Manizha Russian Woman Eurovision 2021

This Russkaya zhenshchina is on fire! Manizha won Russia’s Eurovision 2021 selection on International Women’s Day with her song “Russian Woman”, an empowering anthem recounting the journey of women in Russia.

Scroll down for “Russian Woman” lyrics

Russia in Eurovision 2021: Manizha “Russian Woman”

Manizha was born in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. After the Tajik Civil War, the family relocated to Moscow. She first dipped her toe in the music business back in 2009. Performing under the name Ru.Kola. She showed great promise with tracks like “Neglect”.

In 2018, she became the first Russian artist to be given the “Deezer Next” treatment. Deezer is a French-based music streaming service and their “Next” initiative highlights the music of select artists from around the globe through increased exposure in playlists. Her current and unique sound combines soul with traditional and electric flair. Despite all the mixing and matching, in a 2018 interview with wiwibloggs, she told us her music is “super simple, music from my heart, that’s all”. She also said it honours “realness” — making her a woman of our own heart.

What do the “Russian Woman” lyrics mean?

Manizha says that “Russian Woman” covers the journey of the Russian woman over the past few hundred years. Women in Russia have gone through a lot and that’s all visible through the song’s lyrics. Manizha tells TASS that:

“The song is about the transformation of the identity of women in the last few centuries in Russia. She walked the unbelievable road from the izba [a traditional Slavic countryside dwelling] to the right to vote and be voted on (as one of the first in the world), from the factory halls to the voyages into space. She was never afraid to stand against stereotypes and take the responsibility herself.”

The song starts with a woman standing in a field. Until 1861, all Russian women worked as “serfs”, a form of slavery, on fields owned by the Russian Emperor. In fact, most women still worked in the fields until the industrial revolution properly came to Russia in the 1920s. They often suffered from hunger and illnesses due to poor working conditions.

In Russian, the word for “field” and “battlefield” are synonymous. War has also played a huge role in the life of the Russian women of the 20th century. During both WWI and WWII, many families broke apart due to the husband or father dying on the front. Often, Russian women only knew their husband or father had died when the ship or train carrying their regiment came back without them.

Some Russian Eurovision fans have also interpreted the line “We are waiting for a ship” to be a cross-reference to the classic Russian fairytale Scarlet Sails. In that story, a young woman waits for a ship with a prince to pick her up. In the song, Manizha sings about waiting for a ship and then standing up and leaving. In Russian, this can also mean “to get out of your bed” after a night’s sleep, realising dreams are fiction.

A newer generation of Russian women also has to deal with new problems, which Manizha discusses quite extensively in the song. In a male-centric society, Russian women still face daily discrimination about the way they dress and for their personal life choices. One of the biggest societal expectations in modern-day Russia is the ideal of a woman being extremely thin, married young, not too sexy, but not too boring either.

“Russian Woman” sees Manizha questioning society’s expectations towards women: “You’re already past 30/ Hello? Where are the children?”, “You are nice-looking overall/ But you should lose some weight”.

Logically, a lot of women do not want others to decide their life. Manizha sings for them too. In the short time between the second verse and the bridge, she speaks against those who want to dictate her life: “Now, you should bear in mind/ I don’t blame you/ But I love myself damn hard”.

In the bridge, using singing from Russian folk styles, Manizha comes back to the story of the destruction of war as well as other conflicts with men in Russia. But she tells Russian women that they are powerful, whether they work on the field, in the factories or in the offices.  She sings that a broken family won’t break them and that they are strong enough to break any wall. There’s also references to the family: “Son without father, daughter without father, but a broken family, does not break me”

Russian Woman lyrics – Manizha (Russia ESC 2021)

Lyrics and music: Manizha, Ori Kaplan, and Ori Avni

Russian text

English translation

Поле поле поле
Я ж мала
Поле поле поле
Так мала
Как пройти по полю из огня
Как пройти по полю если ты одна?
А-а-а?
Ждать ли чьей-то ручечки, ручки?
А-а-а?
Кто подаст мне ручку девочки?
Из покон веков
С ночи до утра
С ночи-ночи
Ждем мы корабля
Ждем мы корабля
Очень очень
С ночи до утра
Ждем мы корабля
Ждем бы корабля
А что ждать?
Встала и пошла.
Every Russian Woman
Needs to know
You’re strong enough, you’re gonna break the wall
Шо там хорохорится?
Ой, красавица?
Ждешь своего юнца?
Ой, красавица
Тебе уж за 30
Ало? Где же дети?
Ты в целом красива
Но вот бы похудеть бы
Надень подлиннее
Надень покороче
Росла без отца
Делай то, что не хочешь
Ты точно не хочешь?
Не хочешь?
А надо.
Послушайте, правда.
Мы с вами не стадо
Вороны пщ-щ-щ пыщ-щ-щ
Отвалите
Теперь зарубите себе на носу
Я вас не виню
А себя я чертовски люблю
Борются, борются
Все по кругу борются
Да не молятся
Сын без отца
Дочь без отца
Но сломанной Family
Не сломать меня
You gonna
You gonna break the wall
Every Russian Woman
Needs to know
You’re strong enough, you’re gonna break the wall
Every Russian Woman
Needs to know
You’re strong enough, you’re gonna break the wall
Hey, Russian woman
Don’t be afraid, girl
You’re strong enough
You’re strong enough
Don’t be afraid
Don’t be afraid
Don’t be afraid
Don’t be afraid
Борются, борются
Все по кругу борются
Да не молятся
Сын без отца
Дочь без отца
Но сломанной Family
Не сломать меня
Field, field, field
I’m so small
Field, field, field
I’m too small
How to cross a field though the fire?
How to cross the field if you’re alone?
Heeeey?
Should I wait for somebody’s little hand?
Whaaat?
Who will give me their helpful hand, girls?
For ages now
From night till dawn
From the deepest of the night
We are waiting for a ship
We are waiting for a ship
Very very much
From night till dawn
We are waiting for a ship
We are waiting for a ship
Very very much
But what’s the wait?
Stand up, go ahead!
Aha, aha!
Every Russian woman
Needs to know
You’re strong enough to bounce against the wall
What’s the showing off for?
Oh, what a beauty you are!
Are you waiting for your young fella?
Oh, what a beauty you are!
You’re over 30 already!
Hello? Where are your kids?
You are quite fine overall
But losing weight would do you good
Wear it a bit longer
Wear it a bit shorter
Grew up without a father?
Do what you don’t want to!
Are you sure you don’t want it?
Don’t want it?
You should!
Listen up, really!
We ain’t a herd
Hey, crows, shoo!
Leave me alone
Now learn it by heart:
I don’t blame you
But damn do I love myself
They fight, always fight
Everyone around is fighting
But they never pray
Son without a father
Daughter with no father
But this broken family
Can’t break me
Every Russian Woman
Needs to know
You’re strong enough, you’re gonna break the wall
Every Russian Woman
Needs to know
You’re strong enough, you’re gonna break the wall
Hey, Russian woman
Don’t be afraid, girl
You’re strong enough
You’re strong enough
Don’t be afraid
Don’t be afraid
Don’t be afraid
Don’t be afraid
They fight, always fight
Everyone around is fighting
But they never pray
Son without a father
Daughter with no father
But this broken family
Can’t break me

What do you think of “Russian Woman”? Will Manizha make it to the final? Tell us in the comment section below.

Additional reporting by Luis and Dayana.

Read more Eurovision 2021 lyrics.

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Safiya
Safiya
10 days ago

Love it! And as a woman I agree with some comments below – THIS is the feminist entry that seems the most genuine and relatable to me

Davidinho
Davidinho
13 days ago

I am presenting below a version that better keeps the meaning of the lyrics: All around is a field And I’m so small. All around is a field But I’m so small. How should I cross the field of fire? How should I cross the field if I am alone? Ah-ah-oh-oh Should I wait for someone to offer me his hand? Ah-ah-oh-oh Who will give me his hand, girls? For centuries We are waiting for our ship. From night to dawn We are waiting for a ship. From night, from night We are waiting for a ship — Truly, truly!… Read more »

Azaad
Azaad
13 days ago

It’s sonically not entirely my cup in tea (I love the lamenting chorus though) but I really appreciate the lyrics. This may not be Russia’s objectively best entry, but it’s certainly their most original and genuine.

Ant
Ant
13 days ago

Hey, thank you for the article! I have a few suggestions for your translation: “How do I cross a field OF fire?” “To wait for someone’s kind/helping hand, hand?”, Russian loves using diminutives but it doesn’t necessarily imply that a hand is little, it’s just an affectionate “cute” way of speaking “Stand up and get going!” rather than “She stood up and left.”, it’s a command here “Who’s acting all cheeky there? Oh, a beauty.” (it’s like, who’s making the noise? ah nevermind it’s just a pretty girl being silly) I feel like “piss off” is a bit too rude… Read more »

Davidinho
Davidinho
13 days ago
Reply to  Ant

Agree with all comments above, also,
7. “You and I are not a flock of crows…”
Actually crows is not in genetive case and for birds the word “?????” is not used in Russian. Therefore these two rows are not connected. A better translation would be:
“You and I are not just a herd.
Hey crows – kraa-kraa-kraa – go away!”

Hellooooo
Hellooooo
13 days ago

She already wanted to represent Russia in 2019, and now she has delivered such an unique song with sense and purpose, not just random syaing or putting woman before than men. Brilliant!

Dawid
Dawid
14 days ago

That’s how you make an empowerment song. Not “you are great, while/because others are awful”. Just “you are great”. It’s that simple.

Sabrina
Sabrina
14 days ago

Though we’re having a bunch of female empowerment songs in Eurovision lately, these lyrics are possibly the most feminist to date, dealing with several important subjects for Russian women like Manizha, but also for women all around the world. The local culture references are very clever too. I’ll be rooting for her to do well in Rotterdam.

kohen
kohen
14 days ago

I bet she will be in the top 3 on March 22

Alonso
Alonso
14 days ago
Reply to  kohen

wish her good luck!

Alonso
Alonso
14 days ago

Manizha, a brave independent and strong woman, she deserves our respect and support. I will pray for her qualify and big success!

A R
A R
14 days ago

The formula of the song is quite similar to Netta’s song “Toy”. A very strong message. If you want to make people hear you, you have to perform the song in a funny and crazy way, so people would be attracted by the music. I imagine, if it were a boring ballad (Jamala is an exception), no one would pay attention to this. We’ll see the results.

Dawid
Dawid
14 days ago
Reply to  A R

Not even close. Netta was passive agressive af. Manizha is as possitive as you can get.

Jonas
Jonas
14 days ago
Reply to  A R

Netta was singing about men, to men – Manizha is singing about women, to women.

Roman
Roman
14 days ago

Dear Manizha, just do what you wanna do no matter what. You are brilliant, you move people, quietly and on point, to analyze, to rethink. Without storming, yelling. Amazing.
Lyubim tebya:-*

Last edited 14 days ago by Roman
Elsa
Elsa
14 days ago

Manizha is beautiful and cool but that is not a song. Come back with a song!

Una
Una
14 days ago

This is a serious entry. Wow. Massive fan here. Massive fan of the song. This is the real angle on feminism, not the childish acts promoted so heavily. *Very well done, Manizha*.

Peter Van Tszai
Peter Van Tszai
14 days ago

Very incredible song from Manizha!??? And the only thing that is missing is the music video of it so that I can have even deep impression and more understand About this unique song!

Mws
Mws
14 days ago

🙂 I love the Russian thinking in sending such a style of contestant. The strategy is perfect. Well played Russia 🙂

Davidinho
Davidinho
14 days ago
Reply to  Mws

You mean 39% of the voters were thinking strategically?

raylee
raylee
14 days ago

You’re an amazing person Manizha so proud of you ! Thanks for all the things you did for refugees , LGBT rights , and others… I’m so glad that you are Goodwill Ambassador of the UN.. Also the song is crazzzzzyy i am gonna pray for it to qualify

Last edited 14 days ago by raylee
Samo
Samo
14 days ago

This is the first Russian entry I’m actually rooting for. Go girl!

Hellooooo
Hellooooo
13 days ago
Reply to  Samo

Saaaaaame, I didn’t like any of their entries since 2015

Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
14 days ago

I don’t know much about feminism, but if there is anyone who can really, truly, believably claim to have a feminist entry this year, it’s Manizha. I love it. I see her as the promising leader out of Kirkorov hell. She needs to do well, so Russia stays on the right Eurovision path.

Last edited 14 days ago by Mr Vanilla Bean
Tom
Tom
14 days ago

Russia send a song with identity after a long time
Manizha deserves to be in the TOP 5

Last edited 14 days ago by Tom
Alo
Alo
14 days ago

I have never been such a fan for a Russian entry. During the last decade I hated the cheesiness of their songs, but this is just brilliant!
The music, singer, lyrics are on point.

kir
kir
14 days ago

I know there’s a bunch of absolutely stupid critique here in Russia, but I have to say as a Russian citizen.

“Everyone around prays, but they don’t fight” would have been so much more accurate considering the rise of ostentatious Orthodox belief and the lackadaisical attitude of the majority of Russians.

All in all, Manizha is great and brave. Rooting for Russian entry for the first time in forever.

Kpow
Kpow
13 days ago
Reply to  kir

Do you think that all those Orthodox Russians are really praying? All they do is getting offended by literally anything.