Ukrainians sang with famous Irish musician Phil Coulter
40 years ago, the famous Irish musician, composer, singer Phil Coulter wrote the song “Steal Away”, which talks about the difficulties and suffering of people because of the conflict that was taking place at that time in Northern Ireland. Today this song has become a unifying song for Ukrainians who found refuge in Ireland because of the war in Ukraine.
“I couldn’t have imagined that 40 years later it would have a connection to the situation facing Ukrainians today. I have travelled all over the world with my music and have seen how it can cross borders and create friendships as a universal language. It has been an honour to work on the recording of this single. I hope that the initiative has provided a source of unity and has given the choir some semblance of hope for a brighter future,” Coulter said.
The 40 members of the National Ukrainian Choir are Ukrainians who fled the war and now live in different parts of Ireland, and musicians Viktor Boyko (pipe, trumpet), Sergiy Balan (bayan), Jonas Kriauklys (guitar) have been working with Phil Coulter since April 2023 on a new version of the song.
Ukrainian poet Nadija Postemska, who has been living in Ireland for a long time, made a translation into Ukrainian.
Choir director Yulia Boiko, a Ukrainian who has been living in County Cavan for 20 years, sang the last verse of the song solo.
This event, this project, was made possible thanks to the initiative of Terry Hyland, CEO of Cavan County Local Development, support from the Association of Ukrainians in the Republic of Ireland, and Adeline O'Brien CEO of Empower, Fingal's local development company and Michelle Mullally Program, Impact and Communications Officer of ILDN.
The presentation of the song took place in Dublin at St. Stephen’s Church on August 22, 2023. The song Steal Away sounded sensually performed by Phil Coulter, Yulia Boyko, members of the choir and musicians, Phil Coulter accompanied on the piano and even sang his song in Ukrainian. The performers also prepared a Ukrainian folk song “Oh, in the Cherry Orchard”, which incredibly touched all the guests.
“As the group sings Steal Away in Ukrainian and then in English, my heart melted. I kept thinking that they might have a brother, husband or son still trapped in Ukraine, being shot at, or that they may never see again. I was tearing up. To come together and sing my song and have it mean so much has been amazing. This has been an extremely inspiring project,” Phil Coulter shared his impressions.
Please listen to the new version of the song here.
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