War is NOT Over: Ukrainian Military Performed Popular Christmas Carols to Remind People About the War in Ukraine
22.12.2023 · Events
The UNITED24 fundraising platform released a video featuring 9 Ukrainian soldiers singing famous Christmas songs: Happy Xmas (War Is Over), Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! and I'll Be Home for Christmas. These cover versions feature changed lyrics, reminding people about the war and the importance of global support for Ukraine.
Covers were performed on a bandura (a centuries-old traditional Ukrainian instrument), flute and guitar, with percussion and a synthesizer.
The video was shot in a dugout near Bakhmut, against the background of civilian buildings destroyed by russian invaders — a cultural center and railway station in front-line Lyman, schools, and a gas station in Kostiantynivka, a town 15 km away from the front line.
"We wanted to wish the world a Merry Christmas, while reminding everyone that the war in Ukraine continues. The songs we selected are true holiday symbols. Some words in the lyrics have been changed. For example, the phrase "war is over'' in John Lennon's Happy Xmas (War Is Over). was changed to the "war is not over." I'll Be Home for Christmas, a song written from a World War II soldier's perpective and sung by Frank Sinatra, features a line "I won't be home this Christmas." Sang by the Ukrainian military, these lines sound so sweet, so sincere. Ukraine needs support. Today, on Christmas, and New Year. We believe that the world will feel it again and will be there for us,"says Yaroslava Gres, UNITED24 Coordinator.
The heroes of the video, created with the support of the Cultural Forces, are servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, a paramedic of the Ukrainian Volunteer Army, and combat medics:
- guitar and vocals: Oleksandr Remez, a soldier of the 110th OBrTRO, who was wounded in the battles near Lysychansk, and Inna Korolenko, a combat medic of the fire support platoon of the 206th Battalion of the Territorial Defence of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
- bandura and vocals: Dmytro Romanchuk, a serviceman of the 59th OMPBr, who participated in the defence of Kyiv
- pipe: Mykhailo Adamchak, a paramedic of the Hospitaliers battalion of the Ukrainian Volunteer Army, musician and frontman of the CORALLY band
- percussion: Artur Temchenko, a serviceman of 110 OBrTRO, actor and drummer
- piano and vocals: Mykhailo Oliynyk, a serviceman of the 59th Military Infantry Brigade, composer and music producer
- saxophone: Dmytro Dudko, a serviceman of the 59th OMPBr
- vocals: Iryna Kosovska, a combat medic of the 3rd motorized infantry platoon of the 1st company of the 10th OGSHBR Edelweiss; Viktoriya Chudakovska, a servicewoman of the 59th OMPBr, and Svitlana Cherednychenko, a soloist of the National Exemplary Band of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
"It's been almost 2 years since my military service has started, and today, music is a rehabilitation tool both for me, and my brothers-in-arms, with whom we are currently serving near Bakhmut,"says Inna Korolenko, a combat medic of the fire support platoon of the 206th Battalion of the Territorial Defence of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
"During the Christmas holidays, people naturally distance themselves from other people's problems. I would very much like this project to make the world understand that the war is not over and it is necessary to get involved as much as possible. The more supporters we have, the more help will come to us, and the faster we will move towards victory."
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