Shche ne vmerla Ukrainy i slava, i volia
(Ukraine hasn’t parished yet, nor her glory, nor her freedom)
In the autumn of 1862, long before Ukraine existed as an independent state, the Ukrainian poet Pavlo Chubynsky, wrote the patriotic poem “Never perished is Ukraine’s glory and freedom”. The background was the revival movement of the Slavic peoples under foreign rule. The poem quickly spread and resulted in Chubynsky being placed under police surveillance “because of his harmful influence on people’s minds” and being resettled in Arkhangelsk. In 1863, the poem was first published in the Lviv magazine “Мета”. The Catholic priest and composer Mykhailo Verbytsky, was so enthusiastic about the text that he first composed the singing part and later an orchestral accompaniment. In 1865 the poem set to music was published with sheet music.
In 1917 the anthem was sung as the national anthem of the young Ukrainian People’s Republic; however, during the period of brief independence between 1917 and 1920, it was not officially designated as the state anthem.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union and the founding of an independent Ukraine, Verbytsky’s music was written into the constitution as an anthem in 1991. The words to be sung were laid down by law in 2003. The original text of the first line “Never perished is Ukraine’s glory and freedom” was changed by a small grammatical correction and now reads: “Ukraine hasn’t parished yet, nor her glory, nor her freedom”.
Ukraine hasn’t parished yet, nor her glory, nor her freedom.
Upon us, fellow kin, fate shall smile once more.
Our enemies will vanish, like dew in the morning sun,
And we too shall rule, brothers, in a free land of our own.
We’ll lay down our souls and bodies to attain our freedom,
And we’ll show that we, brothers, are of the Kozak nation.