Pink Floyd members reunite to record charity song for Ukraine relief

For the first time in 28 years, Pink Floyd is releasing new music.

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Proceeds from the English rock band’s first single since 1994, “Hey Hey Rise Up,” will go to the Ukraine Humanitarian Relief Fund, Rolling Stone reported.

The song, which will be released Friday, features Pink Floyd members David Gilmour and Nick Mason, with vocals from Ukrainian singer Andriy Khlyvnyuk of the band BoomBox, according to The Associated Press. Roger Waters, who left the band during the 1980s, was not involved in the project.

The track features Khlyvnyuk singing the Ukrainian song, “The Red Viburnum in the Meadow,” from a clip he recorded in front of Kyiv’s St. Sophia Cathedral, Rolling Stone reported. Khlyvnyuk sang the song to the empty streets in Kyiv’s Sofiyskaya Square.

Gilmour told The Guardian he was inspired to make new music after watching the Instagram video of Khlyvnyuk, who left BoomBox’s U.S. tour to join the Ukrainian army when Russia invaded his country on Feb. 24.

The song was a 1914 protest song written in honor of the Sich Riflemen who fought in World War I and the Ukrainian war of independence, the newspaper reported.

“I thought: that is pretty magical and maybe I can do something with this,” Gilmour told The Guardian. “I’ve got a big platform that (Pink Floyd) have worked on for all these years. It’s a really difficult and frustrating thing to see this extraordinarily crazy, unjust attack by a major power on an independent, peaceful, democratic nation. The frustration of seeing that and thinking, ‘What the (expletive) can I do?’ is sort of unbearable.”

The song’s video shows the band recording the tune with a Ukrainian flag and Khlyvnyuk’s video projected behind them, Rolling Stone reported. There is also video footage of Ukrainians affected by the war.

Gilmour has voiced his support for Ukraine since the invasion began last month. In early March he tweeted, “Russian soldiers, stop killing your brothers. There will be no winners in this war. My daughter-in-law is Ukrainian and my granddaughters want to visit and know their beautiful country. Stop this before it is all destroyed. (Vladimir) Putin must go.”

Nearly two weeks later Gilmour removed his solo albums and the albums Pink Floyd released from 1987 to the present from streaming services in Russia and Belarus, according to Rolling Stone.

Gilmour said he spoke to Khlyvnyuk, who was recovering in a hospital from a mortar shrapnel injury, the AP reported.

“I played him a little bit of the song down the phone line and he gave me his blessing,” Gilmour told the AP. “We both hope to do something together in person in the future.”