They are mixing the modern and the classic. Kalush Orchestra are one of the eight finalists in Vidbir, Ukraine’s selection for Eurovision 2022. With their song “Stefania”, the group reflects on a hard-working and strong, yet sensitive, mother.

Scroll down to read the “Stefania” lyrics

Vidbir 2022: Kalush Orchestra “Stefania”

Hip hop group Kalush took their name from the city where they formed in 2019, in the Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast, western Ukraine. The three-piece of rapper Oleh Psiuk, multi-instrumentalist Ihor Didenchuk and MC Kylymen attained commercial success quickly in their home country, creating rap pieces from the slang of Psiuk’s home town. Ihor Didenchuk already has some Eurovision experience under his belt as he stood on the stage with Go_A in Rotterdam last year as their flautist.

Kalush released their first album HOTIN in 2021, which followed the great success of their single “Zori”. This song received notable airplay on Ukrainian radio and has been streamed over two million times since its release on Spotify. Meanwhile, the group collaborated heavily with other big Ukrainian acts, such as Okean Elzy and alyona alyona.

Recently, the group decided to create their own orchestra, which focused on the combination of hip hop and ancient folklore. For this effort, Kalush teamed up with three other musicians: backing vocalist and rapper Dzhonni Dyvniy, plus multi-instrumentalists Tymofii Muzychuk and Vitalii Duzhyk.

The orchestra’s first large release came with “Shtomber Womber” in December 2021. The song discussed social issues and came with a music video featuring ancient instruments and a typical Ivano-Frankivsk coat.

What do the “Stefania” lyrics mean?

Kalush Orchestra bring an ode to the mother in “Stefania”. Lyric-wise, the song mixes two styles. In the chorus, the song uses typical folk song lyrics – short sentences with long vowels. The verses, on the other hand, contain much longer lines, which are performed much quicker compared to the slower chorus, creating the typical rap flow that fans are used to from Kalush. 

One of the key words of the song is “колискова”, which means “lullaby”. The lullaby is a symbol in the song for the good memories that the narrator has of their mother. The sound of the lullaby brings them back to a moment when they were still under the safe guard of their mother. It comes back in both the chorus and the verse, as each rap verse ends with the sentence “Lyuli lyuli lyuli”, which is a classic Slavic folk lullaby. 

The song starts off with a child looking at how their mother has aged. Several lines awake a nostalgic feeling to the past and towards the image of a mother: “The field blooms, but she is turning grey / Sing me a lullaby mum / I want to hear your native word”. Like typical folk rhymes, this part seems more romantic and idealises a tragic situation.

In the verse, where a more contemporary rap is used, there is a much more realistic depiction of the events. It discusses the hardship of being a mother. There seems to be an absence of support for the mother, who tries her best to raise her child. The narrator realises their mother has done a lot for them and that they will always return to her: “She rocked me; gave me rhythm and probably the power of will; did not take, but she gave”. 

While the mother is portrayed as a sweet and soft woman in the folk-style chorus, in the verses, she is a much more rounded character. There, she is portrayed as a strong but sensitive person: “She will not awaken, won’t wake, me in strong storms / She will take two fig signs from grandma, as if they were bullets / She knew me very well she was not deceived, like she was very tired she rocked me in time”. 

“Stefania” lyrics – Kalush Orchestra (Vidbir 2022)

Music and lyrics by: Ihor Didenchuk, Ivan Klimenko, Oleh Psiuk, Tymofii Muzychuk and Vitalii Duzhyk

Original lyrics

Стефанія мамо мамо Стефанія
Розквітає поле, а вона сивіє
Заспівай мені мамо колискову
Хочу ще почути твоє рідне слово

Вона мене колисала дала мені ритм і напевне силу волі не забрати в мене, бо дала вона
Напевне знала може більше і від Соломона
Ламаними дорогами прийду я завжди до тебе
Вона не розбудить, не будить, мене в сильні бурі
Забере в бабулі дві дулі, ніби вони кулі
Дуже добре знала мене не була обманута, як була дуже втомлена, гойдала мене в такт
Люлі люлі люлі…

Стефанія мамо мамо Стефанія
Розквітає поле, а вона сивіє
Заспівай мені мамо колискову
Хочу ще почути твоє рідне слово

Я не в пеленах но ма но ма, хватить, як би я не виріс на виріст за речі платить
Я не мала дитина, вона далі нерви тратить, я гуляв, шляк би тебе трафив
Ти все молода о мамо на піку, якщо не ціню опіку на піку слави мені в тупику
Забивайте піку цю піку, я би попік спік, своєю любов’ю
Люлі люлі люлі…

Стефанія мамо мамо Стефанія
Розквітає поле, а вона сивіє
Заспівай мені мамо колискову
Хочу ще почути твоє рідне слово

Стефанія мамо мамо Стефанія
Розквітає поле, а вона сивіє
Заспівай мені мамо колискову
Хочу ще почути твоє рідне слово

English translation

Stefania mum mum Stefania
The field blooms, but she is turning grey
Sing me a lullaby mum
I want to hear your native word

She rocked me; gave me rhythm and probably the power of will; did not take, but she gave
Probably knew even more and from Solomon
I will always walk to you by broken roads
She will not awaken, won’t wake, me in strong storms
She will take two fig signs from grandma, as if they were bullets
She knew me very well; she was not deceived, like she was very tired; she rocked me in time
Lyuli lyuli lyuli…

Stefania mum mum Stefania
The field blooms, but she is turning gray
Sing me a lullaby mum
I want to hear your native word

I’m not in diapers but ma but ma, enough, like if I did not grow up to grow to pay for things
I’m not a small child, she still loses her temper, I walked, “like the slag would hit you” [Ukrainian curse]You are all young oh mother at the peak, if I do not value the guardianship at the peak of glory I’m in the dead end
Kill the peak that peak, I would sing with my love
Lyuli lyuli lyuli…

Stefania mum mum Stefania
The field blooms, but she is turning gray
Sing me a lullaby mum
I want to hear your native word

Stefania mum mum Stefania
The field blooms, but she is turning gray
Sing me a lullaby mum
I want to hear your native word

Do you like Kalush Orchestra’s “Stefania”? Are you hoping that they will win Vidbir 2022? Let us know in the comments down below!

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Francesco Rossi
Francesco Rossi
5 months ago

The Google Translate version is kinda meeh and gives the wrong idea, here my interpration, a little bit different but with the same meaning. Please pay someone who actually understand the song. Lyulia(used as Loili) actually means lullaby, its not an onomatopoeia. Mother Stefania, Stefania my mother The field is in bloom, but your hair is turning gray Mother, sing me the lullaby I want to hear your dear word She rocked me as a child, she gave me a rhythm, And you can’t take the willpower out of me, look, I took it from her I think she knew… Read more »

GQR
GQR
6 months ago

I absolutely adore this song. Sympathy vote or no sympathy vote, very deserved winners.

Mr X
Mr X
3 months ago
Reply to  GQR

I absolutely agree with you (although my favourite was UK)

Aurora
Aurora
6 months ago

I just finished watching the 2022 Eurovision Song Contast. Congratulation to Ukraine for the WIN. I am not Ukrainian nor from any of the Eastern European countries. In my heart of hearts, I was wishing the victory of Ukraine more so than my own country. After each nation called in its votes, I kind of lost a little bit of hope that Ukraine would actually win.. When the votes of the public came in at 439 (that was more than 200 votes more than any other nation received) in favor of Ukraine, and the arena literally exploded in applause ,… Read more »

K_K
K_K
9 months ago

Snow googles is the only piece there. Nothing like you described it as “dressed almost like…you don’t know who”

James
James
9 months ago

Japanese people don’t mind seeing their outfits being worn by foreigners as long as you do not disrespect it.

Twisty
Twisty
6 months ago
Reply to  James

Just curious, when did they wear japanese outfits and could you show examples of it?

James
James
5 months ago
Reply to  Twisty

Hi. I believe I wrote this as a response to someone mentioning Netta wearing a version of a kimono but looks like the post I replied to is no longer around.

Nils
Nils
9 months ago

We’ll … I’m a bit irritated by their video, but the song truly is dope. Makes me wish I could speak Ukrainian to sing along to it.

Nils
Nils
9 months ago
Reply to  Nils

* Well

Epicurean
Epicurean
9 months ago

It shouldn’t matter what you wear. That’s true equality.

Epicurean
Epicurean
9 months ago

This could win Eurovision. Send this!

Alvaro
Alvaro
9 months ago

Not my cup of tea.

kir
kir
9 months ago

So it’s like Zdob si Zdub (in general not particulary this year) but quality. Welp, sounds good to me.

Mil
Mil
9 months ago
Reply to  kir

I don’t see any similarities. Zdob si Zdub usually mixes folk with rock. Here we have folk with hip hop.

Addie
Addie
9 months ago

This song is really good! It still needs to grow on me, but I know I like it already. But one question, why is it so short?

Jonas
Jonas
9 months ago
Reply to  Addie

I think you’ve played the first video in this article, which seems to be half of the video – the second video is the full song.

Addie
Addie
9 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

Ohhh thanks!

Aurora
Aurora
6 months ago
Reply to  Addie

Because the Eurovision contest rule is that a song cannot be more than 3 minutes long. This song is much longer but they had to work hard at it to shorten it in order to meet the regulation.

Ricky
Ricky
9 months ago

This song is the perfect successor to SHUM from last year! This could be another TOP 5 for Ukraine!

Sabrina
Sabrina
9 months ago

Same here. Ukraine is mastering the art of mixing folkloric and contemporary music.

Jo.
Jo.
9 months ago

Another great option, Ukraine rarely disappoints…

Anita
Anita
9 months ago

Yes!!!

Tom
Tom
9 months ago

Love it!

Nick
Nick
9 months ago

Love it, looks interesting and authentic, even rap part sounds cool

Jonas
Jonas
9 months ago

I like this very much.

#synthsareawesome
#synthsareawesome
9 months ago

As a Ukrainian, I find the choice of a name weird. I mean, wouldn’t the Ukrainian version be be Shtefania (Shtefa)? At lest, it’s what I’ve heard on Zakarpatye.

ete sech
ete sech
9 months ago

And what’s your opinion about the entry as a Ukrainian? 🙂

#synthsareawesome
#synthsareawesome
9 months ago
Reply to  ete sech

It’s good and has winning potential.

Berta
Berta
9 months ago

Stefania is the full name of Shtefa, very common name in Western Ukraine along with Roxolana

#synthsareawesome
#synthsareawesome
9 months ago
Reply to  Berta

I know, but isn’t it Shtefania? Like, not with “S” but with “Sh”?

Mil
Mil
9 months ago

Hahaha, according to your logic Antonina is not a Ukrainian name, but Tonia is.

K_K
K_K
9 months ago

The author knows his mother’s name better. Don’t you think so? Pretty silly from your side.

#synthsareawesome
#synthsareawesome
9 months ago
Reply to  K_K

I thought it was an imaginary name. I suppose, I’m wrong, tho, and it’s the author’s mother’s real name.