Pink Floyd release first original song since 1994 in aid of Ukraine

It’s been a long, long time, but Pink Floyd has released their first new original song since 1994 and for a good cause.

Titled ‘Hey Hey Rise Up’, the song has been released in support of Ukraine as they continue to be attacked by Russia. While original member Roger Waters doesn’t feature, David Gilmour and Nick Mason are joined by longtime bassist Guy Pratt and keyboardist Nitin Sawhney. Andriy Khlyvnyuk of Ukraine rockers Boombox also appears to give the song a local touch.

The band recorded ‘Hey Hey Rise Up’ just last week on Wednesday, March 30th, using Khlyvnyuk’s vocals from his performance of ‘The Red Viburnum in the Meadow’, a Ukrainian protest anthem during World War I. The title of Pink Floyd’s song actually comes from the last line of ‘The Red Viburnum in the Meadow’: “Hey hey rise up and rejoice.”

Gilmour explained why they decided to release the song in a press statement. “We, like so many, have been feeling the fury and the frustration of this vile act of an independent, peaceful democratic country being invaded and having its people murdered by one of the world’s major powers,” he said.

“Recently I read that Andriy had left his American tour with Boombox, had gone back to Ukraine, and joined up with the Territorial Defense,” Gilmour continued. “Then I saw this incredible video on Instagram, where he stands in a square in Kyiv with this beautiful gold-domed church and sings in the silence of a city with no traffic or background noise because of the war. It was a powerful moment that made me want to put it to music.”

What Gilmour says is completely true: Khlyvnyuk was actually in a Kyiv hospital for a war injury when he gave the musician permission to use his vocal sample in the song.

The iconic British band last released an original song when they made their 1994 album The Division Bell. They did release an album in 2014, The Endless River, but it contained mostly instrumental pieces that were initially created during the recordings for The Division Bell.

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‘Hey Hey Rise Up’ is out now on all digital platforms. Proceeds from the song are going to the Ukraine Humanitarian Relief Fund.

For more on this topic, follow the Classic Rock Observer.

Check out ‘Hey Hey Rise Up’ by Pink Floyd ft. Andriy Khlyvnyuk:

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