Taras Petrinenko

Taras Petrynenko / Тарас Петриненко

Published: January 4, 2017

Taras Petrynenko (Тарас Гаринальдович Петриненко) is a Ukrainian musician, singer, composer, and poet. He is known as the author of the song “Ukraine” (“Україна”), which has become a de facto anthem of the country. Some of his other well-known songs are “Song About a Song” (“Пісня про пісню”), “Lord, Have Mercy On Us” (“Господи, помилуй нас”), and “My Love” (“Любовь моя”). Petrynenko was named a People’s Artist of Ukraine (Народный артист Украины) in 1999.

Petrynenko was born in 1953 and began playing music at age 16, when he began performing with a folk-rock group called Eney (Эней). In 1970 Eney debuted on national television, and for a few years they were undisputed leaders of the Ukrainian rock scene. The next year Petrynenko formed a new group called Bells (Колокола), which would eventually merge with Eney.

In the late ’70s, after completing military service, Petrynenko briefly lead a musical ensemble called Mriya (Мрия), before leaving for another group, Magic Guitars (Волшебные гитары). With this band, Petrynenko moved to the Tula region of Russia. From 1982 until 1986 he lead the Tula music ensemble Red Poppies (Красные маки), which was solely made up of Ukrainian musicians. During these first years in Russia, Petrynenko composed his first Russian-language hits: “Once in the Morning” (“Однажды утром”), “I’ll Soon Return” (“Я скоро вернусь”), and “Migrant Bird” (“Перелётная птица”), among others.

In 1989 Petrynenko released his famous album I’m a Professional Slave (Я профессиональный раб) with his progressive rock band Grono. In the early 1990s Petrynenko returned to Ukraine, where in 1995 he began to work for the state television company, hosting a music program called Lullaby for Adults (Колыбельная для взрослых). Two years later he would receive the prestigious “Golden Firebird” (“Золотая Жар-птица”) prize for his efforts as a musician.

This award was followed two years later by the People’s Artist of Ukraine title.

In 2004 Petrynenko, like many artists, became an active participant in Ukraine’s Orange Revolution. Many of Petrynenko’s songs were performed during mass protests by himself and other musicians. Petrynenko continues to write and perform his music today, both in Ukraine and abroad.

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Here is Petrynenko with his patriotic anthem “Ukraine” (“Україна”):


Lyrics for “Україна”:

Дороги іншої не треба,
Поки зорить Чумацький Шлях,
Я йду від тебе і до тебе
По золотих твоїх стежках.

Мені не можна не любити,
Тобі не можна не цвісти,
Лиш доти варто в світі жити,
Поки живеш і квітнеш ти!

Україно, Україно,
Після далечі доріг
Вірне серце твого сина
Я кладу тобі до ніг!

Бо ми кохаєм до нестями
І ще не скоро наш кінець,
Ще, може, нашими серцями
Розпалим тисячі сердець.

Ще свічка наша не згоріла,
Ще наша молодість при нас,
А те, чи варте наше діло –
То скажуть люди й скаже час.


Here is “Song About a Song” (“Пісня про пісню”):


Lyrics for “Пісня про пісню”:

Зорепадом летять роки
У минуле, у віки.
Шлях, що пройдено не пройдеш,
Що минуло не вернеш.
Тільки пісня нам зупинить час,
Що так біжить від нас.
Тільки пісня нам поверне знов
Нашу юність і любов.

Нам дано будувать мости
У незнанії світи.
І додому, де вірно ждуть
Довгих років, довга путь.
Тільки пісня у чужім краю
Здолає сто доріг.
І кохану нагада твою,
І далекий твій поріг.

Зорепадом летать роки
У майбутнє і віки.
Серед радощів і біди
З нами пісня назавжди.
Тільки пісня поміж тисяч мрій
Поведе до майбуття.
Пісня – матір щастя і надій.
Без пісень нема життя.


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About the author

Zachary Hicks

Zach Hicks is a PhD student in Comparative Literature at the University of Oregon. He is currently participating in SRAS's Home and Abroad scholarship program. His main areas of interest are twentieth-century Russian and Soviet literature, socialist modernism, and critical theory. Outside of academics his major interests are martial arts, the outdoors, and music. In Russia, he plans to continue to increase his language proficiency, to learn as much as possible about the Russian underground music scene, its tattoo culture, and to become a student of Russia’s native martial art, SAMBO.

Program attended: Art and Museums in Russia

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