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“ДЕТИ : Where are you?” Song

IN MEMORY OF LOST CHILDREN

On Wednesday, March 16, 2022, the world was shocked with news of the air strike on the Mariupol Drama Theatre. The word “KIDS” was written in huge block letters in front of the theatre that has been transformed into a civilian bomb shelter. Russia bombed it anyway. Shocked by the brazenness and impunity, Ukrainian American Leo Wolansky wrote a mournful song that takes the Russian word for “KIDS” and transforms it to the Ukrainian-language question “Where are you?”, to ask: World, where are you?

WATCH THE MUSIC VIDEO

On Wednesday, March 16, 2022, the world was shocked with news of a russian air strike on the Mariupol Drama Theatre. Ukrainian residents of Mariupol had been using the building as a civilian bomb shelter and had attempted to protect their children and their mothers by writing out the russian word “ДЕТИ”, meaning “KIDS,” in huge block letters in front of and behind the theatre. But russia bombed it anyway with two missile strikes, while hundreds of women and children were inside. According to the Associated Press, 600 souls lost their lives in this brazen and horrific war crime.

The many children and mothers who lost their lives or loved ones that day can be imagined to cry out, “Where are you?” whether a child to their parent, or a parent to their child. The same distressed question applies to the tens of thousands of missing Ukrainian children forcibly deported into russia, who are desperate for their parents and wondering if the world will come to their rescue.

Leo Wolansky was so touched by the discovery of the poetic words that were hidden amidst the tragedy, that he was inspired to write this mournful song. It takes the russian word for “KIDS” and transforms it to the Ukrainian-language question, “Where are you?” The question can be expanded and addressed to others. Like the pilot of the airplane who bombed the drama theatre, one might ask him “Where are you?” in the sense of “Where is the human being in you, that you could commit such a horrible war crime?” 

The song made Father Archpriest Valentyn Horokhovskyi of Antonivka (Kherson region) think back to the promises of security Western nations once made to Ukraine in exchange for surrendering its nuclear arsenal. How can the world stand by and allow these genocidal war crimes to victimize Ukraine? Considering this, and Ukraine’s vital role in protecting Europe, Fr. Horokhovskyi expanded the question to ask: “Where are you, World?”

Words, Music, Guitar: Leo Wolansky, Sr.
Singers: Leo Wolansky Sr., Olya Fryz, Leo Wolansky Jr., Ivan Wolansky,
Special guest singers: the “Dudaryk” Lviv State Academic male choir (Дударик) under the direction of Dmytro Katsal, Lviv, Ukraine
Bandura: Olya Fryz
Sound engineer: Slau Halatyn
Cinematographers: Yuriy Holiyat, Damian Kolodiy, Taras Povaleniy, Serhiy Stetsenko, Illya Yehorov, Andriy Kotliar Illustrations: Ivan Whitehat
Editor: Paul Zelenov
Line producer: Volodymyr Tykhyy
Creative consultant (video): Paul Wolansky
Special thanks to Archpriest Valentyn Horokhovskyi, Kherson

Copyright © 2023 Leo Wolansky, Sr., Lyrics/ Music
Copyright © 2024 Ivan Whitehat, Graphics
Copyright © 2024 Leo Wolansky, Sr., Video
Copyright © 2024 The “ДЕ ТИ: Where Are You?” Project

Lyrics of the song “ДЕ ТИ: Where are you?”

Bilingual, English and Ukrainian
Bilingual

At 10 o’clock on March 16, the sky was blue.
A mother went outside to get her children food.
But life changed in a flash.
A frightening, thunderous crash.
She screamed for her children, “Where are you?”
Де ти? Де ти, доню?
Де ти? Де ти, синку?
Де ти, Тату? Мамо?
Де діти?

The russian word for “KIDS” was written on the pavement
Of the shelter ‘n Mariupol and could be seen from the skies
But if you split that word in two,
It spells “Where are you?”
Can you hear the victims’ desperate cries?
Де ти? Де ти, доню?
Де ти? Де ти, синку?
Де ти, Тату? Мамо?
Де діти? Де діти?
Де ти, Світе?

English

At 10 o’clock on March 16, the sky was blue.
A mother went outside to get her children food.
But life changed in a flash.
A frightening, thunderous crash.
She screamed for her children, “Where are you?”
Where are you? Where are you, my little daughter?
Where are you? Where are you my little boy?
Where are you Daddy? Мommy?
Where are the children?

The russian word for “KIDS” was written on the pavement
Of the shelter ‘n Mariupol and could be seen from the skies
But if you split that word in two,
It spells “Where are you?”
Can you hear the victims’ desperate cries?
Where are you? Where are you, my little daughter?
Where are you? Where are you my little boy?
Where are you Daddy? Мommy?
Where are the children?
Where are the children?
Where are you, World?

Ukrainian

B 10 годині 16 березня, небо було блакитним.
Мати вийшла на вулицю по їжу для своїх дітей.
Але життя раптово змінилося.
Страшний, громовий звук.
Вона крикнула своїм дітям: «Де ти?»
Де ти? Де ти, доню?
Де ти? Де ти, синку?
Де ти, Тату? Мамо?
Де діти?

На паркувальному майданчику театру в Марюполі було написано російське слово «ДІТИ»
і було видно з неба.
Але як розділити то слово на дві частини, перетворюється на ” Де ти?” Чи чуете крики жертв?
Але якщо розділити це слово на дві частини,
Це означає «Де ти?»
Ви чуєте відчайдушні крики жертв?
Де ти? Де ти, доню?
Де ти? Де ти, синку?
Де ти, Тату? Мамо?
Де діти? Де діти?
Де ти, Світе?