Jamala-1944 Song

With the current tension between Russia and the Ukraine, I couldn’t help being reminded of the 2016 Eurovision Song contest winner.

“1944” is a song written and performed by Ukrainian singer Jamala. It represented Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 and won with a total of 534 points.

The lyrics for “1944” concern the deportation of the Crimean Tatars, in the 1940s, by the Soviet Union at the hands of Joseph Stalin because of their alleged collaboration with the Nazis. Jamala was particularly inspired by the story of her great-grandmother Nazylkhan, who was in her mid-20s when she and her five children were deported to barren Central Asia. One of the daughters did not survive the journey. Jamala’s great-grandfather was fighting in World War II in the Red Army at this time and thus could not protect his family. The song was also released amid renewed repression of Crimean Tatars following the Russian annexation of Crimea, since most Crimean Tatars refuse to accept the annexation.

These are the lyrics:

When strangers are coming
They come to your house
They kill you all
and say
We’re not guilty
not guilty


Where is your mind?
Humanity cries
You think you are gods
But everyone dies
Don’t swallow my soul
Our souls


Yaşlığıma toyalmadım
Men bu yerde yaşalmadım
Yaşlığıma toyalmadım
Men bu yerde yaşalmadım


We could build a future
Where people are free
to live and love
The happiest time
Where is your heart?
Humanity rise
You think you are gods
But everyone dies
Don’t swallow my soul
Our souls

Yaşlığıma toyalmadım
Men bu yerde yaşalmadım
Yaşlığıma toyalmadım
Men bu yerde yaşalmadım

We could build a future
Where people are free
To live and love
The happiest time

Where is your heart?
Humanity rise
You think you are gods
But everyone dies
Don’t swallow my soul
Our souls

I couldn’t spend my youth there
Because you took away my peace
I couldn’t spend my youth there
Because you took away my peace.

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