Moscow: Muz. sektor gos. izd-va, 1925. 28,  pp.: ill., musical sheets. 17.5x13 cm. In original illustrated publisher’s wrappers. Wrappers rubbed and soiled, big stain on the front cover, otherwise very good and internally clean.
First edition. Scarce. A collection of some of the most popular Russian songs and limericks.
The history of traditional folk limericks (chastushki) dates back to the mid-19th century when the first satirical songs began to appear in Russian villages. Originally chastushki were viewed as a form of folk entertainment, not intended to be performed on stage; yet, following the establishment of Soviet rule, the limerick got its second breath. Becoming one of the strongest instruments of Communist propaganda, chastushki covered a wide spectrum of topics, from lewd jokes and political satire to anti-religious thematics.
Increasing popularity of the limericks in the 1920s Soviet Union was much influenced by the famous Russian and Soviet singer Olga Kovaleva (1881-1962). Six years after graduating from the Music classes of the Saratov branch of the Russian Musical Society, Kovaleva prepared a concert program with chastushki in 1912. Becoming one of the first Soviet singers to perform the limericks on stage, Olga conducted numerous tours both in the USSR and abroad (Sweden, Norway, Finland, France, Germany). From 1924 she worked as a soloist of the All-Union Radio and was awarded the title of People’s Artist of the RSFSR.
Printed in 1925, the edition features 25 songs and limericks organized in accordance with the following sections: New Way of Life, Ditties, and Old Way of Life. The first section includes 9 songs mostly dedicated to such topics as revolution, komsomol, little octobrists, etc. Two other sections comprise 16 songs and limericks on anti-religion, love, village, and themes from everyday life. All of the songs are accompanied with corresponding music sheets. As stated in the preface, the edition encompasses some of the most popular songs and limericks of the time, most of which were previously performed by the author on tours.
The remarkable wrapper design showing hut reading room and village singers serves as a mix of the new Soviet and old Russian ways of life.
Overall, an extremely rare and interesting document of the Russian oral folk art.
No copies found in Worldcat.