(The Cranes are Flying film poster depicting a young couple looking to the sky at the cranes; Source: Electronic Museum of Russian Poster)
The Cranes are Flying (1957) is a dramatic war time love story about a young woman who doesn’t know whether or not her beloved boyfriend is alive after being sent off to fight in World War II. One of the most powerful pieces of culutral art to come out of this award winning film was the song Cranes by Marc Barnes.
(Cranes by Marc Barnes with lyrics in English; Source: Youtube)
This song became almost a theme to the entire movie. It is such a sad but beautiful ballad that portrays a devastating time period in which men were sent to fight on the front lines leaving their loved ones behind to wonder if they were still alive or not. The lyrics of this song are sticking because of how relatable they were to the people in Russia at the time who were grieving the loss of family members. This song helped for those affected by the war to be able to remember their solders who had passed, every time they look to the sky and see cranes flying around. It also helped them remember their loved ones were looking after them still. Finally is lets them know they will see them again one day, as they will eventually become cranes also.
“Imagine for a moment that the solders
who didn’t come from gory battle places
instead of being buried in the ground
transformed themselves to snow colored cranes”
“and this is why so often and so sadly
we stop the talk and stare to the sky”
“there is a gap in their flying order
perhaps i am the one to fill the gap
the day will come when i will join the others”
In the final scene of the film the young woman looks above after learning her beloved has past and sees a group of flying cranes and is set to ease. The final scene of this movie perfectly depicts the meaning of the song Cranes.
(The final scene of The Cranes are Flying; Source: Youtube.)
November 9, 2015 @ 7:02 pm
This is truly a beautiful song. It’s interesting to note how the cranes acted as a form of symbology. While they are merely birds, they meant something completely different for loved ones waiting on their companions to return from war. Perhaps the act of “looking up” at the cranes parallels the idea of hope and “keeping one’s head up” during dark, sad times. There is hope that one day two lovers will be reunited in the sky (or heaven?).
November 9, 2015 @ 11:33 pm
“Cranes” is such a gorgeous, elegiac song. Thanks so much for writing about it. Thinking about the movie, why is the character of Veronica so complicated? How do you make sense of her decisions and what’s happening in that final scene?