Vichnaya Pamyat (Eternal Memory)

  • Number of parts: 3
  • Difficulty: Quite Easy
A short, but powerful, Ukrainian funeral song.


Sung at the Natural Voice Network’s Annual Gathering, January 2023

Tickets available


This short song has a melody and two, mostly lower, harmonies. None of the parts are long or complex, but a little time and concentration is needed when putting them together so I would categorise the song as: QUITE EASY.

I learnt the words, and a half-remembered tune, for this song from Maria, a member of one of my regular singing groups, whose father was Ukrainian. She sang it at family funerals, when the congregation followed the priest in what seemed to be a ‘loose’ tune with extendable timing, but she now wanted to sing the song at her partner’s funeral, so she needed a clearer sense of the tune. Our research (on the internet and via two Ukrainian women living locally), suggests that the words: Vichnaya Pamyat (meaning Eternal Memory), are spoken and/or sung at funerals and at the Panakhyda (memorial service for the repose of the dead) many times and in may ways. They may be half spoken / half sung and the tune may be repeated or extemporised. Among the many and varied versions, we discovered one that felt familiar to Maria, but found no information about a composer. Having listened to a few different settings for these words, I’ve added harmonies in, what I hope is, an appropriate style.

We have continued to sing this song, in support of the people of Ukraine, since the invasion of their country by Russia in 2022.