It’s her first effort to go to Eurovision, but she came prepared! Alina Pash is one of the eight finalists of Vidbir, Ukraine’s selection for Eurovision 2022. With “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors”, performed in both Ukrainian and English, she chronicles the history of her home country and calls for peace and hope for the future.
Scroll down to read the “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors” lyrics
Vidbir 2022: Alina Pash “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors”
Alina Pash will definitely bring some flair to Vidbir 2022. The Transcarpathian-born “Bitanga” hitmaker has been topping fan wish lists for several years.
Born in 1993 in the small village of Bushtyno, she’s since grown into one of the country’s most interesting faces in music. She participated in X Factor Ukraine in 2015, finishing third overall. However, her big breakthrough only came in 2018 when she first started releasing her own music.
In 2021, Alina Pash was one of the young Ukrainian artists to appear on the Tina Karol collaboration album Молода кров (Young blood).
She has received international acclaim too. Most recently, Alina won a Music Moves Europe Talents Award (a successor of the EBBA Awards) at Eurosonic Noorderslag, following in the footsteps of Ukrainian rapper alyona alyona.
What do the “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors” lyrics mean?
Alina Pash’s song bares the same title as the famous 1965 film that depicts the tragic life story of a Hutsul Ukrainian man. In the 1960s, the film was progressive and controversial for its strong depiction of local culture, traditions and customs at a time when national culture was repressed. The soundtrack, including many folklore instruments, is one of the most striking parts of the film.
The film’s main characters are also featured prominently in the artwork of Alina Pash’s “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors” (see article’s main image). Below them, there is an image of Lesya Ukrainka, one of the country’s most famous and celebrated writers. Above in the right corner, Iryna Vilde is depicted – the UNESCO-protected writer who is known for her literary depictions of Western Ukraine.
In the first and only verse of “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors”, Alina Pash chronicles the history of her home country Ukraine. Starting with the line “Trembitas are crying for my free people / Who centuries live through storm“, she sings about the long history of war and struggles that the country has known for centuries. The trembita is a horn instrument used in the Carpathian mountains as a means to communicate events such as danger and also death of locals – Eurovision fans will recognise them from the opening of Ruslana’s performance of “Wild Dances” in 2004.
After peace returned to the country, as Slavic ancient gods Perun and Dazhbog heard the prayers of the local people, Alina sings that communities started to arise in the Middle Ages. These are the so-called “Viche”, which are gradually controlled by noblemen and Pani – a type of gentry. In other parts of Ukraine, Cossacks are defending the newfound land.
In the chorus, there is a call for unison between the peoples who inhabited the land throughout time: “Come out from the water, destiny, destiny / All my sisters, all my brothers / Give the drop that all we need / Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, mine and yours / In chronicles, hearts, eyes, blood century after century”.
The spoken word section following this is reflective of the history told in the first part of the song. Alina refers to “writings of Dumas”, which can mean Ukrainian folk epics and/or point towards historical writer Alexandre Dumas. She sings that, at times, the history of Ukraine seemed so depressive that Dante could have written a Divine Tragedy instead of his famous Divine Comedy.
Referring to Picasso’s dove — a symbol of peace — Alina says that peace is the only way out. She compares herself to the Grimm Brothers, who are responsible for the retelling of folklore stories in parts of Western Europe. In the last part before the chorus, Alina says Ukrainians are not dependent on the tragedy of the past, but can instead create a better future for themselves.
Shadows of Ancestors lyrics and English translation – Alina Pash (Vidbir 2022)
Music and lyrics by: Alina Pash, Taras Bazeev
Do you like Alina Pash’s “Shadows of Ancestors”? Is it your favourite for Vidbir 2022? Let us know in the comments down below!