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The Meaning Behind The Song: Магадан (Magadan) by Vasya Oblomov (Вася Обломов)

The Meaning Behind The Song: Магадан (Magadan) by Vasya Oblomov (Вася Обломов)


I first heard the song “Магадан” (Magadan) by Vasya Oblomov (Вася Обломов) during a casual gathering at a friend’s house. As a music technician, I was always on the lookout for unique and captivating songs. When the first chords of this song filled the room, I felt an immediate connection to its melodic beauty and profound lyrics.

The Lyrics

[Verse 1] My workplace is called cafe “У Бобра” (At The Beaver)
Every evening at 8 o’clock, I appear behind the synthesizer
I play a lot of old Soviet rubbish
Women ask for a granite stone in their chests
Men request “Vladimirsky Central”
Once, one person ordered it from me 10 times in a row
No matter how you look at it, my job is nothing special
Unlike my friend-pianist, Chief Garanyan
I have a higher musical education
My parents raised me well
But I couldn’t find a better job
Either be a chief accountant or sweep the yard
Typical program, nothing to give or take
Every day, someone gets drunk and starts bothering me
To diversify my own tracklist in some way
I decided to sing my own songs because I have a good voice
I composed a song, sometimes I sing it for the local Armenians
A song about a thief getting caught, it’s a tearful story with a simple chorus: Going to Magadan

[Chorus] Going to Magadan!
To Magadan!
Going to Magadan!
To Magadan!
Going to Magadan!

[Verse 2] The song is crap, of course, but the locals like it
They say I have talent and I should become famous
Crowds gather at the entrance of cafe “У Бобра” (At The Beaver)
Everyone waits for me, everyone greets me with cheers
The owner of “У Бобра” is pleased, the money flows like a river
He fired the session singer, raised my salary
Just sing, Vasya, just sing, Vasya!
We started selling my song as ringtones
People come to concerts in their uniforms
Magadan sounds over the Black Sea coast
I have truly risen, I’m a real guy!

[Chorus] Going to Magadan!
To Magadan!
Going to Magadan!

[Verse 3] Here I am, singing this track on request
Potanin is happy, writing me a check
He recommends me to all his oligarch friends
Did you hear? He recommends me to all his oligarch friends!
I have the song of the year! I have a golden phonograph!
I… I can’t believe my eyes, but it’s not a dream
The Minister of Culture raises his glass
And you won’t believe it: triumphantly, 3G tune from his iPhone

[Chorus] Going to Magadan!
To Magadan!
Going to Magadan!
To Magadan!
Going to Magadan!

[Bridge] But unfortunately, I remained the author of only one hit
Just one, but it’s the kind that the whole vast country knows

[Chorus] Going to Magadan!
To Magadan!
Going to Magadan!

The Meaning

“Магадан” (Magadan) is a satirical take on the chanson genre. Vasya Oblomov uses humor and irony to poke fun at the clichés and stereotypes often associated with this style of music. The song tells the story of Vasya’s mundane job at a café and his decision to sing his own songs to add variety to his monotonous routine. Through exaggerated self-praise and exaggerated success, Vasya highlights the absurdity of the music industry and its obsession with commercial success.

The chorus “Еду в Магадан” (Going to Magadan) serves as a metaphor for Vasya’s desire for a better life or a place where he can escape from the confines of his current situation. Magadan, a remote city in Russia, symbolizes a distant and unknown destination where dreams and aspirations can be fulfilled. While the lyrics may seem lighthearted, there is a deeper layer of social commentary on the struggles of pursuing a career in the arts and the inauthenticity of fame and recognition.


“Магадан” by Vasya Oblomov is a clever and catchy song that uses humor and wit to critique the chanson genre. It brings attention to the limitations and stereotypes within the music industry while also reflecting on the longing for something more meaningful in life. Its popularity among both lovers and critics of chanson is a testament to its ability to be both entertaining and thought-provoking. So, next time you find yourself searching for a unique song with a deeper meaning, give “Магадан” a listen and take a trip to the world of Vasya Oblomov.


Written By: Vasya Oblomov (Вася Обломов)
Album: Повести и Рассказы (Stories and Tales) (2011)
Release Date: May 10, 2010

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