Ukrainian Christmas Carols

Tis’ the time of the season. Advent and the approach of Christmas. Sometimes we get bogged down in arguments so it’s nice to take a break and perhaps listen to Christmas Carols not part of the Western “cannon” so to speak. However, one of the most famous “English” Christmas Carols is the Ukrainian Carol of the Bells. It’s Ukrainian but became famous in the West.

I’ve included links to religious carols done modern, Old-Country-like, and in between for variety. The famous Ukrainian Ivan Maistrenko mentioned in his memoirs of life in Ukraine that even under the Russian tsars and later under the Soviets (Istoriya Moho Pokolinnia (University of Alberta press) the Imperial Muscovite Church frowned on Ukrainian villagers’ christmas carols - which was a bigger tradition in Ukraine - both Catholic and Orthodox parts. Well they still surivive and even Russians make use of them now. :slight_smile:

For starters there is the exotic “Oy, U Yasnim Nebi” which is about Christ’s nativity and the bright sky. Here’s the video:

Here is a more country-like “Nova Radist’ Stala” about the Christmas Star descending upon the manger:

Here is a more modern take on the traditional and popular “Dobryi Vechir Tobi” or “Merry Evening to You” expressing carolers delight on Christmas eve and proclaiming Joy to the World, performed by Ukraine’s current pop stars:

and a traditional take:

Here is a children choir’s rendition of a sweet carol:

Here is a carol with no video but beautiful song about the baby Jesus sleeping: Spy, Isuse, Spy.

And finally Victor Pavlyk’s nice contributions:

Merry Christmas everyone, and if anyone has any nice carols from their tradition to add, Go ahead!

Andrew :slight_smile:

Ukrainians have the BEST Christmas Carols bar none!

Дуже Дякую! Чyдово!

Hey can you please tell me what is the Christmas Carol called which has a verse that ends
“chudo chudo povidaiyo…” (I can read cyrillic but I can’t write it sorry…)

That would be “Nebo i Zemlya”.

Ruthenians sing basically the same carols with slight variants in music.

I know there are also Romanian carols, but I really don’t know any.

Yes, as Diak mentioned, it’s Nebo i Zemlia, as sung here by a Ukrainian Catholic choir in Connecticut:

Nebo i Zemlia, Nebo i Zemlia Nyni Torzhestvuyut’
Oh, Heaven and Earth, Oh Heaven and Earth are Rejoicing Today.

Anhely, liudy, Anhely, liudy, veselo praznuyut’
The Angels and People, The Angels and People, are Happy in Celebration.

chorus: Khrystos Rodyvsia, Boh Voplotyvsia, Anhely Spivayut’, Tsarya Vitaut’, Poklin Vidayut’, Pastyriyi Khrayut, CHUDO, CHUDO! Povidayut’

chorus: Christ is Born, Oh, The Incarnation, Angels are Singing, Greeting the King, Bowing to Him, Shepherds are Rejoicing, Oh MIRACLE, Oh MIRACLE, Do They Proclaim!

That’s my personal Ukrainian transliteration and English translation. I hope it makes sense. :slight_smile:

прошу. дякую!

Oh and I suppose I should pose the old stand-byes too, since I assume too easily others know the standbyes for no good reason on my part except forgetfulness.

“Boh Sia Razhdaye” sung in Lviv, Ukraine.

“Vo Vyfliyemi” “In Bethlehem”

And the last is commonly accepted as the most important "Boh Predvichnyi which is usually sung first before the traditional Christmas Dinner on Christmas Eve.

sung by the same Ukrainian Catholic choir that posted Nebo i Zemlia above.

or differently “Boh Predvichnyi” sung by Ukrainian female singers in a medley here from a St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic site.


I must add a Polish carol: Jezus Malusieńki:smiley: I hate to rain on the party…

Also, the famous Volyn Folk Choir of Ukraine put on a beautiful Christmas concert not too long ago, containing carols (koliady) and shchedryky (Christmas and New Years’ carols). Worth a watch.

U Vyfliyemi Novyna “From Bethlehem, Joyous Tidings”–0&feature=related

Staryi Rik Mynaye, Novyj, Novyj Nastupaye, Khrystos SiaRazhdaye
“The Old Year is Ending, the New Coming, Christ is Born”

Shchedryk, Shchedrivochka

Dobryi Vechir, Tobi

Nova Radist’ Stala

The generic "Mnohaya Lita “Many Years” always belted out at Feasts.

And also another Ukrainian folkloric group’s rendition of a shchedryk Staryi Rik Mynaye, Novyi Nastupaye, Khrystos Sia Razhdaye

Oh C’mon Ljubim, you’re not raining on any party. I look selfish only posting Ukrainian songs. Poland is close enough to Ukraine, and the video song you linked to was BEAUTIFUL, angelic voices. Beautiful. Stuff like this we never hear outside of our communities. Post some more if you can. :smiley:

:smiley: OK… well there aren’t any decent videos on youtube but “Przybieżeli do Betlejem” is a really good one!

My favorite of the ones you posted was Нова радість стала… it’s badly stuck in my head now;)

I didn’t know Shchedrik was a Christmas carol! I always thought it was the Americans who used the tune for one of their songs:shrug:

Yeah… The story goes, or so my parents told me, that someone in President Eisenhower’s family fell in love with the shchedrik on first hearing it and it was spread over the U.S. after that. The funny thing is as a kid in a Ukrainian children’s choir it was harder to sing in Ukrainian (because the words go really fast and there are a lot of “shch” consonants in Ukrainian) than possibly in English. In any event, it was Mykola Leontovych’s Ukrainian classic which has become a world classic now. And here’s a link to it from Jersey!


O.K. Good. A different version then with the full lyrics. :wink:

My roommate has a recording of some monks singing Kievan Chant of a Christmas piece, I believe an antiphon for liturgy called “God Is With Us.” Does anyone have a recording of that?

There are variations of Kievan chant according to region (Volhynian - Pochaiv, Galician - Peremyshl and Lviv, Ruthenian, and of course Kievan Pechersk, and Poltava). You may try this site which offers free listens of all the chants, and look for the “God is With Us” chant near the beginning.

God Bless. :slight_smile:

Thanks to all for those wonderful links!

Since we’ve slid off Ukrainian already… :slight_smile:

I was looking for some of the songs that were sung in the Greek portion of the “International Christmas Concert” at the local Greek Orthodox proto cathedral. I found this nice recording of Litrosin.

In searching around I happened on this lovely “Arabic Christmas Carol”. (At the end there is a bibliography of the images in the slide show.)

Wow. Beautiful Videos and Beautiful Voices! :slight_smile: That Capella Romana sings like the real deal professional alright and it’s my first time hearing of them. I checked out a couple of their other videos and they sure are talented.

And that is the first time I heard an Arabic Christian Carol ! Europeans are prone to forget about Christians in the Middle East and Holy Land. Beautiful and the chanter was a gentleman from Ottawa, Canada. Petra, Syria, Lebanon, the Holy Land pics. Very, very Nice.

I was going to title my thread generically Christmas Carols so all traditions could upload then I was worried I wouldn’t get anywhere so I just posted what I knew. :blush:

I hope you and others post others so I can take a break if this thread goes somewhere. God Bless!

p.s. I am interested in the other Byzantine, Armenian, etc. Churches and carols but you’re the first to take it that way, which is what I wanted. :smiley:

Andrew. :slight_smile:


I hope you’ll at least keep it Eastern/Oriental so it doesn’t get hijacked by the West … :slight_smile:

It reminds me of favorite Pascha YouTubes and other videos we had last Pascha. I tried to find a Nativity carol from the same Serbian group who has a wonderful Pascha video. I think this is the same group.


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