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3 Nights

(released in 2007, in Australia by UAR/Remote Control,
in Europe by Westpark Music)

ARIA (Australian Record Industry Award) for Best World Music Album 2007
4 months in the top 10 of European World Music charts in 2007

3 Nights re-affirms Zulya's reputation as one of the most exotic and enthralling performers and songwriters in Australia. With songs sung in three languages - English, Russian, and Zulya's native tongue, Tatar - 3 Nights showcases Zulya and the Children at the Underground at their most magnificent: exquisite musicianship, superb songwriting and intricate arrangements, to say nothing of Zulya's sublime voice.

Most excitingly and for the very first time, after residing fifteen years in Australia, on 3 Nights Zulya sings her own songs in English. For listeners and fans familiar with Zulya's music who until now have enjoyed her songs in Russian and Tatar - the communication of its meaning and emotion going beyond language - this prospect is very exciting.

Along with Zulya (vocals, acoustic guitar), the Children of the Underground are: Anthony Schulz (piano accordion), Lucas Michailidis (electric guitar), Andrew Tanner (double bass) and Justin Marshall (drums, percussion).

Guest musicians on the album:
Eamon McNelis - trumpet, Rosalind Jones - trombone, Luke Farrugia - tuba, Adam Simmons - bass clarinet, Philip Mcleod - cello, Eki Veltheim - violin and viola.


1. How Lovers Fail and Fall (All Bad)
words and music - Zulya Kamalova

I am icy cold, you’re hot as fire,
I extinguish your burning desire,
You melt my frozen soul, the rising clouds of steam
Turn into tears, it’s the end of an unhappy dream.

So all that’s left is a puddle of our souls.
Who is to blame that lovers fail and fall?
How long must they endure this love they can’t avoid?
Why do lovers always fall for those they will destroy?

The light is gone, the shadows fade away.
Words are missing, dreams have gone astray.
The fire is dead, your eyes are now lukewarm.
There’s no more music, all the love is gone.

Нем поэт, он не прочтет стихи.
Художник слеп, и все певцы глухи.
Лишь грустный клоун свой покажет глупый трюк,
Но не поможет ничего уж нам, мой бедный друг.

Луна и та глуха, и пуст рассвет.
Бесслезен ветер, вот уж много лет
Слепой рыбак бросает в ночь сухую сеть.
Все мрачно, все мертво, как-будто жизни больше нет

Но осень просит песен золотых,
А голос голоден, болен и тих.
Забыты песни, навсегда они
Ушли от нас не спеть уже нам их.

The poet is dumb, he will not read his verse.
The painter is blind, the singer has lost her voice.
Perhaps the sad clown will perform his silly trick
But nothing more will help us, my poor friend.

The moon is bare, the sunrise is barren.
The wind is tearless, for so many years
The blind fisherman has cast his dry net into the night,
All is so bad and dismal as if life itself has departed.

And yet autumn waits for her song
But the voice is ill, hungry and forlorn.
All the songs we knew are forgotten
They have left us forever, never to return.

2. The Wolf and the Moon / Büre xäm ai
words – Zulya Kamalova
music – Andrew Tanner

Büre ul aiğa uli.
Belä mikän berärse aidan aña ni kiräk,
Sorap bulmi aniñ
Uilanam şul ser turinda.

Moñlana mikän bure?
Ällä yuqsinami büre söiğän yarin,
Sağinami tuğan cirlären,
Añli alirbizmi moni?

Büre ulap canni salqinaita,
Tiñlasañ yöräk yamansulana.
Moñlanam üzem xäm
Başimi vatam tağin şul xällär turinda.

Ällä yalgiz mikän ul?
Ällä yazmişinnan zarlana mikän ul?
Хäsräte bar ällä büreneñ dä?
Şundi sorau tua başimda.

Büredä nindi uilar?
Üzäğen özep ani aiğa ulata.
Ai ğaepleme ällä bu xälğä?
Uilanam şul ser turinda.

Bu xalättä ciñüçelar yuq,
Ani añlarğa tartu köçen ciñep
Oçarğa dir kükkä.
Başimi vatam tağin şul hällär turinda.

The wolf howls at the moon,
No one knows what he wants from it,
We can’t ask him.
I am puzzled.

Perhaps the wolf is sad
Or missing his beloved.
Or the places he comes from.
Will we ever know?

The wolf’s howling chills the soul,
If you listen your heart is disturbed.
I am affected too,
And bewildered by it.

Maybe the wolf is lonely.
Is he complaining about his destiny?
Thinking sad thoughts?
Maybe even wolves have problems.

Perhaps the wolves are howling about the longing,
The war inside that tears apart,
Perhaps the moon itself is to blame.

There are no winners in this war.
It will not stop until
We are able to rise above the Earth.
Gravity pulls us down.

3. Children’s Bird Song / Детская песня о птице
words – Zulya Kamalova
music – Justin Marshall

Коль птице не поется,
Петь не хочет птица
Устала быть может она?
Печали ее жизнь полна.

Иль просто заскучала?
Доказывать устала,
Что песня ее нужна,
Что голос ей дан не напрасно.

Но не петь ей нельзя её песню.
Она очень нужна траве и дождю,
Ветру, небу, росе и кому-то,
Кто встречает рассвет.

Скажи, тебе известно ль,
Где скрылась твоя песня?
Давно жду твоих песен я,
Без них так пуста жизнь моя.

Коль трудно стало петься,
Устало твое сердце,
Ты пташечка отдохни
И песен новых подожди.

Ведь не петь тебе нельзя твою песню.
Она очень нужна траве и дождю,
Ветру, небу, росе и тому, кто
Ждет весенний рассвет.

If a bird does not sing,
If she does not feel like singing,
May be she is tired,
May be her life is full of sorrow.

Maybe she is just bored
And is tired of explaining,
That her song is precious,
That her voice is not in vain.

But she has to sing because
Her song is needed by the grass, the rain,
The sun, the wind, the dew and someone who
At dawn is waiting for the first light.

Tell me, do you know
Where your song is hiding?
I have been longing for your song,
My life is empty without it.

If it has become tough to sing,
Your heart is weary,
Maybe if you rest a while
The new song will come.

You must sing
Because your song is needed by the grass, the rain,
The sun, the wind, the dew and someone who
At dawn is waiting for the first light.

4. White Wind Tango / Танго белого ветра
words – Zulya Kamalova
musicAnthony Schulz

Белый ветер прилетел с утра
И я ждала весь день тебя.
Нас накрыла светлая волна,
И жизнь моя теперь твоя.

Голод сердца не утолить,
И нет покоя, нет и сна.
Он вечно просит новой музыки,
Но не спасет уже она.

Закружила нас сила звездная,
Мы растаяли в этом танце
В черном небе

White is the colour of the wind today,
I waited for you all day long.
We are washed over by a tender wave,
My life as I knew it is gone.

The heart is hungry and cannot be saved,
It knows no rest, it knows no ease.
It wants new music, longs to fly away
But even that will not bring peace.

We’re vanishing fast
In this crazy old dance
Of eternal surrender
Of love and darkness.

5. The night is dark /Ночь темна
words – Zulya Kamalova
musicAndrew Tanner

Усни, младенец мой, скорее засыпай до утра.
Усни, ребенок мой, скорее до утра засыпай.
А на часах пробило давно уже двенадцать,
Ты глазки свои поскорей сомкни.

Баю бай, ноченька темна и иногда страшит она, а значит лучше тебе спать.
Я тебе песню пою, и сон твой берегу, чтобы спокойно всю ночь ты спала.
Не плачь моя душа, скорее засыпай.

Усни, младенец мой, скорее засыпай до утра.
Усни, ребенок мой, скорее до утра засыпай.
Дай маменьке любимой ты отдохнуть немного,
Угомонись и поскорей усни.

Баю бай, пусть тебя минуют горести и беды, будет много счастья и тепла,
А я покуда жива, всегда приду тебе на помощь, только позови меня.
Мой ласковый ребенок, не плачь, моя душа.
Скорее засыпай.

Sleep, my child, until morning
The clocks are showing 12 already,
Please close your little eyes.
Baiu bai, the night is dark and sometimes it frightens,
So you should sleep.
I will sing you a song and will guard your slumber,
So you can sleep peacefully all night.
Do not cry my love, sleep.

Give your dear mama
Just a bit of rest, please calm down and sleep.

Baiu bai, may the hardship and strife pass you by,
May there be much happiness and joy,
While I am alive I’ll always be there for you, just call me.
My dear little child, do not cry, my love.

6. Love Hunter
words and music – Zulya Kamalova

You’re out on a hunt, the forest is full of poets,
You’re looking for prey, you’ll kill for the sake of romance.
You’re aiming your arrows at angels, their charming sonnets,
You’re wishing to fill your hunger for love at once.

You’ve chosen to find a new love as if for the first time,
You’ll even betray your heart for a rapturous kiss.
So ready to suffer and eager to drink of the poison
Of passionate madness, you’re plunging into the abyss.

The black sun of sorrow will rise, reason will surrender.
Your heart is eclipsed, now passion controls your mind,
Desire and fear of the unknown cannot be transcended,
They’ll kill you but in the end they will make you divine.

The blood in your veins is running so fast, it’s boiling,
Your heart’s beating madly inside you about to explode ,
You welcome your death, the thread of your life is uncoiling,
You wish to dissolve in the wild ecstasy of love.

7. We were twelve girls / Bez ünike qiz idek
music – Andrew Tanner
words – Tatar trad.

Bez bez bez idek,
Bez ünike qiz idek.
Klätkä kerdek bal aşadiq,
Bazğa kerdek mai aşadiq.
Qup ta qup Yaqup, senger tup.

We were twelve girls.
We went into the pantry and ate some honey,
We went into the cellar and ate some butter.
Kup ta kup Yakup, rubber ball.

8. Hear How She Grows / Слышишь как растет
words and music – Zulya Kamalova

Слышишь, как растет наша дочь? Cловно утро в тиши ночи.
Жизнь опять полна смысла нового, не смогу я больше
Петь о пустоте непривязанности, ведь теперь
Eсть у нас она.

Тихо постучалась она, вошла в нашу жизнь так нежданно.
Изменила все, и внезапно нам открылась жизни тайна.
Обяснить нельзя это чувство никому другому
Ни за что, никогда.

Тебя сберегу от тревог и бед
Никогда не брошу. Нет.

Верные друзья будем ты и я
Сейчас и всегда. Да.

Нежности полна и печали только легкой очень,
Неизбежна как то, что будет утро после долгой ночи,
Вечная любовь - выше нас и выше суеты и даже
Мудрости всей.

Нет этой любви глубже и сильнее ничего, наверно,
Нет этой любви больше и нежней ничего. Теперь мы
Пленники ее и, что странно, этому мы даже

Do you hear how she grows?
Our daughter,
Like the morning in the silence of the night,
Life is full of new meaning again,
I won’t be able to sing about the emptiness of non-attachment
Now we have her.

Quietly she knocked and entered our life so unexpectedly,
Changed everything and opened the mystery of life to us,
This feeling can never be explained.

I will protect you from trouble and worries,
No, I will never leave you.
Yes, we will be friends now and forever.

Full of tenderness and gentle sadness, very gentle,
Like the morning that always comes after a long night,
Eternal love, higher than us, higher than anything, even wisdom.
There’s nothing deeper and stronger than this love,
There’s nothing higher and sweeter than this love,
Now we are its prisoners and strangely enough
We are happy for it.

9. Forgotten Song
words – Zulya Kamalova
music – Lucas Michailidis

The mirror is dim but you still hope to find
Inside there your life’s most precious song.
Your aching wings haven’t flown for a long time,
But still they are longing to soar.

Your heart’s hiding in the depth, the cage of your ribs,
Sometimes it may even miss a beat.
It wants to remember the song of the spring
That it thought was impossible to ever forget.

In a dream it may return,
But when you awake.
You will not recall it, only
…the heartache.

10. Princess / Принцесса
words and music – Zulya Kamalova

Я полюблю тебя за то,
Что придумаю сама,
Чего в тебе, наверно, нет.
А ты меня не сразу и поймешь,
Будешь недоумевать
И меня переубеждать.

Мы будем вместе
Петь, гулять и танцевать.
Я попрошу тебя,
Чтобы ты стал таким
Как принц в моем кино.
А ты будешь слушать
И меня перебивать.
Мне говорить, что я скорей всего не права,
И все это смешно.

Сон этот будет длиться ночь,
А потом наступит день,
Протрезвеет голова.
Но я эту сказку берегу
И не верю никому,
Что любовь моя пуста.

Наши дороги разойдутся в стороны.
Вот и любовь прошла,
Ведь оказалось, что
Ты совсем не принц.
А я – принцесса,
И продолжаю верить в то,
Что скоро придет ко мне
Мой благородный принц
На белом коне.

I have fallen in love with you for reasons I invented myself,
You are probably not like that at all.
You do not understand me, you are confused at first,
And then you try to convince me otherwise.

We spend time together, we dance and sing,
I ask you to become the prince of my dreams.
You listen and interrupt, and tell me
That it’s all rather amusing but I am wrong.

This dream continues for the night, then
The new day begins and minds sober up.
But I guard my fairytale,
And will not believe anyone who says my love is empty.

Our paths have to part, our love is over,
As it turns out you are not a prince at all.
I, however, am a princess and continue to believe
That soon my prince will arrive for me astride his great white steed.

11. Clocks / Часы
words – Zulya Kamalova
musicAndrew Tanner

Милый друг, снова хочу я
В тебя влюбиться и
Для тебя хочу превратиться в легкую скрипку
Чтобы ты играл на ней мелодию своей любви, но

Голос мой снова я слышу,
Но узнаю с трудом, кто поет им.
И эта музыка словно ветер, дующий в лицо тому,
Кто вышел в поле на рассвете рано.

Кости, я чувствую кости твои,
Тепло твоей кожи, твой запах родной.
Чтоб ни случилось, мои нежный товарищ,
Ты ничего не бойся со мной.

А ты смотришь в мои глаза и
Видишь время,
Я говорю тебя люблю
Сейчас как никогда.
Я без вина тобой пьяна.

Мы так близки - что даже страшно.
И только музыка вокруг, и холодные эти звезды на небе,
Им поем о неизбежности любви в этом театре.

Голос свой снова я слышу,
Но узнаю с трудом, кто поет им.
И эта музыка словно ветер, дующий в лицо тому,
Кто вышел в поле на рассвете рано.

Кости, я чувствую кости твои,
Тепло твоей кожи, твой запах родной.
Чтоб ни случилось, мои нежный товарищ,
Ты ничего не бойся со мной.

А ты смотришь в мои глаза и
Видишь время,
Что говорит тебя люблю
Сейчас как никогда.
Я без вина тобой пьяна.

Бьют часы четко и строго.
И мы не знаем, сколько нам еще
Быть здесь вместе - мало иль много.
Словно сердце тикают часы, и время улетает.

Голос свой снова я слышу,
Но узнаю с трудом, кто поет им
И эта музыка словно ветер, дующий в лицо тому,
Кто вышел в поле на рассвете рано.

Кости, я чувствую кости твои,
Тепло твоей кожи, твой запах родной.
Чтоб ни случилось, мои верный товарищ,
Ты ничего не бойся со мной.

А ты смотришь в мои глаза и
Видишь время,
И говоришь тебя люблю
Сейчас как никогда.
Мне дороги твои слова.

Dear friend, I would like to fall in love with you again,
I would like to turn into a light violin for you,
So you could play the song of our love.

I hear my voice again, but cannot recognise who sings.
This music is like the wind that blows into the face of the one
Who rides in the wild steppes at dawn.

I feel your bones through the sheets,
The warmth of your skin, your scent.
Whatever happens, my sweet friend,
Do not be afraid of anything when I am near.

But you look into my eyes and see the time,
They tell you that I love you,
Now more than ever.
Without wine I am drunk on you.

We are so close, it scares me,
And only music is around us and these cold stars in the sky.
We sing to them about the inevitability of love in this theatre of life.

I hear my voice again, but cannot recognise who sings
This music is like the wind that blows into the face of the one
Who rides in the wild steppes at dawn.

The clocks ring sternly and precisely,
And we do not know how long we have got here.
Like the heart the clocks tick,
And the time flies away.

12. Red flower / Alim cäl tüğel siña
Tatar trad, arr. Z. Kamalova, A. Tanner, L. Michailidis,
A. Schulz, J. Marshall, N. Parov

Alim cäl tüğel siña
Gölem cäl tüğel siña,
Alim tüğel, gölem tüğel,
Canim cäl tüğel siña.

Allarim diyäm sine,
Göllärem diyäm sine,
Alim tüğel, gölem tüğel,
Cannarim diyäm sine.

Ärämädä qarama,
Qaramada qondiz bar.
Qarañği dip kilmi qalma,
Ai bulmasa, yoldiz bar.

I will give you all I have,
I will give you my soul.
I call you my beautiful flower,
I call you my soul.

In the elm tree grove there is a beaver.
Do not tell me it is too dark,
Although there is no moon tonight
There are stars in the sky,
They will light the way.

13. The night is long / Tön ozin
words and music – Zulya Kamalova

Älli bälli tön ozin,
Min bişek ciri cirlim.
Sin tiñlisiñ tauşimni,
Älli bälli, altinim.

Min sineñ belän, balam,
Mäñgelekkä bäiläñgän,
Işiqlarmin cillärdan,
Saqlarmin yauzlardan.
Yoqoğa kit, bäbekäm.

Älli bälli, yoldozim,
Sin minem quaniçim,
Qoçağimda tirbätäm,
Älli bälli tiniçlan.

Älli bälli, qaderlem,
Xärwaqit yuatirmin.
Küzläreñne übärmen,
Çäçläreñne siparmin.
Küzeñne yomçi, canim.

Yoqla, qizim, quriqma,
Änkañ sineñ yaniñda.
Älli bälli, tiñ ğina
Üskäneñne küzätä.

Ally bally,
The night is long,
I sing you a lullaby,
You listen to my voice,
Ally bally, my darling.

You and I, my sweetheart
Are connected for eternity,
I will shelter you from the winds,
I will protect you from the evil ones,
Ally bally, calm down.

Ally bally,
You are my shining star,
You are my joy,
I will rock you in my arms,
Close your eyes, my baby.

Ally bally,
Always I will console you,
I will stroke your hair,
I will kiss your eyes,
Please sleep, dearest.

Sleep, my darling,
Do not be afraid of anything,
Ally bally,
Quietly by your side,
Mama watches you grow




3 Nights 3 Nights

Top 10 of European World Music Charts 2007

4 stars
"Her band is exquisite.. but it's [Zulya’s] rich, emotive vocals that shine. Her shimmering high register and swooping pitch-perfect lower range flutters and skips from to song to song with ease...It's an incredibly sophisticated and brilliant instrument",
Dan Rule, The Age, Apr 07.

5 stars
“Swinging like a Bolshevik Marlene Dietrich, Zulya and the Children of the Underground are able to strike a deft balance between melancholic sadness and the unbridled joy that is never too far away”,
Seth Jordan, Songlines, UK, Sept 07.

“She is an astonishing singer equally adept at conveying unbridled joy and melancholy, earthy urges and tenderness apparently without the need to draw breath… Uniquely satisfying”.
Dave Curry, The Canberra Times, Apr 07.

Liam Casey
The Drum

12th June 2007

I am at a loss to describe this record, being so far removed from what I usually listen to, whether by choice or professional necessity. Accustomed as I am to line-up which involve a guitarist, bassist and drummer, I’m a little thrown by album credits that mention half a dozen instruments I’ve never heard of.

But all that doesn’t matter because this album is one of those incredible few that transcend language and culture. Zulya Kamalova sings in Russian and Tatar, her local dialect, as well as performing her own songs in English for the first time. Even if you don’t know about the specifics, you can always feel what Zulya is trying to explain to you. As one would expect from music of Russian origin, a mournful tone infects the entire record, like the bitterness underpinning the sweetness of dark chocolate. Even the cheerful-sounding Children’s Bird Song is sombre, telling as it does of a bird that doesn’t want to sing because “her life is full of sorrow”.

The traditional Tatar song Red Flower Is here delivered beautifully in what I can only assume is fairly true to the original, although similarly traditional We Twelve Girls plays out over some weird kind of electronic instrument that sounds like the elastic sounds bouncing around The Knife’s Silent Shout LP. The rest of the album is largely built around strings, accordion, glockenspiel and organ, unbelievable and so wonderful that music like this has continued to grow in Australia, and it’s a truly unique listening experience.


Inpress 27.06.07
Wayne Davidson.

A native of the Tatarstan-Udmurtia region of Central Russia but living in Australia since early 90’s, singer, musician and songwriter Zulya Kamalova is something of an undiscovered treasure. The songs on 3 Nights are sung in Russian, Tatar and a little in English, making it unconventional from the get-go, but this is the music that is set to cross cultures through its beauty and warmth. Centre stage is Zulya’s warm pure voice that is powerful and vulnerable in equal measure. Her music seems to sit somewhere between Kurt Weill-ish Euro-Cabaret jazz and lullabies constructed to tear your heart out. Accordions with waltz timing get frequent airings throughout the album but Zulya keeps the pace changing, landing us into other often even more surprising territory such as the oompah of Clocks and the Russian reggae (is there such thing? There is now.) of Princess. There are many highlights on this record, prefaced by the brief music box of Nevalyashka is The Night is Dark, a sort of a chamber music lullaby that feels like it could grind the planet to a halt with sheer force of beauty. Hear how she grows is a knock-out (one of the numerous written or co-written by Kamalova) with its fascinating hard-to-pin-down rhythms vocal spirals and music somewhere between lounge and a folk dance. White Wind Tango makes me feel like wearing a beret and drinking absinth and The Wolf and the Moon may make you want to dance on the nearest café table. There’s the also (Weill-ish) swirling carousel cabaret of Love Hunter (with castanets) and the traditional but kooky We Twelve Girls propelled by mouth harp percussion. The previously mentioned Princess sounds like Marlene swanning around on uppers and include Morrissey-wishes-he-thought-of-it lyric “I have fallen in love with you for the reasons I invented myself”. This is a very personal sounding album but also feels at times like being present in a nightclub and at others in a sort of a crepuscular netherworld. The lullaby The Nights is Long, seems a perfect way to end this excellent collection with Zulya’s warm sweeping vocals enticing us to slumber.


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