The original was created as "Leningrad Nights" by composer Solovyov-Sedoi and poet Matusovsky in 1955, but changed at the request of the Ministry of Culture for use in a documentary about a national athletic competition. The tune was subsequently popularized in the West, in the middle of the Cold War era, by Van Cliburn in 1958, and recorded with commercial success by Kenny Ball and the Jazzmen, and the Chad Mitchell Trio in the early 60s.
SONGLINKS: The parody-lyrics with accompanying chords for guitar or ukulele players are found on our lyrics blog "SILLY SONGS and SATIRE" here.
(to the tune of "Moscow Nights")
Said Byzántion’s seer,* “Constantine will found,
“In clean-shaven West, ‘barbarians’ storm the gates,
“Things take a bad turn with the Fourth Crusade,