Dark Eyes is a Russian folk song with lyrics Yevhen Hrebinka, a Ukranian poet, and music by Florian Hermann that was first published in 1884. The tune, called Valse Hommage, made the Russian lyrics into a cabaret song immensely popular with the masses before the Revolution. Interestingly enough, although Dark Eyes has often been mistakenly considered to have originated as a Gypsy air, the tune also bears a striking resemblance to parts of one of composer Franz Anton Hoffmeister's concerti.
The Russian words, transliterated in various cases as Ochi Chornye, Ochi Chornya, Ochie Chornie, or Otchi Tchorniya—among other versions!—become, in one English version, Black Eyes, passionate eyes! Jet-black beautiful eyes. Although simple lyrics have also been written for Dark Eyes in modern times, the traditional words have their own special haunting magic:
Dark eyes, passionate eyes
Burning and splendid eyes
How I love you, how I fear you …
Verily, I espied you in an ill-starred moment
Oh, not for nothing are you darker than the deep!
I see mourning for my soul in you,
I see a triumphant flame in you:
A poor heart immolated in it.
But I am not sad, I am not sorrowful,
My fate is soothing to me:
All that is best in life, God gave us.
In sacrifice I returned to the fiery eyes!
When you play this tune, you might think you hear Gypsy violins playing along. But never fear—it's only a temporary spell woven by those deep, dark eyes.
Print and Download Complete Dark Eyes Piano Sheet Music