Oy Khodyt Son (The Dream Passes by the Window)

Hello Friends,

I wanted to try something.

Oy Khodyt Son (The Dream Passes by the Window) is a traditional Ukrainian lullaby.

I’ve arranged it in two voicings:  Unison/Two-part sheet music and Three-part Mixed sheet music.

Unision/Two-part sound file  Three-part Mixed sound file and Piano Only.

Now here’s the deal — I’m not selling this. (I don’t want a dime for this.)

I want you to have it and to sing it.

If you feel this arrangement is worthy to sing with your school choir, community choir, or church choir, and would like to do something, I encourage you to give to any of a number of organizations engaged in humanitarian efforts in Ukraine. How you can help.

Included is an audio pronunciation guide by Dr. Zhenya Gurina-Rodriguez. Zhenya is a Russian-American pastor who grew up in Ukraine. She now lives with her family in Fort Worth, and I am lucky to call her a colleague and a friend. Also included is a more literal translation as well as an English version that is “close” to the original meaning of the text. But I highly encourage you to give it a try in the language of origin.

Oy Khodyt Son (The Dream Passes by the Window) is a traditional Ukrainian lullaby. As with so many traditional folk songs, there are a number of versions and variations.

The haunting melody of this lullaby really spoke to me. And while it’s important to note that in many cultures minor key doesn’t necessarily mean “sad,” given current events, I suppose I did lean into the melancholy a bit. Several sources credit the haunting melody of Oy Khodyt Son with being the inspiration for Gershwin’s “Summertime.”

Pronunciation Guide

Oy khodyt’ son, kolo vikon.                The Dream passes by the window,
A drimota kolo plota.                           And Sleep by the fence.
Pytayetsya son drimoty:                     The Dream asks Sleep:

A de budem nochuvaty?                    Where shall we spend the night?

De khaton’ka teplesen’ka,                   Where the cottage is warm,
De dytynka malesen’ka,                      Where the baby is tiny,
Tudy pidem nochuvaty                       There we will go,
I dytynku kolysaty.                              And rock the child to sleep.

Oy na kota ta vorkota,                        Oh, the cat and the coo,
Na dytynu ta y drimota,                     On the child and a nap,
Kotyk bude vorkotaty,                        The cat will coo,
Dytynonʹka bude spaty.                     The baby will sleep.


Mark Burrows
Director of Children’s Ministries


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