Most Popular Russian Folk Songs

These songs were born more than a century ago. But even today they are included in the repertoires of more and more Russian performers, appear in movies, are played on the radio and simply performed by friends at a campfire. 


Today there are reports that the song was written by Ivan Larionov about 150 years ago. The song’s popularity in Russia and abroad is explained by the fact that it is included in the repertoires of many different music groups. The popularity of the song is so great that the title “Kalinka-Malinka” has become a common name of Russian restaurants abroad.

Perhaps, this is the most famous Russian “folk” song:

Oh, not the Evening

This song is also called a Cossack’s romance. According to a legend, the lyrics of the song were dreamed by Stepan Razin (Stenka Razin) – the leader of the Cossack uprising in southern Russia in the pre-empire period.

There was a Birch Tree in the Field

This Russian folk round song was known at least 2.5 centuries ago, when it became part of the collection of Russian folk songs, but most likely it was born even before that. The music theme of the song was popular among Russian and foreign composers.

Hey, Little Apple!

This song is performed like a ditty (folk rhymed proverbs), and the words are often changed by the performer.

The most common ditty:

“Hey, little apple, but where are you rolling to?

You will get in my mouth – and will never come out!”

Or, for example, here is a naughty version of the ditty:

“Hey, little apple, you are on a plate,

My wife bores me – I’ll go find a young girl.”

The tune of “Hey, little apple” is used in a famous sailors dance:


A brave Russian soldiers’ song, performed in the ranks of soldiers:

On the Murom Path

This Russian folk song tells the story of love and loyalty, and is often performed during feasts:

Here is Someone Coming down the Hill

This Russian folk song is also popular at weddings and celebratory feasts.

A verse from the song:

Here, someone is coming down the hill,

Perhaps, it is my beloved coming.

He is wearing khaki service shirt,

And it drives me crazy.


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