A video clip featuring a Ukrainian version of a popular Israeli song was released on the Facebook page of the Israeli Embassy in Ukraine, attracting positive responses from users, with some saying that both the song and the video gave them chills.
The 1986 hit Ein Li Eretz Acheret (I Have No Other Country), which has almost become synonymous with hardship and strife as it often gets much radio playtime in Israel around terrorist attacks and other events of national grief, struck a chord with the Ukrainian audience as its somber meaning and candor carried over through the translation.
The song, which was chosen as the Song of the State of Israel in February by readers of Ynet and Yedioth Ahronoth, was written by Ehud Manor, composed by Corinne Allal, and recorded by Gali Atari in 1986.
Julia Soulsista, the lead of the all-woman a capella ensemble that covered the song, The Pitches, told Ynet: "I included Ein Li Eretz Acheret in our repertoire almost from day one. It's such a powerful and important song for every Israeli—we really live here with the emotions and situations that the song talks about... Since the war in Ukraine, the idea of translating the song into Ukrainian seemed essential to me, despite the challenge of them being two very different languages! With the help of my friends in Israel and Ukraine, we succeeded, while preserving the rhythm and even the rhyme!
“Learning that the song was chosen as the Song of the State of Israel for this year came to my knowledge when the translation was already done; it just further strengthened our resolve to produce an impactful and emotional video clip that will touch the hearts of the Ukrainian people.
To me, this is the most symbolic song that should tell the people of Ukraine that they are not alone. We understand what they're going through because we've had an ongoing war for 75 years. Through our singing, we want to tell them: We're with you; we understand the pain, fear and loss you're feeling right now. We're thinking of you and embracing you in song."
The Pitches is a women's a cappella club founded in 2017 in Holon, Israel. The diverse repertoire of these eight young women ranges from Bach to The Beatles, from rock-n-roll to jazz, and from Italian Schlager to Georgian folklore. The members perform their music not only on stages across the country but also in social support institutions, bringing a bit of warmth and joy to those who need it the most. "Always up for a challenge, The Pitches are bound together by genuine camaraderie, the joy of making music as a team, and lots of contagious laughter," adds Julia.
"We supported the project because it's a beautiful gesture from an Israeli band to Ukraine, and it's an expression of the support that many in Israel have for the Ukrainian people. Many in Ukraine today can identify with the lyrics of the song and say 'I have no other country’," Israeli Ambassador to Ukraine Michael Brodsky told Ynet.
The project is supported by the Israeli Embassy in Ukraine.