it features a very interesting arrangement,” Khil was quoted as saying.

In an interview with “Komsomolskaya Pravda” newspaper, Eduard Khil told more about the song and his reaction to its sudden popularity.

Despite the fact that Khil’s "I Am So Happy to Finally Be Back Home" has attracted such attention around the world, not so many people abroad know that he was a legend of the Soviet stage. The handsome, charming man with a remarkable baritone was a top voice on the radio. His songs filled the streets from open windows… And it was not only “Trololo” that he sang…

After winning the International Youth Festival in Berlin in 1973, Eduard Khil went on a global tour, visiting 80 countries worldwide.

In the late 1980s – hard times for the Soviet state – Khil traveled to Europe and the US, performing for the Russian immigrants there: songs still beloved, halls still fully packed. Greater popularity came to Khil in Paris, with his shows at the “Rasputin” cabaret. There, in the French capital, his first CD “Le Temps de L'Amour” was released.

Some of his hits that excited the hearts of young Soviet ladies back in ’60s and ’70s are “Where the Fatherland Begins”, “Winter”, “At a Nameless Height”, “The Song Goes Round”, “Lumbermen”, “Moon Stone” and many more.