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Archive for March 9th, 2022

Viburnum_opulus_C



In the meadow, there a red kalyna, has bent down low ,
For some reason, our glorious Ukraine, has been worried so.
And we’ll take that red kalyna and we will raise it up,
And we, our glorious Ukraine, shall, hey – hey, cheer up – and rejoice!
And we’ll take that red kalyna and we will raise it up,
And we, our glorious Ukraine, shall, hey – hey, cheer up – and rejoice!

Oh, the Red Viburnum in the Meadow, Ukrainian Folk Song



Came across a video yesterday of Ukrainian rock star Andriy Khlyvnyuk performing a Ukrainian folk song. He wasn’t singing it in some studio far removed from the war zone. No, he was in uniform on the a street in Ukraine, an automatic rifle across his chest. He had a left the American tour that his group, Boombox, was just undertaking to return in defense of his county.

His initial performance on the street was a cappella. Powerful stuff. The version below is a remix done by South African electronic artist, The Kiffness. Equally powerful.

The song’s title translates as  Oh, the Red Viburnum in the Meadow. It was written in 1914 to honor the Sich Riflemen, a Ukrainian military unit that fought in WW I. The red viburnum or kalyna berry referenced in the song is a national symbol of Ukraine, representing the blood roots and connection to the homeland. The red viburnum is also known as the highbush cranberry though it is not related to the bog or lowbush cranberry.

I believe this version is only the first verse shown above though I am not sure. My Ukrainian language skills are nonexistent. But a later verse in the song certainly speaks to the moment and the spirit demonstrated by the people of Ukraine:

Marching forward, our fellow volunteers, into a bloody fray,
For to free, our brother – Ukrainians, from hostile chains.
And we, our brother – Ukrainians, we will then liberate,
And we, our glorious Ukraine, shall, hey – hey, cheer up – and rejoice!
And we, our brother – Ukrainians, we will then liberate,
And we, our glorious Ukraine, shall, hey – hey, cheer up – and rejoice!

Time for me to get to work but please take a moment to give a listen.



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