A protest song against the Ukrainian war.

That has been the reason why the Pink Floyd band met again to record their first new material in 28 years .

The song Hey Hey, Rise Up! (“Hey, hey, get up!”) brings together David Gilmour and Nick Mason along with bassist Guy Pratt and Nitin Sawhney on keyboards.

The new piece is based on a chilling chorus by Ukrainian singer Andriy Khlyvnyuk of the band Boombox.

Gilmour says that the song is an expression of “anger against a superpower invading a peaceful nation”.

But he also intends to boost the morale of the Ukrainian people and call “for peace.”

Roger Waters did not participate in the new recording. He left the band in 1985 and has only occasionally performed with them since.

“A beautiful song”

Work on the song began a couple of weeks ago, when Gilmour saw Khlyvnyuk’s Instagram posts.

The Ukrainian singer had posted images of himself in Kiev’s Sofiyskaya Square, fully armed and ready to fight the Russian invasion.

Facing the camera, Khlyvnyuk sang the song The Red Viburnum In The Meadow , whose protest lyrics were written during World War I. The verses have become a rallying cry in Ukraine for the past six weeks.

“I realized that because it’s a cappella, you could turn this into a beautiful song,” Gilmour told the BBC.

Gilmour contacted Khlyvnyuk for permission.

I spoke with him, in fact he was in a hospital bed, because he had a minor wound from a mortar,” said the musician.

“I put a bit of the song on the phone line and he gave me his blessing.”

A sunflower

The song was released at midnight this Friday and the proceeds went to humanitarian aid.

The subject has a special meaning for Gilmour, since his daughter-in-law is the Ukrainian artist Janina Pedan.

She inspired the single, which is illustrated with Ukraine’s national flower, the sunflower.

“My daughter-in-law told us the story of a woman at the beginning of this conflict, who gave sunflower seeds to Russian soldiers and said she hoped sunflowers would sprout where they died.”

Gilmour said he found the West’s “helplessness” in the face of Russian aggression “irritating,” but added that he supports ongoing sanctions against the country.

“It’s a shame that the people who suffer the most are ordinary people in Russia, but that’s how sanctions work. They help create discontent in that country which will hopefully at some point lead to some kind of regime change.”

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