Composed in the 19th century, it has versions in Polish and Ukrainian

‘Hej Sokoły’, the beautiful and nostalgic love song that unites Ukrainians and Poles

One of the most popular traditional songs in Ukraine is titled “Гей соколи” (Hej Sokoły, in Polish), which roughly translates to “Hey, falcons.”

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Interestingly, this song, also known as “Sorrow for Ukraine”, is of Polish origin. It was composed by the Polish composer Maciej Kamiński (1734–1821) in the first half of the 19th century, but the author of the text is not known. Some attribute it to the Polish-Ukrainian poet Tomasz Padura and others to the Polish poet Józef Bohdan Zaleski, one of the authors of the so-called “Ukrainian school” of Polish Romanticism. Today the song is still sung in Ukraine and Poland, with texts in their respective languages.

The song is about a Cossack leaving his land and saying goodbye to his girlfriend and Ukraine. Today, this song has become a symbol of the strong historical ties between the two countries (Ukraine was part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth). This Tuesday, the Ukrainian singer Eileen has published a video singing the version of this ballad that is sung in her country, including subtitles in Ukrainian, Polish and English. In the description of the video, Eileen comments: I decided to record it as a sign of my immense gratitude to all the Polish people for their incredible support of Ukraine in this difficult time. Thank you! Together to victory!”

Below you can listen the Polish version, recorded by the Belarusian singer Valzhina Tereshchenko:

Here you can read the lyrics in Ukrainian:

Гей, десь там, де чорні води,
Сів на коня козак молодий.
Плаче молода дівчина,
Їде козак з України.

Гей! Гей! Гей, соколи!
Оминайте гори, ліси, доли.
Дзвін, дзвін, дзвін, дзвіночку,
Степовий жайвороночку.

Гей! Гей! Гей, соколи!
Оминайте гори, ліси, доли.
Дзвін, дзвін, дзвін, дзвіночку,
Мій степовий дзвін, дзвін, дзвін.

Жаль, жаль за милою,
За рідною стороною.
Жаль, жаль серце плаче,
Більше її не побачу.

Гей! Гей! Гей, соколи!
Оминайте гори, ліси, доли.
Дзвін, дзвін, дзвін, дзвіночку,
Степовий жайвороночку.

Гей! Гей! Гей, соколи!
Оминайте гори, ліси, доли.
Дзвін, дзвін, дзвін, дзвіночку,
Мій степовий дзвін, дзвін, дзвін.

Меду, вина наливайте
Як загину поховайте
На далекій Україні
Коло милої дівчини.

Гей! Гей! Гей, соколи!
Оминайте гори, ліси, доли.
Дзвін, дзвін, дзвін, дзвіночку,
Степовий жайвороночку.

Гей! Гей! Гей, соколи!
Оминайте гори, ліси, доли.
Дзвін, дзвін, дзвін, дзвіночку,
Мій степовий дзвін, дзвін, дзвін.

Гей, десь там, де чорні води
Сів на коня козак молодий
Плаче молода дівчина
Їде козак з України.

Гей! Гей! Гей, соколи!
Оминайте гори, ліси, доли.
Дзвін, дзвін, дзвін, дзвіночку,
Степовий жайвороночку.

Гей! Гей! Гей, соколи!
Оминайте гори, ліси, доли.
Дзвін, дзвін, дзвін, дзвіночку,
Мій степовий дзвін, дзвін, дзвін.

Here the lyrics in Polish:

Hej, tam gdzieś znad czarnej wody
Siada na koń kozak młody,
Czule żegna się z dziewczyną,
Jeszcze czulej z Ukrainą.

Hej, hej, hej sokoły
Omijajcie góry, lasy, doły,
Dzwoń, dzwoń, dzwoń dzwoneczku,
Mój stepowy skowroneczku.

Hej, hej, hej sokoły
Omijajcie góry, lasy, doły,
Dzwoń, dzwoń, dzwoń dzwoneczku
Mój stepowy dzwoń, dzwoń, dzwoń!

Pięknych dziewcząt jest niemało,
Lecz najwięcej w Ukrainie,
Tam me serce pozostało,
Przy kochanej mej dziewczynie.

Hej, hej, hej sokoły
Omijajcie góry, lasy, doły,
Dzwoń, dzwoń, dzwoń dzwoneczku,
Mój stepowy skowroneczku.

Hej, hej, hej sokoły
Omijajcie góry, lasy, doły,
Dzwoń, dzwoń, dzwoń dzwoneczku
Mój stepowy dzwoń, dzwoń, dzwoń!

Ona biedna tam została,
Przepióreczka moja mała,
A ja tutaj w obcej stronie
Dniem i nocą tęsknię do niej.

Hej, hej, hej sokoły
Omijajcie góry, lasy, doły,
Dzwoń, dzwoń, dzwoń dzwoneczku,
Mój stepowy skowroneczku.

Hej, hej, hej sokoły
Omijajcie góry, lasy, doły,
Dzwoń, dzwoń, dzwoń dzwoneczku
Mój stepowy dzwoń, dzwoń, dzwoń!

Żal, żal za dziewczyną,
Za zieloną Ukrainą,
Żal, żal serce płacze,
Że jej więcej nie zobaczę.

Hej, hej, hej sokoły
Omijajcie góry, lasy, doły,
Dzwoń, dzwoń, dzwoń dzwoneczku,
Mój stepowy skowroneczku.

Hej, hej, hej sokoły
Omijajcie góry, lasy, doły,
Dzwoń, dzwoń, dzwoń dzwoneczku
Mój stepowy dzwoń, dzwoń, dzwoń!

Wina, wina, wina dajcie,
A jak umrę pochowajcie
Na zielonej Ukrainie
Przy kochanej mej dziewczynie.

Hej, hej, hej sokoły
Omijajcie góry, lasy, doły,
Dzwoń, dzwoń, dzwoń dzwoneczku,
Mój stepowy skowroneczku.

Hej, hej, hej sokoły
Omijajcie góry, lasy, doły,
Dzwoń, dzwoń, dzwoń dzwoneczku
Mój stepowy dzwoń, dzwoń, dzwoń!

And here the English translation:

Lo there, somewhere near black waters
A young cossack mounts his horse.
Sadly he parts with his girl,
But even more sadly with Ukraine.

Hey, hey, hey falcons!
Fly past the mountains, forests and valleys!
Ring, ring, ring little bell.
My steppe little skylark.

Hey, hey, hey falcons!
Fly past the mountains, forests and valleys!
Ring, ring, ring little bell.
My steppe, sounds, sounds, sounds.

There are many girls in the world,
But the most in Ukraine.
There, I left my heart
With my beloved girl.

Hey, hey, hey falcons!
Fly past the mountains, forests and valleys!
Ring, ring, ring little bell.
My steppe little skylark.

Hey, hey, hey falcons!
Fly past the mountains, forests and valleys!
Ring, ring, ring little bell.
My steppe, sounds, sounds, sounds.

She alone remained there,
My little swallow,
And I’m here in this foreign land,
I miss her day and night.

Hey, hey, hey falcons!
Fly past the mountains, forests and valleys!
Ring, ring, ring little bell.
My steppe little skylark.

Hey, hey, hey falcons!
Fly past the mountains, forests and valleys!
Ring, ring, ring little bell.
My steppe, sounds, sounds, sounds.

Sorrow, sorrow for that girl,
For green Ukraine;
Sorrow, sorrow, heart is crying,
I will see her no more.

Hey, hey, hey falcons!
Fly past the mountains, forests and valleys!
Ring, ring, ring little bell.
My steppe little skylark.

Hey, hey, hey falcons!
Fly past the mountains, forests and valleys!
Ring, ring, ring little bell.
My steppe, sounds, sounds, sounds.

Wine, wine, give me wine!
And when I die bury me
In green Ukraine,
By my dear girl.

Hey, hey, hey falcons!
Fly past the mountains, forests and valleys!
Ring, ring, ring little bell.
My steppe little skylark.

Hey, hey, hey falcons!
Fly past the mountains, forests and valleys!
Ring, ring, ring little bell.
My steppe, sounds, sounds, sounds.

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