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Ukrainians are still holding their ground and defending against the invading Russian forces eight weeks into the brutal conflict. Like with most wars, stories of heroism emerge which remind the world that courage, love, and even art play an important role in withstanding atrocity. Inspired by Ukrainian musician Andriy Khlyvnyuk, the band Pink Floyd reunited to release a protest and resistance anthem entitled Hey Hey, Rise Up!
It has been 28 years since Pink Floyd released any new original material. When band member David Gilmour encountered a video on Instagram, he recognized something moving. Khlyvnyuk—whose band Boombox played with Pink Floyd at a London charity concert in 2015—posted a video dressed in full military gear in Kyiv's Sofiyskaya Square. In his incredible voice, he performed The Red Viburnum In The Meadow. The song was written around World War I and has been recently revived as a protest anthem among Ukrainians.
Inspired by the beauty of the song and the bravery of the singer, Gilmour created a tune to match. First, he sought Khlyvnyuk's blessing. “I spoke to him, actually, from his hospital bed, where he had a pretty minor injury from a mortar,” Gilmour told the BBC. “So he's right there on the front line. I played him a little bit of the song down the phone line and he gave me his blessing.” The Ukrainian struggle is close to his heart as Gilmour's daughter-in-law is Ukrainian-born artist Janina Pedan.
He reunited with bandmates Nick Mason, bassist Guy Pratt, and Nitin Sawhney on keyboard. The band quickly created Hey Hey, Rise Up! Proceeds from the track will go to humanitarian relief efforts in Ukraine. Gilmour spoke to the BBC in favor of sanctions on Russia, describing them as necessary while noting it is unfair that ordinary Russians suffer most for Putin's war. He also expressed frustration with UK refugee processes, suggesting, “My view would be to open the doors and sort out paperwork out later. But government doesn't seem to be following that way of thinking.”
Inspired by Ukrainian musician Andriy Khlyvnyuk—who is fighting for his country—the band Pink Floyd released a protest and resistance anthem entitled “Hey Hey, Rise Up!”