Anti-Alcohol Song (1979)
Description: Himself a legendary drinker who would soon die from his alcoholic and other excesses, Vysotsky describes in this song the license and later regrets of a man who has succumbed to the national passion for vodka. The song evoked laughter, empathy, and maybe a trifle of envy in many listeners – those for whom the dry law would become a source of irritation.
If There was Vodka for One … (1963)
Description: The custom in Soviet times was for men to put in ruble each for the standard three-ruble bottle of vodka. It was common to be walking down the street and be asked by two unknown men ‘Want to be the third?’ – and invitation to split the bottle of vodka. Vysotsky captures the time-honored custom in this song.