Ukrainian music is so charming that even foreigners are in love with it. Let’s learn today 10 famous folk songs every Ukrainian knows.


Несе́ Га́ля во́ду Nese Halia vodu

Halia is carrying water


This song is about a proud young woman Halia who is leading Ivan on and doesn’t respect him enough as he wants.

Periwinkle, creep

I’ll water you

Ivanku, come back

I’ll respect you


How many times was creeping

But you didn’t water

How many times came back

You didn’t respect


Numerous bands and singers have performed this song, such as Taisia Povalii, Trio “Marenychy”, Khrystyna Solovii, etc.


Ти ж мене́ підману́ла Ty zh mene pidmanula

You tricked me and let me down


It’s a popular humorous Ukrainian folk song.

It tells about a man complaining to his girlfriend because she tells him she will meet him on a certain day of the week. Each day he shows up, but his girlfriend does not.


You have told me that on Wednesday

We’ll wrangle up the cattle together

I came, and there you aren’t,

You tricked me and let me down.


This song is good for learning the days of the week, as we do with our students.



Ой у вишневому саду Оi, u vyshnevomu sadu

Oh, in the Cherry Garden


This very well-known song was created comparatively recently – in the 20th century. The song tells about a love story between two young people. But it’s rather sad because they are separated at the end.


My friend has undone my braid.

And the tears are caused by my being separated from my darling.



Ой, у гаю, при Дунаю Oi, u haiu pry Dunaiu

In the grove, by the Danube


This folk song can trace its roots from at least 1916. Τhere is a version that the Danube played the same role for Slavs as Styx is for Greeks. And due to this interpretation, this song is about the death of a loved one.


In the dim glade, by the Danube

Lonely sorrow takes me

Mourning, weeping, oh my dear, on

For you, I am crying


Many artists performed this song. Among them is a famous Hollywood star with Ukrainian heritage Mila Jovovich.


Чом ти не прийшов, як місяць зійшов Chom ty ne pryishov, yak misiats ziishov

Why Haven’t You Come?


This song is known as folk lemkos (ethnоgraphic group in the west of Ukraine). But it became popular in 70s-90s when trio “Marenychy” performed it.

This song is about the love of two young people.


The river is flowing, and the river is small; I can easily jump over it.

Oh, my mother, please marry me off for the one I wanted.



А калина не верба A kalyna ne verba

A guelder rose is not a willow


It’s the song of all traditional Ukrainian weddings. The lyrics are humoristic, and the melody has a good rhythm for dancing. It’s about a young woman who likes attention and hanging out, but he mom wants her to stay home.

You will like it!


Розпрягайте, хлопці, коні Rozpriahaite, khloptsi, koni

Unbridle boys, the horses


This song is famous from the 19th century; then, it was used by the detachments of Nestor Makhno (the commander of the anarchist army in Ukraine in 1917 – 1921). And later in 1970, the refrain of this song was changed and performed by Kuban Cossack Choir.

This song is again about the relationship between young people:


(She) came out, came out, the maiden girl,

for the water in the morning.

And behind her, there a cossack,

Leads his horse – out to the water.



Горіла сосна, палала Horila sosna palala

The Pine is Burning


This Carpatian wedding song became famous all over Ukraine until the end of the 20th century. It’s also trendy now. The folklorists point out that the pine symbolises unmarried life, and the fire is love.

This song is about saying goodbye to maidenhood.


Oh, you, my poor blonde hair,

You served me long and everywhere

But will not serve me evermore,

Soon will be covered with a shawl.



Цвіте терен Tsvite teren

The thornbush blooms


It’s a sad song about unrequited love where a young woman falls in love, but her beloved one doesn’t love her back.

This song could be performed somewhere at the end of a party when people share sad love stories.



Ой чий то кінь стоїть Oi chyi to kin stoit

Whose Horse is Standing There


Finally, this song is about a young man’s love for a young woman he met. And it’s requited! But there is one thing she is worried about …

There are similar variations of this song in Belarus and Polish languages.


Now you know the most famous Ukrainian folk songs. Which one do you like the most?

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