“Love has gone by as an elephant” – I was sure that these are the exact lyrics of a popular Russian song until I was almost 10 years old. Interestingly, back than I did not notice anything strange about this phrase. Most children, including myself, have seen elephants walking proudly, but slowly and heavily along the circus arena. Why can’t love ‘go by’ in the same manner, just like an elephant?
I was very surprised to find out that the lyrics are in fact: “Love has gone by as a dream”. I was sure that ‘elephant’ is a more appropriate comparison in this case!
The matter is that Russian words ‘elephant’ and ‘dream’ differ by only one letter. Moreover, they sound similar. No wonder I confused the two as a child.
Now I realize that love CAN literally go by as an elephant. In nature, elephants can be pretty aggressive. They often damage small houses and village fences; they can even destroy some crops. Relationships (or ‘love’) cause emotional or physical damage, comparable to the one that an elephant might cause. Sometimes I still suspect that the artist chose the word ‘dream’ that could easily be confused with ‘elephant’ ON PURPOSE…
*There are several more puns that were untranslatable into English, so if you happen to know Russian, check out this version in my LiveJournal http://mariya-boyko.livejournal.com/8905.html