Rasputin Music


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Boney M's song "Rasputin", which I like, has a verse melody that is taken from a Turkish folk song called variously "Kâtibim", "Üsküdar'a Gider İken", "Uskudara Giderken", or "Uska Dara". Boney M denies this.

I put a comment about the Turkish folk song onto the "Rasputin" Wikipedia page in February 2019, with a link to a YouTube version of the song as sung by Eartha Kitt in 1953. On 2021-March-24 I noticed that my comment had been removed.

While investigating this, I found that someone else had put a link to an Eartha Kitt version onto the Wikipedia page in 2012, and that also had been removed, long before I added my comment. Very suspicious.

If you listen to any of Eartha Kitt's versions, the melody similarity will be unmistakable. Consider also her spoken phrase "Oh, those Turks", which is directly echoed by Boney M when he says "Oh, those Russians".

Eartha Kitt's 1953 version of "Uskudara Giderken" on YouTube (opens new window)

Note: The melody for the chorus of "Rasputin" comes from somewhere else.

Note: Eartha Kitt learned the song in Istanbul in 1951. "Kâtibim" means secretary or clerk. "Üsküdar" is a district in Istanbul.

Note: There is a suggestion that the song was composed by "Tanburi Kušuk Artin, a musician of Armenian origin, in the 18th century".

Note: There are suggestions that the melody might in turn have been inspired by a melody from the Indian sub-continent.

Note: From wherever it began, the melody has spread to multiple cultures.




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