What are the lyrics to Ukraine’s national anthem, and how does it translate into English?

13 May 2021, 10:36

What are the lyrics to the Ukraine’s national anthem, ‘State Anthem of Ukraine’?
What are the lyrics to the Ukraine’s national anthem, ‘State Anthem of Ukraine’? Picture: Getty

By Sian Moore

A mighty choral work worthy of any great stadium or concert hall – we delve into the lyrics and history of Ukraine’s national song.

‘Shche ne vmerla Ukrainas’, the national anthem of Ukraine, has just one verse and one chorus – but it remains one of the world’s mightiest patriotic songs.

It was formally adopted less than three decades ago, following the country’s independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

While formally known as the ‘State Anthem of Ukraine’, it also goes by its native title ‘Shche ne vmerla Ukraina’, which translates into English as ‘Ukraine Has Not Yet Perished’.

The rousing melody we hear today was officially accepted in 1992 by Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada.

Read more: The time 13-year-old Julie Andrews sang the national anthem for the King and Queen

More than 10 years later, the official lyrics were set after then-president Leonid Kuchma proposed a law in 2003.

He wanted priest and composer Mykhailo Verbytsky’s music to be the vehicle for Ukrainian poet’s Pavlo Chubynsky’s patriotic poem, ‘Šče ne vmerla Ukrajina’, with some adjustments to the first verse.

Instead of the poet’s original line “Ukraine has not yet died, neither her glory, nor her freedom”, the anthem goes, “Ukraine’s glory has not yet died, nor her freedom”.

Read more: Britain’s national anthem: What are the lyrics to God Save the Queen? And who wrote it?

What are the lyrics to the Ukraine’s national anthem in English?

Ukraine is not yet dead, nor its glory and freedom,
Luck will still smile on us brother-Ukrainians.
Our enemies will die, as the dew does in the sunshine,
and we, too, brothers, we'll live happily in our land.

We’ll not spare either our souls or bodies to get freedom
and we’ll prove that we brothers are of Kozak kin.

What are the lyrics to the Ukraine’s national anthem?

Ще не вмерла України і слава, і воля,
Ще нам, браття молодії, усміхнеться доля.
Згинуть наші воріженьки, як роса на сонці.
Запануєм і ми, браття, у своїй сторонці.

Душу й тіло ми положим за нашу свободу,
І покажем, що ми, браття, козацького роду.