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How the world has united in song via #StandWithUkraine by DW

"Ukraine has not yet perished. Luck will still smile on us brother Ukrainians." These lyrics of the Ukrainian national anthem have been heard around the world since the beginning of Russia's war on Ukraine, on February 24, 2022.

Ukrainians around the world have been singing their anthem, proudly and defiantly — whether at the large Rose Monday demonstration in Cologne, Germany, or before an ice hockey game in Winnipeg, Canada.

It's not necessary to understand the lyrics of the anthem to understand its significance. It's enough to simply observe the faces of those singing to feel their profound expression of protest, love for their country's freedom and desire for peace.

In recent days, musicians around the world have used the hashtag #StandWithUkraine, to show their solidarity. In Germany, for example, the NDR orchestra played the Ukrainian national anthem at Hamburg's Elbphilharmonie, with the concert hall illuminated in blue and yellow: the colors of the Ukrainian flag.

The anthem has been played by major orchestras around the world in recent days. At New York's Metropolitan Opera the in-house orchestra and chorus performed the anthem before a performance of the opera "Don Carlos." In Paris, it was played by the Orchestre de Paris.

Sting's Cold War ballad: 'Russians'

Big names in the music world are also taking part in the war protest via song. After nearly 40 years, Sting re-recorded his anti-Cold War ballad "Russians." In a video posted to Instagram, he is seen sitting in a studio with a cellist, performing the song which he wrote in 1985 for his debut solo album "The Dream of the Blue Turtles." In it, Sting appeals to common humanity. "There's no such thing as a winnable war," one line of the song goes.

"In light of one man's bloody and woefully misguided decision to invade a peaceful, non-threatening neighbor, the song is, once again, a plea for our common humanity" Sting says before he starts to play. "For the brave Ukrainians fighting against this brutal tyranny and also the many Russians who are protesting this outrage despite the threat of arrest and imprisonment — we, all of us, love our children. Stop the war."

The song is well-known in Russia as Sting has played it at concerts there in the past.

Peace songs have long been sung in Russia, as well. The glasnost and perestroika period at the end of the 1980s when the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev opened the Iron Curtain and turned towards the West, was an especially important time. Some songs came to represent the end of the Cold War, as well as the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany. In a sense, peace anthems of the West became those of the East as the once long-separated worlds began to merge.

The five band members of The Scorpions holding a golden album award.

German rock band The Scorpions had massive success with 'Wind of Change'

The Scorpions: 'Wind of Change'

German rock band The Scorpions were among the first Western rock bands allowed to play in Russia. In 1988, The Scorpions played in Leningrad, and in 1989, they performed in front of almost 300,000 people with other top rockers like Ozzy Osbourne at the Moscow Music Peace Festival.

It was then that Scorpions frontman Klaus Meine came up with the lyrics to "Wind of Change," while walking through the city's famous Gorky Park one evening. "The world is closing in, Did you ever think that we could be so close, like brothers" goes part of the lyrics.

"The song is my personal reappraisal of what happened in the world in recent years," he told Classic Rock magazine. The song accompanied not only the reunification of Germany, but also the disintegration of the Soviet Union.

John Lennon: 'Imagine'

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Ukraine: 150 public radio stations play 'Give Peace a Chance'

John Lennon created one of the greatest pop hits in history with his song for peace "Imagine." He dreams of a world in which there are no national borders, no religions, no God. "Maybe I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us and the world will live as one."

The song's message is timeless. Written in 1971 during the Vietnam War, the song is relevant to every conflict, including the war in Ukraine. At the French preliminary round of the Eurovision Song Contest, all twelve contestants took to the stage and sang the song together for Ukraine, while the audience waved blue and yellow flags.

John Lennon's equally famous peace anthem "Give Peace A Chance" was played simultaneously by 150 European radio stations at 8:45 on March 4.

  • A graphic design showing the words Give Peace a Chance: Stop the War in Ukraine.


    Give peace a chance

    On Friday morning, many radio stations across Europe played John Lennon and Yoko Ono's peace hymn "Give Peace a Chance" at the same time. Stations in Germany, France, Italy, Latvia, Iceland, Poland and Croatia all took part as a way to express solidarity with Ukraine and protest the Russian invasion. The Ukrainian station Radio Promin also played the song.

The girl in the bunker

One of the most poignant songs in the last few days, however, is not an anti-war song, but rather "Let It Go," from the Disney movie "Frozen." A viral video shows a young girl singing it in an air raid shelter in Kyiv, where she and others have been holed up for days.

Initially, Amelia, who aims to be a pop star, sings against the clamor of voices of the others. But eventually everyone falls silent and listens. The video shot on a cell phone immediately became a hit on social media, touching the hearts of people all over the world. It even gained the attention of Broadway star Idina Menzel who sang in the original "Frozen." "We see you. We really, really see you," the star tweeted.

DMU Timestamp: March 05, 2022 05:09

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