“Hey, Hey, Rise Up!” by Pink Floyd (ft. Andriy Khlyvnyuk)

Pink Floyd is a band that, as you may already know, came out back in the mid-1960s, nearly six decades ago to date. In more recent times the brand is being held down by co-founder Nick Mason alongside David Gilmour. And of course with both now nearing the age of 80, Pink Floyd don’t put out songs like they used to. They actually dropped their last single prior to this one in 2014.

But as explained by Gilmour, he was inspired by the Ukraine- Russia war to dust off the guitar for this outing. Simply put, this song is in support of Ukraine.

Gilmour defined Ukraine as a nation that is not only “independent” but also “peaceful” and “democratic” which is being attacked unjustly by a major power. And of course, we all know who that “major power” is.

Andriy Khlyvnyuk

Beyond that, the base lyrics are sung by Andriy Khlyvnyuk. Andriy is a noted musician who has an indirect professional relationship with Gilmour. Being a patriotic Ukrainian himself, Khlyvnyuk did not pop up in a studio to record this song. Why? Simply because he was actually fighting alongside the Ukrainian army in defense of his country. His vocals were actually gotten from a social-media post of him reciting said lyrics, in full military garb on the frontlines of Kyiv. These vocals were sampled into this song.  

So it’s understandable how something like that, i.e. seeing a colleague posted up in a war zone singing a song of resistance, would further get Gilmour’s blood boiling. This is on top of the fact that Gilmour’s own daughter-in-law happens to be Ukrainian.

The Lyrics of “Hey, Hey, Rise Up!”

Thus the lyrics themselves are rendered in Ukrainian, being derived from a folk song which, in English, is entitled “Oh, the Red Viburnum in the Meadow”. Viburnum is actually a type of flower. And the song itself dates back over 100 years, to the days of Ukraine’s participation in World War I. Basically the “red viburnum”, as referenced, serves as a symbol of the Ukrainian people’s resiliency, patriotic zeal and positivity thinking during a time of “sorrow”.

So with that in mind it is also understandable how “Oh, the Red Viburnum in the Meadow” began trending when Russia, again being a vastly superior nation militarily, “invaded” Ukraine in early 2022. And with this particular iteration of said song having the “hey, hey” added to it and also taking the entire title of this cover, if you will, into consideration, there appears to be a special emphasis on encouraging Ukrainians to continue to resist against the Russian incursion.

Lyrics of "Hey, Hey, Rise Up!"

Facts about “Hey, Hey, Rise Up!”

Khlyvnyuk and Gilmour are co-writers of “Hey, Hey, Rise Up!”. Stephan Charnetskii (1881-1944) is also credited as this song’s co-writer. Stephan is the original composer of “Oh, the Red Viburnum in the Meadow”.

This is a song that Columbia Records and Sony Music Entertainment released on 8 April 2022. The labels released it as a standalone single.

To note the aforementioned Nick Mason, Gilmour’s Pink Floyd bandmate who plays the drums, also participated on this track. And concerning Khlyvnyuk, he was outside of the Ukraine when Russia attacked in late February, 2022. However, he actually returned home once the offensive commenced.

Gilmour also acted as the producer of “Hey, Hey, Rise Up”. The music video to this single was directed by Mat Whitecross.

Gilmour’s aforementioned Ukrainian daughter-in-law got involved in recording this song. She actually contacted Mason herself to enlist his participation.

For the record, the last single Pink Floyd dropped prior to this one was 2014’s “Louder Than Words”.

Hey, Hey, Rise Up!

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