Go_A Ukraine Eurovision 2020 Solovey

Go_A were due to represent Ukraine at Eurovision 2020 with their song “Solovey”. The band earned the ticket to Rotterdam by winning Vidbir 2020. On top of that, they would have been the first Ukrainian act to sing entirely in the country’s official language at Eurovision.

Scroll down for the “Solovey” lyrics

Ukraine in Eurovision 2020: Go_A “Solovey”

Ukrainian is an Eastern Slavic language that has had different places in the arts throughout the centuries. In the nineteenth century, the Ukrainian language was mostly used to depict countryside tales, for example in Nikolay Gogol’s work Evenings on a farm near Dikanka.

During the twentieth century, the Ukrainian language became popular through the musical drama film Chervona Ruta. Recently, bands as KAZKA and the Hardkiss have promoted the language across the eastern half of the continent with their pop music.

“Solovey”, literally meaning “Nightingale” is a combination of all these elements: the Ukrainian countryside, the love tragedies and modern-day pop music.

Singer Kataryna Pavlenko, multi-instrumentalist Taras Shevchenko, sopilka player Ihor Didenchuk and guitarist Ivan Hryhoryak comprise Go_A. They combine EDM, traditional Ukrainian music and Drum & Bass. Experimenting is not something that scares them. Those who love some classic Slavic folktronica will be in for a treat with their song “Solovey”.

What do the “Solovey” lyrics mean?

Go_A said the following about “Solovey”:

“Life is an experience, but it tends to differ. It is most important to not lose optimism and be able to sufficiently leave from every situation, even while being in love with something. After all, it is not important what happened, but how you dealt with it.”

The main character in the story of “Solovey” — lead vocalist Kateryna — wants to be with her lover. However, she knows that an angry mother will not approve of her love. Instead, she tries to meet him at night and begs the nightingale to not sing early and wake up the world.

After a while, she realises that this cannot go on. Though it’s hard to forget him.

The band elaborate further, telling wiwibloggs that:

“The story is not so tragic. The girl who gives in and lets herself fall in love, suddenly realizes that she is not taken seriously. She holds on to her dignity till the last and keeps playing her role as if she doesn’t really care, and yet turns the tables”.

Next to the use of Slavic folk elements, such as flower crowns and guelder roses, the verses in “Solovey” are written in an iambic pentameter. This is was the main meter used in Slavic folk poetry and drama since the golden age.

“Solovey” lyrics — Go_A (Ukraine ESC 2020)and translation

Written and composed by: Taras Shevchenko and Kateryna Pavlenko

Ukrainian text

Ой ходила я в долину
По червоную калину
Ой ходила я в долину
По червоную калину
Назбирала квіточок
Заплітала в віночок
Заплітала в віночок
Руту і барвіночок
А до мене Ванюша
Із за гаю поспіша
А до мене Ванюша
Ти Катруся хороша!
Мила моя Катруся
Я з тобою люблюся
Я з тобою люблюся
Поки не зна матуся

Соловей, соловей не співай раненько
А мені на серденьку знов не веселенько
Соловей, соловей ой як мені бути
Вміла його полюбити – не вміла забути

Якби я того не знала
Я б з тобою не гуляла
Не ходила долину
Не ламала б калину
Я з тобою люблюся
Поки не зна матуся
А як узна матуся, то розійдемося

Соловей, соловей не співай раненько
А мені на серденьку знов не веселенько
Соловей, соловей ой як мені бути
Вміла його полюбити – не вміла забути

English translation

Oh I was walking through the valleys
Through the guelder roses
Oh I was walking through the valleys
Through the guelder roses
I took a little flower
Tangled it into a small crown
Tangled it into a small crown
A rue and a little periwinkle
And to me Vanyusha
Hurried from grove
And to me Vanyusha
Said Katrusha you are fine!
My sweetest Katrusha
I am in love with you
I am in love with you
Until mum doesn’t know yet

Nightingale, nightingale, don’t sing early
For my little heart won’t happy again
Nightingale, nightingale, oh how can I be
I am able to love him – not able to forget him

If I didn’t know that
I wouldn’t be walking with you
I wouldn’t walk through the valleys
I wouldn’t be breaking the guelder roses
I am in love with you
Until mum doesn’t know yet
And if mum knows, we will have to break up

Nightingale, nightingale, don’t sing early
For my little heart won’t happy again
Nightingale, nightingale, oh how can I be
I am able to love him – not able to forget him

What do you think of Ukraine’s entry? Let us know in the comments below.

Read more Eurovision 2020 lyrics.

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MyName
MyName
3 months ago

Excellent song 🙂 My favourite at the moment. Original, catchy, ethnic, very interesting, daring and powerful. Very hauting song. I love their unusual way of singing. Will be great to hear them again in Vidir next year

Zelenovi
Zelenovi
3 months ago

Loved this from the first listen. As someone from Western Europe who loves Slavic folklore, Onuka and beliy golos singing, this was always going to be a hit for me and I think they did a brilliant job – even if it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
Excited to see them back next year!

eurovisionaire
eurovisionaire
3 months ago

I tried to sign that english version – didnt work out very good xD

John
John
3 months ago

The English translation is a bit rough but it gets the main points across. The imagery is uniquely Ukrainian so hard to convey in English, 1 major change I would make is to “? ? ? ????? ?? ??????” should be “I wouldn’t have dated you”. And it’s not “Though mum doesn’t know yet” is “Until mum doesn’t know yet”.

Kosey
Kosey
3 months ago

Did anyone else think of Norma John’s Blackbird when reading these lyrics?

Teddy
Teddy
3 months ago
Reply to  Kosey

In the best possible way, yes! I love both songs for very different reasons as well.