Monday, July 13, 2009

The National Anthem of Ukraine

Shche ne vmerla Ukrainy" ("Ukraine's glory has not perished") is the national anthem of Ukraine. The lyrics constitute a slightly modified original first stanza of the patriotic poem written in 1862 by Pavlo Chubynsky, a prominent ethnographer from the region of Ukraine's capital, Kiev. In 1863, Mykhaylo Verbytsky, a western Ukrainian composer and a Greek-Catholic priest composed music to accompany Chubynsky's text. The first choral performance of the piece was at the Ukraine Theatre in Lviv, in 1864. The song was first the national anthem of the Ukrainian People's Republic, Carpatho-Ukraine and later the independent post-Soviet Ukraine.

Pavlo Chubynsky (1839 - 1884) was a Ukrainian poet and ethnographer whose poem "Shche ne vmerla Ukraina" (Ukraine Has Not Yet Perished) was set to music and adapted as the Ukrainian national anthem.

In 1863 the Lviv journal Meta (The Goal) published the poem but mistakenly ascribed it to Taras Shevchenko. In the same year it was set to music by the Galician composer Michael Verbytsky (1815-1870), first for solo and later choral performance.

This song's catchy melody and patriotic text quickly gained broad acceptance, but Pavlo Chubynsky was persecuted for the rest of his life by anti-Ukrainian Russian powers. He was sent to Archangelsk province for "negatively influencing peasants' minds." When his work in that region was recognized internationally by his peers, Chubynsky was sent to Petersburg to work in the Transport Ministry as a low-level official. He eventually became paralyzed in 1880 and died four years later. In 1917 the song with his lyrics was officially adopted as the anthem of the Ukrainian state.

Above is a prestamped cover issued in 2009, of the Ukraine Hymn writer, Pavlo Chubynsky, to commemorate his 170th birth anniversary.