“Carol of the Bells” wasn’t always a Christmas song
Shchedryk, meaning “bountiful evening,” is a Ukrainian New Year’s song dating back to 1916. Known in English as “the Little Swallow,” the song tells the story of a swallow that flies into a home and sings of the wealth that will come the following spring. The English translation reads:
Shchedryk, shchedryk, shchedrivka
A little swallow flew
and started to twitter,
to summon the master:
“Come out, come out, O master,
look at the sheep pen,
there the ewes have stumbled
and the lambkins have been born
Your goods are great,
you will have a lot of money,
if not money, then chaff:
you have a dark-eyebrowed wife.
Shchedryk, shchedryk, a shchedrivka,
A little swallow flew.
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