A Ukrainian Folk-song About Love, Murder and Ghosts: Karchata

Somewhere in my web meanderings, I came across a music video from a band I’d never heard. Called Folknery, I pulled this self description off of their website:

Folknery was created in 2009 by Volodymyr Muliar and Yaryna Kvitka…

Folknery is a combination of Ukrainian folklore and musical energy of the world…This is ethnographic travelling through the villages for finding forgotten songs. This is unconventional sounding of traditional songs. Currently Volodymyr and Yaryna with their baby Marco are making bike journey around the world as a part of their cultural travelling project “Two-Wheeled Chronicles”.

The video I had stumbled upon is called Karchata (see below). Based on a traditional Ukrainian folk-song, they describe the story as follows:

“Karchata is a mysterious story of two female ghosts, who during their lifetime were friends who fell in love with the same boy…During a tea party in the apple orchard, the girls poison each other. Every day, for many years, they relive the same day: a table with a tea set, two friends sitting across from each other.

They serve tea together, the steam rising from the cups, but the girls do not dare to take even a sip of tea.

Finally one of the girls takes the first sip and feels something strange – she realizes she has just taken a poison and gets up from her chair The other girl also rises. The friends chase each other around the garden, passing through the branches of old apple trees, bushes.

In the distance they see the silhouette of a man; they hold hands and go to him.Their ghosts remain living in that garden. Every day, for many years, they have been re-living the same day.”

Yaryna Kvitka has said about the song: “We have not found the correct definition of “karchata”. But there is a suggestion that these are birds (in some Ukrainanian dialect), as the song begins with the words “Oh, karchatas are on the mountain and the girls are in the valley.”

Hints of birds & apples, poison &  jealousy…

A tale of love, murder and ghosts…

Here, then, is Folknery performing Karchata:






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