The Volokh Conspiracy

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"Fear in My Heart and Gunfire All Around": The Song of the Ukrainian Tank Soldiers


I came across this one a few days ago, though it was originally posted on Feb. 27, in the first days of the war; many thanks to Iryna Onyshchenko for the translation (here are the Ukrainian lyrics, and also what appears to be the original Facebook post with the video). As you can see, the production values are minimal, but I think that here that makes the song more effective. I think the reference to "fear" rather than fearlessness makes it more effective, too.

Note also that the introduction and closing are in Russian; for many patriotic Ukrainians, Russian is their native language, and much of the resistance to Russia has been carried on in Russian. I'm still trying to learn the name of the author, who is apparently also the one singing the song, and a tank soldier in Kharkiv; if I learn it, I'll post it.

[Introduction, in Russian:] [Inaudible.] Well, we found a guitar here, and so you don't get upset, here's a song from the Ukrainian tank soldiers.

[In Ukrainian:]
The dark nights are disturbed by flashes of light,
Fear in my heart and gunfire all around,
We must move forward, entering the battle,
Ukraine, we are your defenders.

Forward for Ukraine, for our only mother,
For our families who are waiting for us,
We will go into battle,
We will stand as a wall,
We will defend and save you.

Smoke and a cloud of gunpowder surrounds us,
The crack of machine guns and the deadly whistle of bullets,
Those, whose blood spilled here, we won't forget you,
You'll live forever in our hearts.


[Closing, in Russian:] [Inaudible.] OK, back to the basement.