Liberal Arts Blog — The Most Beloved Ukrainian Song “Oi u Luzi Chervona Kalyna” (The Red Viburnum in the Meadow)
Liberal Arts Blog — Thursday is the Joy of Music Day
Today’s Topic: The Most Beloved Ukrainian Song “Oi u Luzi Chervona Kalyna” (The Red Viburnum in the Meadow)
Every year I try to add three new songs to my repertoire of “Songs, Prayers, and Poems: 39 Keys to the Hearts of Seven Billion People.” (A copy of the Senior Common Room Presentation from 11/18/20 is attached below.) The most recent three added were “Bengawan Solo” from Indonesia, “Dahil Say Yo” from the Philippines. and “Kupalinka” from Belarus. Today, “Oi u Luzi Chervona Kalyna” from Ukraine. This is the song of resistance to the Russian invasion. The most famous rendition is by Andriy Khlvynvuk of the Ukrainian band BoomBox. I have included many other versions below. Each is worth listening to. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.
LYRICS OF THE SONG — EXCERPTS — The Pink Floyd version of the song uses the title “Hey! Hey! Rise Up!” (see first link below)
1. “Oh, in the meadow, a red kalyna has bent down low, for some reason, our glorious Ukraine is in sorrow” (Oi u luzi chervona kalyna pokhylylasia. Chohos nassh slava Ukraina zazhurylasia)
2. “And we’ll take that red kalyna and we will raise it up, and we shall cheer up our glorious Ukraine, hey! hey!” (A my tuju chervonu kalynu pidijmemo, A my nashu slavnu Urkainu, hei-hei, rozveselymo!)
3. “When the stormy winds blow forth from the wide steppes, They will glorify throughout the Ukraine the Sich riflemen.”
(Yak povile buinesenkyi viter z shyrokykh steply, To proslavyt po vsli Ukraini sichovykh strittsiv)
A LITTLE HISTORY AND CONTEXT — WRITTEN IN 1914, BANNED UNDER SOVIET OCCUPATION, 1919–1991
1. Written by Stepan Charnetsy (1881–1944), a Ukrainian engineer and poet, in 1914 in honor of the Sich Riflemen. Charnetsy was the thirteen child of a Greek Catholic priest. (See photo below)
2. “Due to the song’s association with the Ukrainian people’s aspiration for independence, singing of the song was banned during the period in which Ukraine was a Soviet Republic (1919–1991). Nevertheless, it was sung by Ukraiinian patriots with defiance; anyone caught singing it was jailed, beaten, and even exiled.”
3. The red viburnum are reminiscent of the red poppy used in Commonwealth countries used to honor those who died in military service. Also of the flower in general as a symbol of resistance as in the song “Edelweiss” from the Sound of Music. Or the flower in the Italian anti-fascist song “Bella Ciao.”
ANDRIY KHLYVNVUK’S A CAPELLA VERSION GOES VIRAL; SINGER LATER WOUNDED IN COMBAT
1. “BoomBox was touring in the United States when the Russian invasion of Ukraine started on 24 February, but Khlyvnvuk cut the tour short to return to Ukraine in order to join the armed forces. He recorded the video while wearing army fatigues, standing near Sophia Square in Kyiv, Ukraine, and uploaded it to his Instagram account on 27 February, where it went viral.”
2. “On March 26 Khlyvnyuk’s unit came under mortar fire, losing two pickup trucks and Khlyvnyuk receiving a shrapnel wound to the face. He moved from the Territorial Defense Forces to serving in the National Police of Ukraine.”
3. “Hey, hey, rise up!” (Pink Floyd’s version) is “the first entirely new piece of music performed by Pink Floyd since 1994.” “The song was released on streaming services on 8 April 2022.”
LAST FOUR YEARS OF POSTS ORGANIZED THEMATICALLY
#2 “39 Songs, Prayers, and Poems: the Keys to the Hearts of Seven Billion People” — Adams House Senior Common Room Presentation, 11/17/20
Time to share the coolest thing you learned in the last week related to music. Or the coolest thing you learned in your life related to music. Say your favorite song or songs. Or your favorite tips for breathing, posture, or relaxation. Or some insight into the history of music….Or just something random about music… like a joke about drummers. jazz, rock….or share an episode or chapter in your musical autobiography.
This is your chance to make some one else’s day. And perhaps to cement in your memory something important you would otherwise forget. Or to think more deeply than you otherwise would about something that matters to you.