The Volokh Conspiracy

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Ukraine War Music

"Together We Christened Our Children"

A 2014 poem by the Ukrainian author of "We Will Never Be Brothers."


Another poem from 2014 by Ukrainian Anastasia Dmitruk, who also wrote "We Will Never Be Brothers" the same year; the performance is by a Georgian, Zaza Zaalishvili (echoing the Lithuanian musicians' performance of We Will Never Be Brothers). I think it's a good bookend to that poem, because it captures the potential closeness that was lost, in large measure in 2014 and now, I think, entirely, and for a long time to come.

Here, with the usual apologies, is an imprecise and highly imperfect translation (e.g., "guys" is the best translation I could find of "ребята," but it doesn't have quite the same tone):

Return to us our skies,
Return to us our peace!
Why did you come, neighbors?
Why did you come with war?

Together we christened our children
And drank to our friendship…
Why did you put chains around us
With the columns of your soldiers?

Much pain to us has been given—
The funerals of our sons.
We saw much sorrow,
We became even stronger.

Why did you come here, guys?
Why did you decide on war?
We'll stand against you as brothers
We too were taught to shoot.

We stand—we have Freedom,
Machineguns won't carry her off.
We won't surrender without fighting,
Let all the churches ring the alarm.

We saw death, guys,
We looked her bravely in the eyes
No need for war, no need…
After, you can't go back.