This song by a group going by the name Лісапетний батальйон (Cyclists’ Battalion) is perhaps the first novelty song connected to Euromaidan and, more precisely, the situation now where fear of war is rife.
“Давай,баби,давай!…” (Come on, Ladies, Come on; you can hear them say ‘kam on’ on the song) has a long history based in viral internet videos. The original song of which this is a reworking (Лісапед by Natalya Falion) was a kind of novelty folk song from 2003, drawing on the speech and folk traditions of the Ternopil region. Лісапед (Lisaped) is a dialect variation on the word велосипед (velosyped), i.e. bicycle. That version of the song was performed on tv (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xxo4oM1qgWk) and gained greater popularity.
But it was a viral video of some impressive older women singing it on a bus in the Chernihiv region (in north-central/eastern Ukraine, where the beer comes from) that made the song famous. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3RUUqtuKYo)
And so it is that viral hit which this new version refers to. The lyrics of the current song reference the current tensions with Russia. In the imagined village peace is disrupted by some ‘Moskali’ appearing on the border and instead of being mere “ladies” (баби) the women become a ‘real battalion’.
Applying a bit of gender and nation theory, Ukraine here is imagined as a weaker party which instead of being further emasculated by the strong neighbour rises up and becomes strong, “manly” or “courageous” (мужні), a word that is heard quite often now in Ukraine.
The new battalion of empowered women are inspired to ‘defend their peaceful homeland’.
“Ми жили із бабами спокійно у селі, аж поки не з’явилися на кордонах москалі, ми завтра вирушаємо прямо на полігон, тепер ми не баби, тепер ми справжній батальйон!”.
[We lived peacefully with the women in the village until the Moskali appared on the borders, so tomorrow we will go straight to the base and now we are not mere women but a real battalion] And this real battalion was armed by an old German machine gun which a man in the village lent them, while two women shared one flak jacket. Still, they promise to find millions who will rise up and join them in ‘defending the peaceful homeland’. So, in this song there’s a clear reflection that the Ukrainian army is weak and poorly-armed, but summoning the will of the people of Ukraine and their strengths will bring victory in the end, restoring peace to the “village”, or the nation, and sending the “Moskals” away from the border.
In writing this post I made use of the following articles: http://life.pravda.com.ua/society/2014/03/26/160075/ http://like.te.ua/%D0%B6%D0%B8%D1%82%D1%82%D1%8F/%D0%BD%D0%B0%D1%82%D0%B0%D0%BB%D1%8F-%D1%84%D0%B0%D0%BB%D1%96%D0%BE%D0%BD-%D0%B7-%D1%82%D0%B5%D1%80%D0%BD%D0%BE%D0%BF%D1%96%D0%BB%D1%8C%D1%89%D0%B8%D0%BD%D0%B8-%D1%8F%D0%BA%D0%B0-%D0%BF%D1%80%D0%BE/
I was inspired to write about this by my wife who sent the original link to the song.