Songs From Home - Notes From the Artist:

     Although circumstances of war forced my grandparents to leave their homes as teenagers, they often recalled vivid images of the land and family they left behind. For my grandfather, these memories were deeply tied to music. The traditional songs on this album were some of his favorites. They were the melodies he played on accordion, or sang with family members long ago. Most of these songs are not well known, and my grandfather felt they should not be forgotten. He also wrote/co-wrote four of the songs on this album at age 92. His lyrics reflect the simple pleasures of days gone by and the longing to recapture those moments. I wrote "Back Home Again" (track 5) for him, and "Good Evening Sister" (track  11) for my grandmother. 

Song Descriptions in English:

  1. Why is the Grass Green - Чом трава зелена (Traditional)

        Arranged by Gregory Gnap and Andriana Gnap

A young maiden sings and dances while gathering flowers in the cherry orchard. She adamantly refuses the admiring kozak (soldier), who insists that her rose is a sign of love.

 

   2. Through the Orchard - Ой піду я у садочок (Traditional)

       Arranged by Gregory Gnap and Andriana Gnap

The orchard echoes forgotten words of love, as the kozak tells his darling to forget him.

 

   3. Forgotten Road - Забутa доріженька (Original)

       Lyrics: Gregory Gnap, Music: Andriana Gnap

A girl meets a charming soldier, who promises to return and marry her. Will he return?

 

   4. She Stands by the River - Стоїть дівча над бистрою водою (Traditional)

       Arranged by Andriana Gnap, String Arrangement: Andriana Gnap, Chris Noyes

Standing by the swift current of the water, a disheartened girl laments over her lost love.

 

   5. Back Home Again - До дому (Original)

        Lyrics and Music by Andriana Gnap and Tomasz Gnap

This song is dedicated to my grandfather Gregory, who often reminisced about his childhood: the melodies he played on accordion while his cousin played fiddle, the vast wheat fields where he worked with his father, the echo of the village church bells, and the sound of his mother's voice calling everyone to the table. At age 17, the circumstances of WWII forced Gregory to leave home. Although he never returned, he remembered his father's parting words: "My son, don't forget your home and family."

 

   6. Songs from Home - Пісні з дому (Original)

       Lyrics: Gregory Gnap, Music: Mira Gnap

We gather with friends to sing our beloved songs of Ukraine. Their melodies ring out with joy, evoking the spirit of home, tradition and family.

 

    7. Rustling Orchards  - Зашумiли сади (Original)

        Lyrics and Music by Gregory Gnap

        Arranged by Andriana Gnap and Halyna Gnap, String Arrangement: Chris Noyes

The wind sweeps through the orchards. As the frail branches bend down, I remember how wonderful it was to be young. Our beautiful days of youth have long gone by, but I carry each moment in my soul.

 

   8. On the Mountain - Tам на горі крута вежа (Traditional)

       Arranged by Gregory Gnap and Andriana Gnap

On the mountain where the water flows swiftly, there lives a beautiful girl. When she looks at the boy and smiles, his heart beats faster.

 

   9. Willows Near the River - Коло річки шумлять верби (Traditional)

       Arranged by Andriana Gnap, String Arrangement: Andriana Gnap, Chris Noyes

As a heartbroken girl walks by the river, the rustling of the willow trees reminds her of her true love who promised to return.

 

   10. Three Maples - Там на горі три явори (Traditional)

         Arranged by Halyna Gnap and Andriana Gnap

Amidst three maple trees, a smitten kozak serenades a lovely maiden.

 

   11. Good Evening Sister - Добрий вечір сестричко (Original)

         Lyrics and Music by Andriana Gnap

         Arranged by A. Gnap and H. Gnap, String Arrangement: A. Gnap, C. Noyes

This song is dedicated to my grandmother Nadja, who last saw her sister at age 16. Nadja was forced to leave her home in Ukraine during WWII. As she said goodbye to her family, she didn't know that she would never return. For a long time, she had no way to get in touch with them. Her younger sister waited for her day after day, but eventually learned that Nadja was alright, and had left for a new life in America. The two sisters kept in touch over the years, first through letters, then telephone, and 78 years later, through skype. I am touched by their conversations, which always begin with “Good Evening, Sister.”

 

   12. Kozak's Farewell  - Там у саду вишневому (Traditional)

         Arranged by Andriana Gnap

In the cherry orchard the distraught kozak says goodbye to his sweetheart, his village, and his country, as he rides off to war to defend his native land.

 

   13. Stars on the Blue Ocean - А зорі а зорі (Traditional)

         Arranged by Andriana Gnap

A young couple is reluctant to part on this enchanted evening under the stars.

 

   14. Ksenya - Ксеня (Original)

         Lyrics: Gregory Gnap, Music: Mira Gnap

Where the wind blows through the hazel tree, a boy loves a young girl named Ksenya.

   15. Under the Blossoms - Там у саду, у садочку (Traditional)

         Arranged by Andriana Gnap, String Arrangement: Andriana Gnap, Chris Noyes

A young man embraces his beloved, proclaiming, “How can I live without you?”

   16. Kozak, Kozak - Kозаче, козаче (Traditional)

         Arranged by Gregory Gnap and Andriana Gnap

A love story unfolds for the kozak and his true love as they ride away to find their destiny.