Song of Truth ~ Про Правду

Please note: Tracks 9 and 10 are reversed on the CD track list. The correct order is 9. Song of Truth/10. Bondarivna.

thesongoftruth“This song is at the very heart of the kobzar tradition. It likely originated in the late 17th century, a time of widespread turmoil and social upheaval in Ukraine, but its message is universal and as fresh as the front page of tomorrow’s newspaper in any country on the planet. I first encountered this song in Munich on a xerox copy of a handwritten copy by Zinovii Shtokalko of the Ostap Veresai version. I immediately hand-copied it into my notebook. A few years later, after learning to play a kobzars’ka bandura made for me by my friend Ken Bloom, I added it to my repertoire, recorded it on my first LP (Julian Kytasty: Ukrainian Bandurist, Yevshan Records, 1986), and have performed it ever since. The version on the Songs of Truth recording draws on both the transcription of Ostap Veresai (who was arrested by the tsar’s police for singing it at the market place in Pryluky on his way home after performing for the Tsar’s family in St. Petersburg), and on the performance of Heorhiy Tkachenko (1898-1993).” ~ Julian Kytasty, 2015


(English translation by Julian Kytasty below)

Нема в світі Правди, Правди не зіскати,
Бо тепер неправда стала вже Правдою зватись.

Що вже тепер Правда стоїть у порога,
А вража неправда з панами край стола.

Що вже тепер Правду ногами топтають,
А вражу неправду мед-вином напувають.

Що вже тепер Правда, Правда у темниці,
А а вража неправда з панами в світлиці.

Що вже кінець віка, кінець приблизився,
Хоч рідного брата тепер стережися.

Бо вже тепер Правда, Правда вже померла,
А вража неправда увесь світ зажерла.

А хто тую Правду буде поважати,
Тому сошле Господь з неба благодаті.

Бо сам Господь – Правда, сокрушить неправду,
Сумирить гординю, вознесе святиню.



There is no truth in the world,
Truth is not to be found,
For dire Falsehood has started calling itself Truth.


For now Truth stands outside the threshold,
And Falsehood sits at table with the wealthy.


For now Truth is trampled underfoot
And Falsehood is served fine wines.


For now Truth is cast into dungeons,
And Falsehood invited into the mansions.


But he who knows Truth and honors it
Shall receive the blessing of heaven:


For the Lord himself is Truth.
He shall crush Falsehood,
Chastise pride,
Raise high the temple.