Thomas Moore – the creator of the Russian folk song

“Poetic translations can be considered to be ideal only when they have become part of the poetry of the language into which they have been translated” – Vladimir Soloukhin

“Evening Bell” is a brilliant Russian translation of the poem “Those Evening Bells” by Thomas Moore, an Irishman by birth. This translation was made by the Russian poet, a contemporary of Alexander Pushkin, Ivan Ivanovich Kozlov. The music to the poetry of Kozlov, according to many scholars, was written by AA Alyabiev, after which “Evening Bell” became and still is one of the most loved Russian romantic songs. It is so beloved that a number of popular publications call it a traditional folk song.

Thomas Moore was an Irish Romantic poet, who was a friend of Byron and inspired Russian writers and poets. He was born in 1779 in Dublin. The future writer attended the University of Dublin. After that he continued studying in London. He was a friend of Robert Emmet, the famous republican leader, who was executed in 1803 after the defeat of his short-lived insurrection.

In 1799, Moore moved to London, where he translated Anacreon and released his first collection of poems under the pseudonym Thomas Little. The “Irish Melodies” collection was the one that brought the author most fame and it appeared in individual issues from 1808 to 1834. One of the poems in the collection was “Those Evening Bells” which was translated into Russian by the Russian poet Ivan Kozlov in 1827. The music to the translation was composed by Alexander Alyabiev. The song “Evening Bells” is popular to this day, although not all Russians know that its primary source is a poem by the Irish poet, Thomas Moore.

In addition to poetry, Moore also wrote many prose works. His most famous were biographies of Sheridan and “Letters and Diaries of Lord Byron.” In 1811, Thomas Moore married the Irish actress Elizabeth Dyke. He died in Sloperton Cottage (Wiltshire) on February 25th, 1852.

Svetlana Repina

Томас Мур. Создатель русской народной песни


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