Tuesday, March 21, 2006

You are my Sunshine - Mystery solved!

Finally, found the answer to a question Irena Bell, host of Ottawa's Ukrainian radio program had put out in cyberspace.

She wondered if "You Are My Sunshine" was a Ukrainian song, since there are several Ukrainian versions floating around.

The answer is here!

It's not... according to this site, it's the official state song of Louisiana. But it sure is a favourite with Ukrainians everywhere!

You can catch it on Nash Holos every now and again...

5 comments:

Aussiegirl said...

Oh no!! I can't believe that you are writing about this song -- the first song I ever learned in English and that was my favorite -- I used to wander along the Australian beach singing "You Are my Sunshine" at the top of my lungs!! What memories that brings back - thanks!

Pawlina said...

It seems to be a favourite of everyone's ... I especially love the version from the movie "O Brother Where Art Thou."

But I wonder how many Ukrainian versions there are? ;-)

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but I believe you are incorrect about this post and the origins of the song, "You Are My Sunshine." While it is one of the official "state songs" of Louisiana and the lyrics were written in the United States, the song's TUNE is an old Ukrainian tune. It's similar to what happened with the TUNE of "Greensleeves" being used to create the the song, "What Child is This?"

Let's be sure to be careful to give credit where credit it due, so that we do not unknowingly re-write history.

Pawlina said...

Thank you for your comment.

I have always allowed anonymous comments on this blog, going back to 2006. Even though they put me at a distinct disadvantage, I (still) believe it encourages dialogue in the community.

I do take exception, however, to being accused of "rewriting" history!

I researched the origins of the song and cited my sources. I would ask my anonymous accuser to return the courtesy and cite the source that disproves my research and proves the Ukrainian origins of the song.

It would certainly be helpful in giving credit where it's due, and avoiding any inadvertent rewriting of history!

צבי גלעד said...

we have no proof of how old the ukrainian song is. but:
A.it is a tipical ukrainian folk song, starting with nature elements and continuing with problem in love.
B. it is twice as long as the american song.
i deal a lot with songs written to foreign melodies. when not a translation but just using the melody, almost 100% of them are shorter from the originals. even translated songs are generally shorter.
C. the american song is a short, simple, touching love song. it invites translation. indeed, i found translations to many languages but not to ukrainian. what may be the reason?
D. no ukrainian site carries the name of the text writer. it is quite unusual if the song was written in the last 70 years.

to my professional evaluation, the chance that the original melody is ukrainian is 80%-90%.

E. damn with the capital letters.

zvi gilad
ein-gedi
israel