The name of Tukay means a whole epoch in the intellectual development of the Tatar people, its literature, art and the whole culture making....

 Indus  TAGIROV  Tukai and tatar motives 

The Tatar music — music of the ancient Turks. They have absorbed the feelings of ancient ancestors who lived in the vast steppes. No wonder, even the Chinese had recognized them, even more — they spread them to the Far East, bringing up to the Japanese islands.


Why can’t Russian people, living for hundreds years near the Tatars absorb these motives? No, I am not questioning the Russian musical culture. But no doubt that the ancient Russian songs have something in common with the Tatar motives.


Tukai knew it well. And that’s why he gave the example of performing one of Pushkin’s poems on the Tatar motive:
«I go, i go in the open field»
«My groom (twice)
«The bell ding-ding-ding»
«Single, lad» (once).

When he wrote it, before him there was a book, «Folk Songs» of the Russian people. Volume 3, pp. 143-144.


We still do not have scientific works devoted to such commonalities. For example, the song about coachman, who died in the winter steppes from the cold, has completely coincided content in the Tatar and Russian versions. Record of the Tatar variant remained in Germany in performance of the Tartar soldiers, captured during the First World War.


It is difficult to say whether the original song belongs to the Tatar or Russian people.


Position of coachmen appeared in the epoch of the Golden Horde, to provide a comfortable ride from one corner of the country to another. When the Moscow State had firmed, this position was taken by Russians as well. The proof of it is the three-volume work «Antiquities of the Russian law» written before the revolution by scientist V. Sergeyevich. If so, in my opinion, at first this song has appeared at Tatars.


From love to the people,to its art, significant part of his very short life Tukai devoted to collecting folk songs and literature. At the lecture, which he read in 1910 in the Eastern club, he compares one of them with a key, and the other — with a lock. The key, as through the song, you can get into the soul of the people, and the lock, with the help of increasingly wealthy, acute poetic language of the people, it is possible to keep it reliably. Indeed, for centuries passing from generation to generation, songs and literary heritage of the people, imbibed its rich and tragic history, can be in the form of key and lock. To some extent they even look like twins.


If this amazing comparison of Tukai could be taken by today’s creative people as an instruction, most probably there were not stupid modern songs with senseless text, which close, distance us from the national melodies. But this barrier is needed, because the language and the song should be watchmen of nation.


Tukai not casually studied the historical part of most of the songs, analyzing them from different angles. He worked with the understanding that it is «the most valuable and expensive heritage» left by grandfathers.  Towns and villages of Bulgar «erased, leaving no trace,» but in memory of the people they certainly stay as never rusting clear mirror,» — the poet writes. By concrete examples he could show that folk songs — is a mirror of his life. Reading them, you are convinced once again that the inner world of Tukai is impregnated with national feeling.


Tukai not just collects folk songs, but gives exhaustive information about their history. For example, the song «Tafkilev» written about unrequited love of daughter of Mufti Tafkilev to the French guy.


Probably, the poet acted with understanding that the unhappy love has very deep roots.  In his «Songs notebook» there was also «Song of the Khan’s daughter.» But it was teared out from there. Who knows, maybe it was one of the versions of the song, dedicated to the unhappy love affair of the daughter of the Golden Horde Khan Tyktamysh.


Daughter of Khan Tuktamysh Nanikaydzhan fell in love with Karaim guy. Khan, of course, does not want to give the daughter to the guy of the other religion. From grief the girl jumped off a cliff, giving herself to the death. Having heard this song Zaki Validi writes that its melody reminds “Taftilyau» song. So, the melody of this song was kept with some changes, and the words, each time were adapted to the tragedy of its time.


From Tukai studies, we also know that the song «Ashkazar» was born as a result of unhappy love affair. Words and music of this and other collected songs are evidence that they coexist as the key and the lock.


At the same time Tukai paid attention to how folk art is incessantly enriching. He gave examples of those variants that he had heard by himself, thus indicating that there are people who themselves give birth to the songs. By this the poet confirms the greatness of the people, its endless creative inspiration.


Tukai – singer of the people. His poems sound music. The title of national poet is not given to him by any decree. This title is given to him by the people. «If they call me theirs, I’m happy», — the poet writes. He believed that national dream is sweeter than any dream. «If people remember me with respect, this is my goal, desire and happiness.»


His dream came true. People with sorrow received the news of his death. On this day, Tatars are crying, «The Sun» newspaper writes that they lost their great master of word. From 500 rubles left by Tukai, published at that day newspapers, had opened Fund of Tukai. Among them — the «Terzhiman» newspaper, which added a hundred rubles, and urged the others to join this initiative.


Everywhere, from the Chinese Kolzha town and to St. Petersburg and Astrakhan, communities named after Tukai had appeared. Evenings devoted to the poet were held. The Kazan Community’s main goal was to help the indigent writers.


In Astrakhan, this community was led by outstanding Azerbaijani public figure Nariman Narimanov.


But there are also opponents of this movement. For example, in Orenburg, and Chita lectures of two students dedicated to Tukai creativity were prohibited. In Kazan, two teachers who were trying to carry out such activity, were discharged.


But in the Turkic and Islamic world, the glory of the poet was spread very widely and popular movement was not stopped.


In Baku in «Caspian» newspaper, publishing in Russian language, the article «Notes of a Muslim» signed by Dagestani was published. It is entirely devoted to Tukai. The author writes: «Memories of the poet, who had sparked Muslims’ hearts by his word, are valuable for everyone. During ten years of my public activity I didn’t see such hot feelings towards the poet, who for the first time had sparked the Muslims’ hearts. «


This man, expressing disagreement with the intellectuals separated from the people, wrote: «That is why the loss of such talents as Sabir and Tukai, bothers no intellectuals, but the people.»


How accurately the Caucasian poet, who lived far from native places of Tukai could describe his penetration into the hearts of the people.


Not only Turkic people but also other Muslim nations loved and recognized Tukai. On the question: «Have you heard before the revolution about Pushkin and Lermontov?» the outstanding Tajik writer Sadretdin Aini said: «Yes, I knew — through Tukai».


Indeed, people were not interested in those intellectuals who were far from them, but interested in those poets and writers who lived with their sadness and joy, who wrote about their needs.


Tukai loved people, and the people loved Tukai. «All my thoughts day and night — about you, my people. Your health —  is my health. Your disease — is my disease. «He was living in this state, with this national feeling has left our world. But in the hearts of the people, he always will be its clear mirror.

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