A long time ago, I looked for "Ukrainian song" on Youtube, and bumped into Одна калина. Recently, I came back to that song and tried to translate it, and breaking it down with only Wiktionary is impossible, because the info there (English, Russian, and Ukrainian Wiktionaries together) is incredibly scarce. Here is what I have up till now.

Spoiler: very long analysis.


Сумно, сумно аж за край*
Не дивись на мене,
Грай, музико, грай!
Зимно, зимно да душі...*
Забирай, що хочеш,
тільки залиши

Одну калину за вікном
Одну родину за столом,
Одну стежину,
Щоб до дому йшла сама*,
Одну любов на все життя,
Одну журбу до забуття
І Украïну,
Бо в нас іншоï нема!*

Сумно, сумно аж за край
Так чого ж ти плачеш?*
Грай, музико, грай!
Крапля горя не зальє,
Наливай, козаче,
Бо у нас ще є

Одна калина за вікном
Одна родина за столом,
Одна стежина,
Щоб до дому йшла сама,
Одна любов на все життя,
Одна журба до забуття
І Украïна,
Бо в нас іншоï нема!

Сумно так и не засну
Краще буду думать
Про свою весну
Та й пиду за небокрай...*
В перше, як в останнє
Грай, музико, грай!

Про ту калину за вікном
Одну родину за столом,
Одну стежину,
Щоб до дому йшла сама,
Одну любов на все життя,
Одну журбу до забуття
І Украïну,
Бо в нас іншоï нема!
Одна калина за вікном
Одна родина за столом,
Одна стежина,
Щоб до дому йшла сама,
Одна любов на все життя,
Одна журба до забуття
І Украïна,
Бо в нас іншоï нема!

Line-by-line word-by-word translation and grammatical analysis

Line 1:

  1. Сумно: All I can do here is find банно glossed as шкода, жаль, сумно on Ukrainian Wiktionary, and see the middle gloss translated to “grief, sorrow” on English Wiktionary; as it’s a gloss, I assume it at least can be the nominative I’d expect; I remember “sad” from a previous analysis, maybe Google;
  2. аж: even / as much as;
  3. за: preposition with accusative case, a variety of meanings including “for”;
  4. край: nom/acc sing, “country” (and other meanings, but a Ukrainian woman suggested this one to me).

So l. 1 is “Sadness, sadness even for the country”. What country though? The singer’s? Or is “až za kraj” an idiom?

L. 2:

  1. не: “not” (used here to form negative imperative);
  2. дивись: second-person singular imperative of дивиться, “to marvel (at)”;
  3. на: preposition with acc/prep case, probably the one to go with “marvel”;
  4. мене: dat/prep sing of “I”, here prep (preposition requires).

So “don’t marvel at me”.

L. 3:

  1. грай: having found a Russian version of the song with “музыкант, играй”, I assume this is a colloquial or Ukrainian form of играй, imperative of играть, to play;
  2. музико: vocative of музика, “music”.

So “play, music, play!”.

L. 4:

  1. Зимно: glossed as холодно, “cold”, on Russian Wiktionary, probably a nomiative (and perhaps other cases); “obsolete and dialectal” (устаревшее а диалектое) in Russian, it seems; adjective in the neuter sing nominative;
  2. да: a million uses in Russian, none of which seems to fit here; no info on Ukrainian; a previous analysis ended up with “from” somehow; no idea where this is from, if it’s right, or which case this preposition requires;
  3. душі: the stress on the “i” given by the tune excludes anything besides gen/dat/loc sing of душа, “soul, spirit”.

So “cold, cold (in?) the soul”.

L. 5:

  1. забирай: second-person singular imperative of забирать, “take away” (and other meanings);
  2. що: nom/acc, “which” (with a “that” implied to form “that which” = “what(ever)”, I assume);
  3. хочеш: second-person singular present of хотіти, “want”;

So “pick up what you want”.

L. 6:

  1. Тильки: only;
  2. залиши: second-person singular imperative (I assume) of залишити, given by English Wiktionary as a translation of “leave”.

So “Leave only”.

Chorus, l. 1:

  1. Одну: acc sing femm of один, “one”; all the things hereafter listed are objects of the above “leave only”;
  2. калину: acc sing fem of калина, “viburnum opulus” (aka “guelder-rose”);
  3. за: prep, with istrumental as here “at; while”, or “on” in this case;
  4. вікном: instr sing fem of вікно, “window”.

So “One guelder-rose on the window” (or “at the window” as in “by the window”?).

Chorus, l. 2:

  1. Одну: as above;
  2. родину: acc sing fem of родина, family;
  3. за: ditto;
  4. столом: instr sg masc of стол, “table” (and other meanings).

So “One family at the table”.

Chorus, l. 3:

  1. Одну: ditto;
  2. стежину: acc sing fem (I assume) of стежина, given as a translation of “path” and “trail” on English Wiktionary.

So “One path”.

Chorus, l. 4:

  1. щов: no info on Wiktionary, a previous analysis ended up with “through which”, which suggests some inflected form of що, but I cannot confirm that;
  2. до: prep with genitive, “up to” and other meanings; except there is no genitive…;
  3. дому: dative or partitive singular of дом, “house”; case mismatch…;
  4. ишла: past tense fem of йти́, to go;
  5. сама: nom sing fem of сам, “self”; referred here to the singer, I assume, hence “myself”.

So “Through which (?) I went up to the home myself” (or “on my own”?). The Russian version “чтобы к дому привела”, where чтобы, whose alternative form чтов is phonetically штов, very similar to щов, means “so that”, suggests this should be “SO that I could go home myself”. Which is right? Wait a minute: привела is a form of “to lead”? But how can we reconcile the info on чтобы with the apparent meaning of “that led to the house”? The mystery thickens…

Chorus, l. 5:

  1. Одну: ditto;
  2. любов: nom/acc sing fem, “love”;
  3. на: prep with acc/instr, here I guess acc, various meanings including “for”;
  4. все: some inflected form, “all, whole”; presumably (from following noun it should agree with and preposition before it) acc sing or acc plur;
  5. життя: nom/gen/acc/voc sing or nom/acc/voc pl, “life”.

So “One love for the whole life” (or in more English-sounding style “for my whole life”, assuming the “life” is that of the singer).

Chorus, l. 6:

  1. Одну: ditto;
  2. журбу: Croatian has it misstressed as žúrba meaning “hurry, haste”; I assume it’s acc sing fem of журба́; glossed as “брань, выговор ◆ грусть, печаль “ on Russian Wiktionary; that is “fight (+various meanings), rebuke/accent; sadness, sadness-grief-sorrow”; the latter meaning may be more in context;
  3. до: prep with gen, “until” (and various other meanings);
  4. забуття: nom (or here presumably gen), glossed as забвенние/забытё on Russian Wiktionary, both of which mean “oblivion”.

So “One sadness until oblivion” (that is, “one sadness until [you] forget [the one you love]”).

Chorus, l. 7:

  1. І: and;
  2. Україну: acc sg fem of Україна, Ukraine.

So “And Ukraine”.

Chorus, l. 8:

  1. Бо: because;
  2. в: prep with acc/prep, probably required by іншої along with case of following noun;
  3. нас: acc/gen/prep plur of я, “I”;
  4. іншої: I thought this was a verb meaning “be left”, but it’s gen sing fem of інший, “other”;
  5. нема: uh, nom sg fm of немой, mute? What? Maybe I should look at Macedoian where it means “to lack, to not have”?

I thought it was “Because we have nothing else left”, but this analysis gives big problems for that translation…

Verse 2, l. 1: same as verse 1, l. 1.

Verse 2, l. 2:

  1. Так: so;
  2. чого: gen sg of що, “which” (probably “because of which”, seeing the context);
  3. ж: can’t quite figure this out, probably not of great meaningfulness;
  4. ти: you;
  5. плачеш: were this Serbo-Croatian, it would be second-person singular present of плакати, to cry; I assume the inflection is the same in Ukrainian too; the infinitive is a gloss for 哭 (“cry”) on Ukrainian Wiktionary, so the meaning is confirmed.

So “What is that for which you cry?”, or more simply “What are you crying for?”.

Verse 2, l. 3: same as verse 1, l. 3.

Verse 2, l. 4:

  1. Крапля: nom sg fem, “drop”;
  2. горя: gen sing or nom/acc pl fem of горе, “grief (etc)”;
  3. не: not;
  4. залє: compare Russian залей and залёт, respectively second-person singular imperative and future of залить, “pour” (and other meanings).

So I guess “Don’t pour (?) a drop of sorrow”.

Verse 2, l. 5:

  1. Заливаи: second person sing imperative of заливать, “fill up” (and other meanings);
  2. Козаче: vocative of “Cossack”.

So “Fill up, Cossack”, or “Fill [my] cup, Cossack”.

Verse 2, l. 6:

  1. Бо: because;
  2. у: prep with gen used to express possession;
  3. нас: gen pl of “I”, so “of us” literally, but with the above preposition this is the subject of a “to have” sentence; think of the preposition above as the Russian analog of the Latin possessive dative, if you know what I’m talking about;
  4. ще: glossed as “jeszcze” (yet/still) by Polish Wiktionary;
  5. є: present of бути, aka generic word for “to be” in any present form.

So “Because we still have”.

Chorus 2 is ditto to chorus 1, except all accusatives here become nominatives, subjects of the above “possessive у+genitive” construction.

Verse 3, l. 1:

  1. Сумно: See above;
  2. так и не: set phrase for “never”;
  3. засну: first person sg future of заснуть, “fall asleep”.

So “Sad, I’ll never fall asleep”.

Verse 3, l. 2:

  1. Краще: rather:
  2. буду: first person singular future of буть, “to be”; probably with a modal meaning of “I’d rather” or “I’d better”;
  3. думать: infinitive present, “think/believe”.

So “I’d better think”.

Verse 3, l. 3:

  1. Про: prep with acc, “about” (goes with “think”, I assume);
  2. свою: acc sing fem of свой, “own” (here “my own”);
  3. весну: acc sing fem of весна, “spring”.

So “about my own spring”.

Verse 3, l. 4:

  1. Та: and;
  2. й: and; the two may go together as a single “and” written тай;
  3. пиду за небокрай: cannot split it, no info is found on any of the extreme words, the middle word is a preposition, the whole phrase Google translates to “drink for the night”; when split, небокрай becomes “not a crown”, the rest of the words stay the same.

So “And (I drink for the night?)”.

Verse 3, l. 5:

  1. В: prep with acc/(instr?), here acc, “on, at, in(to)”;
  2. перше: acc sg neuter of перший, “first”;
  3. як: like;
  4. в: ditto;
  5. останне: by analogy, I assume acc sg neuter of останний, which is unfindable; I remember “last” popping up here, and coordinating that to “first” seems to make sense; thanks for the suggestion Google: останній = “last/latest”.

So “(On) the first time like (on) the last one”.

Verse 3, l. 6: same as verse 1, l. 3.

And the rest is repetitions, save for the weird про ту “for this”. I believe the end chorus should be as one of the other two, and I’d choose the nominative one, or to have them both, but changing the beginning this way seems out of place.

Translation attempt

Sadness, sadness even for the country
Don’t marvel at me
Play, music, play!
Cold, cold (in?) the soul
Pick up what you want
Leave only

One guelder-rose by the window
One family at the table
One path
Through which (?) I went up to the home myself
One love for my whole life
One sadness until you forget
And Ukraine
Because we have nothing else left (??)

Sadness, sadness even for the country
What are you crying for?
Play, music, play!
Don’t pour (?) a drop of sorrow
Fill [my cup] up, Cossack
Because we still have

One guelder-rose by the window
One family at the table
One path
Through which (?) I went up to the home myself
One love for my whole life
One sadness until you forget
And Ukraine
Because we have nothing else left (??)

Sad, I’ll never fall asleep
I’d better think
About my own spring
And (I drink for the night?)1
(On) the first time like (on) the last one

1This was my first guess, probably based on Google translations. I have since posted this and come to know this means "to go somewhere very very far from here", or maybe more literally "and I (will?) go to the sky's edge" (nebo, sky, and kraj, edge).


How much of this is right? Can you help me complete this, or at least break down the lines I starred for me?

PS Is it пиду or піду in verse 3, l. 4?

  • Welcome to Ukrainian Language.SE! Unfortunately, this site does not offer translation services, so we can not provide with a direct answer here. However, the translation job can be split into (many!) smaller answerable questions that can be asked separately. The decomposition and recomposition of the information provided in answers should be done by yourself.
    – bytebuster
    Jan 6 '18 at 6:20

uaSE is not translation site, so you better use a site like lyricstranslate. But let look mistakes.

Line by line & word by word


  1. Сумно is adverb from noun сум (sadness), so it is sadly, glumly etc.
  2. Yeah, за can mean many things but means just out here.
  3. Край is an area, from here країна is a country.

So, literally: My sad, sad is out [my] area. Yeah, аж за край is an idiom which means something goes through the line, very great etc; same meaning but with another adverb: через край. So we have kinda: My sorrow knows no bounds.


Yeah, here is: Do not look at me.


  1. Грай is imperative from грати: to play, in here is play music.
  2. Yeah, but meaning of this word depends on stress; музика—music, but музика is a musician. The latter is the actual word in the song.

So: Play, musician, play!


  1. Зимно is just cold, chilly etc.
  2. Here is not да but на which means on.

But, yeah: Cold, cold in [my] soul.


  1. Тільки


You can see the tree through the window. Because if the tree was just near the window then here would be біля instead за.


  1. Щоб (it is ščob not щов) hard to say but it close to meaning in order to. Better read this answer.
  2. Better say home
  3. йшла

CL3 + in order to go home myself or that I could go home alone


  1. Журба is similar to сум which is above. So, yeah, sadness.


  1. Іншої is other, another. Here is feminine, as you wrote Ukraine is feminine too, so…
  2. Нема is something or somebody is not [here]. For feminine mute we use німа. If you took so much Slovic languages, you can find interesting that Germany is country of mute people here, so here is Німеччина. Here is make sense to split into не мати, but here is мати is not mother but to have (yeah, in standard form they absolutely similar), therefore do not have but it is just from what gone and that is why better translate just as no about what I said before.

Because we do not have another [Ukraine]


  1. Ж or же it is just emotion word which does something with more expression without sense.

So, you can do not change translation or kinda: Why do you do cry?.


  1. Зальє. An idiom: заливати горе: to drown one’s sorrow in drink

А drop cannot drown my sorrow


  1. Піду is I will go which is from піти. Be careful, I see you did many same mistakes and you like to drink because пити is it.
  2. Remember first За?
  3. Небо + край is sky + area (edge) = horizon

I will go over [beyond?] horizon. It means: I will go so far away.


  1. Востаннє is last time.

Lines which I did not mention do not have mistakes or just they are very close to correct sense.

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    – bytebuster
    Jan 12 '18 at 9:50

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