Blue & Gold

from by Matthew | Stephen

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Maidon means square in Ukrainian. "The Maidon" is the city center or main open area - in Kiev it was the place where the revolution took place. I visited Kiev before and after the revolution. On my last trip, I was moved by displays of Ukrainian patriotism. You couldn't help to see the flag everywhere. I did see it flying over the Maidon. I did see a widow place one on a shrine, and yes there were a hundred in a line, made up from paving stones ripped off the street. I didn't photo the widow, but I did get the shot associated with this song of a grandfather and his grandson looking at the shrine of the boy's father. And of course the grandfather's hat - blue and gold.

A month after I got back, at 3am, I woke up and this song came to me. I had spend 12 hours going from Odessa to Bucharest Romania crossing western Ukraine. 12 hours of nothing but blue sky and gold wheat and sunflower fields as far as the eye can see. Blue and gold. When I made the association to the colors of the Ukrainian flag to the countryside, this song wrote itself.

And to the good people of Ukraine - слава Украины

lyrics

Saw your flag dance on flag poles
I saw it hung from high windows
I saw it as woven charms
Wrapped around your children's arms

I saw it in the early dawn
Flying over the Maidon
A widow placed one on a shrine
It was one of hundreds in a line

I even saw it on TV
Alongside the word victory
Pinned fast to your soldier's chests
And draped over machine gun nests

It hit me on a speeding train
Cutting through gold fields of grain
Blue and gold on an endless plane
I was staring at the flag Ukraine

credits

from Blue & Gold, released November 22, 2015
Ken Lazzo production. Anna Nicholson piano. Joe Brooks drums. Melinda Brooks viola.

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Matthew | Stephen Washington, D.C.

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