Ukrainian songs and stories (Robert Klymasz fieldwork collection)

Continuing the post from late last week, here are some additional songs and stories from the Bohdan Medwidsky Ukrainian Folklore Archives.

There were 68 recordings made from Fork River that included 32 recordings from Mrs. John Masiowski, 21 recordings from Dokiia Rozmarynovychrecordings from Mrs. Jacob Harrison, and 4 recordings from Walter Pasternak. Since his recordings were mislabeled I’m unable to link to them as a collection, only one-by-one below.

Additionally, Robert Klymasz recorded stories and songs from PlumasRorketon, and Winnipegosis as well as in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

You can listen to the entire collection on their website.

I’ve organized all of the Fork River items alphabetically in the Cyrillic alphabet and linked each one separately.

I found a few of the songs in Robert Klymasz’ publications which I pulled from the University of Manitoba’s Slavic Collection at the Elizabeth Dafoe Library. I’ve marked them in the chart for easy identification and included the musical notation and lyrics from the books in both English and Ukrainian.

Dokiia Rozmarynovych Songs

Rozmarinovich [Rozmarynovyč], Dokija (Mrs. Pavlo, nee Bassarabova) 73, retired. Born in in the village of Ukivtsi, Borshchiv district, Ternopil’ region, Ukraine. Arrived in Canada in 1920. Recorded in Fork River, Manitoba, 10 August 1964.

Romanized TitleCyrillic TitleLength
Description of the wedding-tree preparationn/a3:01
Vinochok zelenen’kyiВіночок зелененький3:50
Hotuisia, nenechko, hotuisieГотуйся, ненечко, готуйсє0:35
Dolynoiu pshchenychen’ka, horoiu vovesДолиною пшениченька, горою вовес0:44
Ie v hai dorozhechka, do shliubu stezhechkaЄ в гай дорожечка, до шлюбу стежечка1:11
Kendryno (2), chom nad vodoiu stoialyКендрино (2), чом над водою стояли4:36
Khodzhu po Kanadi ta i myli rakhuiuХоджу по Канаді та й милі рахую10:36
Letila zozul’ka, sila na prutynuЛетіла зозулька, сіла на прутину21:57
Liuliu, liuliu kolyshu tieЛюлю, люлю колишу тє0:32
Oi vinku, vinku ty mii tiazhen’kyi zhaliuОй вінку, вінку ти мій тяженький жалю1:06
Oi vyisie, vinochku, vyisieОй вийсє, віночку, вийсє1:08
Oi mamuniu, holova nie bolytОй мамуню, голова нє болит3:28
Oi plyly huson’ky bystroiu vodoiОй плили гусоньки бистрою водою1:59
Oi roztelysia khryshchastyi barvinkuОй розтелися хрищастий барвінку2:51
Oi khora ia khoraОй хора я хора1:46
Oi khora ia khora, ta budu vmyratyОй хора я хора, та буду вмирати2:17
Oi cherez richku voda ideОй через річку вода іде0:17
Proshchai derievne, proshchai KavkazПрощай дєревні, прощай Кавказ2:23
Raduiisia matinochko, vzialo shliub dytiatochkoРадуйся матіночко, взяло шлюб дитяточко1:04
Spivanochky (2) de ia vas podiiuСпіваночки (2) де я вас подію0:27
Ta i chomu zh ty Hanusiu ne placheshТа і чому ж ти Ганусю не плачеш0:33
Bohdan Medwidsky Ukrainian Folklore Archives – Kule Folklore Centre, Faculty of Arts, University of Alberta.

1 Published in Folk Narrative Among Ukrainian-Canadians in Western Canada. Robert B. Klymasz. 1973.

2 Published in The Ukrainian Winter Folksong Cycle in Canada. Robert B. Klymasz. Ottawa. 1970.

Of those who actually participated in Canada’s first influx of Ukrainian peasant settlers at the turn of the century, few are alive today. Having witnessed and survived the early years of toil and hardship, they invariably sense a strong feeling of accomplishment and are eager to relate their experiences to members of the younger, Canadian-born generation which, in their opinion, does not know or fails to appreciate “what we went through.” Many of the Ukrainian old-timers are able to recall the old songs which depicted the immigrant’s experience in his new Canadian environment. These frequently include a popular motif portraying Canada as a deceitful seductress who has lured the hapless peasant away from his beloved ones in the Old Country.

Folk Narrative Among Ukrainian-Canadians in Western Canada. Robert B. Klymasz. 1973. p. 10.
Xodzhu po Kanadi taj myli raxuju,
De j nje nich napadyt tam perenochuju.

Kanado, Kanado, jaka ty zradlyva,
Ne jednoho cholovika z zhinkou rozluchyla,

Ne jednoho cholovika taj ne jedni dity,
Oj hore zh tam hore v Kanadi sysity.
As I walk through Canada I count the miles
And bed down for the night wherever night falls.

O Canada, Canada, how deceitful you are!
Many a man have you separated from his wife,

Many a man and many children –
O how miserable it is to be in this Canada!
Folk Narrative Among Ukrainian-Canadians in Western Canada. Robert B. Klymasz. 1973. p. 10.
Летіла зозулька,
Сіла на прутину.
Ти мене сестричко,
Просила в гостину.

Та й рада б я, сестро,
В гостi приïхати,
Далека дорога,
Не мож сi дiстати.

Далека дорога,
Та й щироке море.
Як си нагадаю,
Ой Боже ж мiй, Боже.

Ходжу я по лiсi,
По лiсi блукаю,
До своï сестрички
Дороги шукаю.

Шукаю дороги,
Дороги сухоi.
Та й може б я зайшла
До родтини своi.

Сестричко, сестричко,
Сидиш на посазi.
Сидиш на посазi,
Сумно виглядаєш,
Та й того сестричко,
Що мами не маєш.
The cuckoo was flying
And perched on a branch.
You, my sister,
have invited me for a visit.

How gladly, o sister,
I would come for a visit,
But the way is long,
I can’t make it.

The way is long,
And the sea is wide.
When I think about it –
O my God, o my God!

I’m walking through the forest
I’m roaming through the forest.
I’m looking for the way
To my sister’s.

I’m looking for the way,
A dry roadway.
Maybe I could make my way
To my family.

Sister, o sister,
You’re seated on the trousseau.
You’re seated on the trousseau.
You look sad,
And that is, o sister,
Because you have no mother.
The Ukrainian Winter Folksong Cycle in Canada. Robert B. Klymasz. Ottawa. 1970. p. 146.

Mrs. Jacob Harrison Songs

Romanized TitleCyrillic TitleLength
Zaprosyla mene molodychka liubaЗапросила мене молодичка люба4:04
Mysleiu, dumkoiu lynu u ridnyi krai na UkrainuМислею, думкою лину у рідний край на Україну3:46
Nad Prutom u lisi khatyna stoit’Над Прутом у лісі хатина стоїть1:49
Bohdan Medwidsky Ukrainian Folklore Archives – Kule Folklore Centre, Faculty of Arts, University of Alberta.

I did not find any of Mrs. Harrison’s songs in any of the publications I pulled from the University of Manitoba’s library.

Walter Pasternak Songs

Pasternak, Walter [Volodymyr], 50, farmer. Born in Fork River, Manitoba. Recorded in Fork River, Manitoba, 20 July 1964.

Romanized TitleCyrillic TitleLength
A vam tatu zhurytysiaА вам тату журитися1:37
Aby sie divchynon’kaАби сє дівчинонька30:47
Podumai tovaryshu iak my sia liubylyПодумай товаришу як ми ся любили41:19
Podumaite liudy, nekhai Boh zhadaieПодумайте люди, нехай Бог згадає1:57
Bohdan Medwidsky Ukrainian Folklore Archives – Kule Folklore Centre, Faculty of Arts, University of Alberta.

3 Published in Ukrainian Folksongs from the Prairies. Complied under the direction of the collector with the participation of Andrij Hornjatkevyč, Bohdan Medwidsky, and Paula Prociuk. Collected by Robert B. Klymasz. Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies Press. University of Alberta. 1992.

4 Published in Ukrainian Folklore in Canada: An Immigrant Complex in Transition. Robert B. Klymasz. 1970.

Songs from the New World

Ой то би сє дiвчинонька
В сих м’ясниць вiддала,
Якби вона чайнамена
Снгарiв не крала.

Єдна крала сигарети,
А друга бинени,
Трета з боку заглєдала,
Чи йдут чайнамени.

Гелен, Стелла i Тереса
Моди сє тримали
Та й по двадцiть п’ять поверхiв
Дреси вишивали.

Як сє вбере тую дресу,
Намалює пику,
Вона сибе прикладає
За паню велику.

Покинь, дiвче, малювати,
Бо висмiют люди,
Бо з тих павдрiв i з липстикiв,
Газдинi не буде
Oh, the girl would have got married
During this meat season,
If she hadn’t been stealing
Cigars from the Chinaman.

One of them stole cigarettes
And another bananas,
And a third one was on the lookout from the side
Whether Chinaman were coming.

Helen, Stella and Theresa
Kept up with fashion,
And each had sewn dresses
Twenty-five stories high.

When she wears this dress
And “colours” her snout,
She plays the role
Of a great lady.

Stop, girl, putting on make-up
Because people will laugh at you,
Because those powders and lipsticks
Will never make a good housewife.
Songs from the New World. Song 54. Ukrainian Folksongs from the Prairies. 1992. p. 137.

All activities are temporarily suspended about none o’clock at which time all guests line up to present the bridal couple with their cash gifts and to extend their personal wishes. Parents, relatives and close friends are expected to come forth first, followed by the rest of the guests, the attendants, and finally, the groom. On isolated occasions, the wishes themselves are extended in the form of a song, or “cvivat”, the content of which may be traditional or as extemporaneous in nature as the following example:

Recall, O my comrade,
What great pals we were,
How the both of us used to go
To the same house.

To the same house
And to the same girl,
And we’d never get home
Until daybreak.

When we got home
The neighbors would know everything;
They would point at us with their fingers and say.
“They’ll never get anywhere!”

And now you are getting married
While I’m just thinking about doing so.
I only feel sad
That I no longer have a home now.

I no longer have a house
Nor my own home;
All I do now is wander about aimlessly
Through distant, different places.

I think, O comrade,
I should now come to an end
So, musicians, strike up a vivat!
And with this cider I drink a toast unto you!

Ukrainian Folklore in Canada: An Immigrant Complex in Transition. Robert B. Klymasz. 1970. p. 85.

Interestingly enough, as I was reviewing some photographs I realized I had taken a snapshot of Walter’s grave during a visit to Fork River in 2015. He is buried in the Ukrainian cemetery. It’s too bad his little image plaque is missing.

Walter Pasternak. Born 1913. Died May 31, 1984.

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