Saturday, 5 March 2022

A Gedge raffle to support Ukraine

A week ago last Thursday, I posted a track by Wedding Present spin-off The Ukrainians. Well, here's another thing in a similar light - David Gedge is running a raffle to win some terrific Ukrainians-themed prizes ... well, I'll let him explain, shall I?

Support the people of Ukraine and win yourself Wedding Present rarities!

Between 1987 and 1989 The Wedding Present, in a completely unforeseen move, famously recorded three sessions for John Peel performing Ukrainian folk music. For the recordings, which were as accomplished as they were surprising, the band was augmented by Roman Remeynes and [The Legendary] Len Liggins.

You can now purchase a download of one of those tracks, the seven and a half minute long classic, Verkhovyno, here.

All profits from this download will be donated to charities benefitting the Ukrainian people.

Not only that, each download comes with a free raffle ticket with which you could possibly win one of the prizes listed below. The download costs £1 but, if you pay more, you will be allocated more raffle tickets. For example, if you spend £10, ten raffle tickets will be allotted to you.

The prize draw will take place at 7PM GMT on Friday 11 March 2022.

The prizes

  1. An original 1989 pressing of the Ukrainski Vistupi V Johna Peela 10” mini-LP. This is a copy of the rare Reception Records version which was never officially released. Signed by David Gedge.
  2. An original 1989 RCA Records pressing of the Ukrainski Vistupi V Johna Peela 10” mini-LP. Signed by David Gedge.
  3. A "for-promotional-use-only" 7” single of two tracks from the sessions. Only a handful of these were ever pressed. Signed by David Gedge.


Verkhovyno is one of the most popular folk songs in Ukraine. It describes the natural beauty of Verkhovyna, which is both a village and a region in the stunning Carpathian Mountains. The area has a rich cultural and historical tradition and has now become a popular tourist destination for Ukrainians. The song describes a remote and peaceful place, where the waters of the River Cheremosh flow freely and happily. It is a metaphor for the peace that Ukrainians crave to this day, following a turbulent history of invasion, oppression and cultural suppression.


Oh, highlands, our world
Oh, how charming it is here
The waters play and time flows
Freely, noisily and happily
Oh, there is no boundary on these highlands!
I can walk there for at least an hour
From peak to peak and from wood to wood
With light thoughts in your heart
A gun in your belt and an axe in your hand
It can make a young man's blood soar!
River Cheremosh, River Cheremosh
Your waters run quickly!
Young girl from Verkhovyna
How exquisite is your beauty!
And I like that girl
Who is as white as a goose
She will kiss me
I only have to stay


Released March 4, 2022
Traditional, arranged Gedge (Copyright Control)
Performed by The Wedding Present
Recorded: 15 March 1988 at BBC Maida Vale Studio 4 (London, England)
First broadcast: 5 April 1988
Producer: Dale Griffin
Recording engineer: Mike Robinson
Mastering engineer: Xavi Alarcón

As if you need any more incentive, the track is an absolute belter, gathering speed in just the way you want a Ukrainian folk tune to gather speed. So what are you waiting for? Go and buy your raffle ticket!