The Oktay Ensemble - That We Shoulild Build - Spiritual Poems (SKMR​-​082)

by The Oktay Ensemble

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $5 USD  or more




Founded in 1990, the name of the children`s folklore-ethnographic ensemble "Oktay" comes from the Greek word “Octoechos”, meaning “Eight Voices” – just like the liturgical book of the Orthodox Church which comprises texts and musical notation in the “Kriuki” format.

From the very beginning the ensemble has conducted ethnographic work on the musical culture of the “Staro Vera” (Old Believers) living in remote areas high up in the mountain headwaters of the great Siberian Yenisei river – in the Maly (small) valley which is to be found in the republic of Tyva, part of the Russian Federation. Driven there many years ago by the authorities, these people kept their faith, their way of life and independence from the various officials, mainstream customs and culture – being, in fact, the only carriers of these living ancient traditions.

The Old Believers of Tuva are custodians of some unique illuminated manuscripts dating back to the eighteenth century, as well as verbal and musical culture, music traditions and a way of life that should be considered as the heritage of both Russian and Tuvan culture. These involve not least the “Stikhi” – in Russian meaning “The Verses” – spiritual poems.

What is a “Stikh”? This is a product of oral folk traditions of a non-canonical genre, spiritual verses sung by the Old Believers or, as we would understand it in our own world, simple songs. “Stikhi” present many Biblical stories and legends as well as spiritual poems about the human soul. Among the religious Verses of the Old Believers of the upper Yenisei are examples without any counterpart in other regions of the country.

For the last 20 years, I have often been asked the question "Can children sing spiritual poetry?". Time has shown not only that they can, but they should! A spiritual verse can teach us not just to listen and hear, but also to think and empathize with children who might not actually know something, but who can feel much better and in more subtle ways than adults. Practice shows that religious poems are very near, understandable and accessible in performance, even for very young children. This is thanks both to their simple melodies, similar to lullabies, and their texts which are very simple, understandable and have been honed through time by many generations. From the texts of the “Stikhi” religious poems, children learn about the birth and resurrection of Jesus Christ, Prince Vladimir, the Great Flood, Sodom and Gomorrah and also about the great preachers of Russian Christianity.


released June 10, 2010

Musicians of the ensemble:
Ponomareva Nadyezhda Vasilevna - Honored Worker of Culture r.Tyva, Artistic Director of the Children's Center of the traditional Russian Culture
Ahpasheva Maya Y. - graduate Kyzylsky School of Arts
Ahpasheva Maria Y. - student, Krasnoyarsk State Art Institute
Kosykh Victor V. - student Krasnoyarsk Academy of Music and Theater
Vysotin Sergei P. - student of Siberian State Academy
Grigorovich Elena V. - graduate from Novosibirsk State Academy of Geodesy
Sugorakova Lizaveta G. - student of St. Petersburg State University of Culture and Arts
Ogneva Juliya S. - laboratory Tuva Institute of Complex Natural Resources
Menshikov Ivan A. - graduate Tuva State University


all rights reserved


Track Name: That We Should Build
1. That we should build

That we should build
That we should place
In a dark forest, a holy cell
Where people would not walk
Where birds did not fly
He was born the evil Antichrist
Was born and ascended his throne
He casts his nets
To catch the Christian world
Do not walk my children
There by his bestial nets
Track Name: The Monastery Long Ago Stood High
2. The Monastery long ago stood high

The monastery long ago stood high
Long ago stood on a steep hill,
On the steep hill up on high
By the river and trees there is beautiful garden
On the trees sit little birds
They sing songs of Paradise
Sing songs of praise
They console the monks of God
The labourers and supplicants of God
They pray, in one bow
They pray and worship
As a tree worships the Earth
Track Name: You Are The Path, You Are The Lord
3. You are the Path, you are the Lord

You are the Path, you are the Lord
And no one was walking along it
But there came and passed three angels
Yes, three angels, yes three Archangels
And with them they brought a sinning soul
Yes brought, brought with them, and they asked
Why is it, Soul, that you are walking past Paradise?
Ah, how come you, Soul, did not get into Heaven?
You for your avarice and you for your stupidity
You for all those words, those bad-tempered words
To live happily in our Paradise
Ai, to live happily there are but few
Ai, in the midst of Paradise stands a tree
Ai, the tree is made of vitriol
On it the leaves glisten
Sit saruvimskiya birdis
Singing the songs of the Seraphim
Track Name: The Oktay Ensemble - I Lead A Tearful Life
4. I lead a tearful life

I lead a tearful life
For my whole life on this whole earth *
The bliss of Paradise I forget
Which has all the beauty *
But with my evil temper
I imitate vanity *
Death, with a scythe on his back
Walks, and does not sleep *
Walks, and oversees
Whose head to take off *
Death takes them from the poor
And does not spare the rich *
Whoever lives righteously in this world
Will live to an old age *
But those living in depravity
Will soon flow into the earth *

* Repeat twice
Track Name: The Oktay Ensemble - Lament of the Desert Inhabitants
5. Lament of the desert people (fragment)

For our sins on our country
The Lord hath visited such misfortune
A dark cloud shines everywhere
The sky and the air in a darker gloom

The sun in the sky hides its beams
And the moonlight is murky in the night
While the stars darken the gloom
And daylight lays down into dark

Then all creatures are terrified
And in the abyss everything shudders
When the infernal beast, allows all this
When from solid shackles he was set loose

About fiercely spat his poison
In the red Catholic vertograd
Zelo evil enemy then roars
And ordered the Catholics to torment

Honest monks he caught
Killed with evil executions
Everywhere the faithful stabbed
Like klasove, reaped

False teachers are revered
On chairs, all ye that are raised
Faithful churches are destroyed
Host and abominations are multiplied

All the prophecies are made
Prophecies come to pass
And what more to we want to expect
In the midst of the world to stay a long time

Already life is this coming to an end
And the day of reckoning is approaching
Be sfraid, Soul, of the terrible Judgement
And the coming of all things terrible

Opened, soul, wings of hardness
Tear the soul mrezhu charm
You bet, soul, to be in the darkest thicket
From the worldy cares so far away

Learn about small cathedral of the faithful
Hidden refuges in the midst of the hills
Do not fear, the soul, the fear of rot
But you should fear the eternal fire

Pour away, soul, a river of tears
Stretch out to God many prayers
Strongly put your hope in Him
Forever and an age let Him be glorified
Track Name: The Oktay Ensemble - Verse About the Flood
6. VERSE about the FLOOD

The Flood rose terribly the people saw and were afraid
Wrath is coming, wrath is coming, wrath is coming
Seeing the water many ran to the steep mountains
There to be saved, to be saved, to be saved
In the wilderness filled with water, all the animals moved
To the top of the mountains, the top of the mountains, the top of the mountains
The Strong and the Meek changed and ceased to threaten one another
The Lion and his prey, the Lion and his prey, the Lion and his prey
Fear subdued the strong, their mouths did not open
Over there, over there, over there
All watched, clearly, as the land became invisible
All the water, all water, all water
Little hills were covered, people gave themselves up to death
Next to the animals, next to the animals, next to the animals
A great shout broke out when they were in the water drowned
In the evil of the hour, the evil of the hour, the evil of the hour
They raised their voices when their souls were taken
In that deathly hour, that deathly hour, that deathly hour
All their strengths failed and they fell into the water
In that flood, in that flood, in that flood
Some swam the waters, but were covered in the waves
In that water, in that water, in that water
Man looked at the Beasts, like opening doors of death
For their sins, for their sins, for their sins
Each person embraced each other, in the last hour separated
From each other, from each other, from each other
Father and son they said goodbye, mother and daughter were separated
In that bitter hour, in that bitter hour, in that bitter hour,
Bitterly wept the onlookers, raising their hands aloft
To the Creator of all, to the Creator of all, to the Creator of all
The Creator does not destroy everyone, some of them were held in an Ark
To keep for the future, to keep for the future, to keep for the future
Noah kept in the ark while the flood lasted
Took them there, took them there, took them there,
Then the face of the earth opened, the earth hidden under the water
There is the Land, there is the land, there is the land
Dry Land on the earth and the gates to the ark were opened
Noah went forth, Noah went forth Noah went forth
Behind him the animals came, all played across the earth
And the birds, and the birds, and the birds
Track Name: The Oktay Ensemble - All People Live
7. All people live

All people live and bloom like flowers
And though I am young, I am dried up like old grass
I am going to leave this world, abandon it, go to the monastery *
There I will live and serve all people *
There I will build a new hermitage cottage *
A new hermitage with three small windows *
One window onto the open field *
Another window onto the blue sea *
The third window onto my green garden *
In the open field the men will plow *
And on the blue sea the ships will sail *
And in my garden, nightingales will sing *
Sing, sing you little lark *
In the spring sitting where the snow has just thawed

* Repeat twice
Track Name: The Oktay Ensemble - O, Little Bird
8. O, little bird (VERSE about a Pilgrim)

Oh, you poor little bird
My dear little bird
Why did you fly so early
Into these distant lands
Did a strong wind in a storm
Blow you to this place
Or did the separation from friends or relatives
Call you here
But your pain here is bitter
This land is not sweet to you
There is no freedom for you here
It is hard for you to live here
What grieves you, worries you
And gives such sorrow in your breast?
Who can pour a river of bitter tears
On your sufferings?
Why have you lowered your wings
Why do you not sing sweetly in spring?
Sad head bowed
You do not feed on anything
I fly to a faraway land
And there I hide from people
Beyond forests, seas and rivers
I dwell among the animals
Track Name: The Oktay Ensemble - Do Not Be Discouraged, My Soul
9. Do not be discouraged, my soul

Don't be downcast, don't be downcast my soul
Set your hopes and trust in the Lord
Who will you send to bury me?
Will it be a guardian angel?
Or will it be you, my Lord?
Strengthen me in your love!
Track Name: The Oktay Ensemble - Verse of the End Times
11. Verse of the End Times

The Sun and Moon will darken
And many stars will disappear *
And the heavenly doors will close *
And the heavenly curtains will fall *
And Michael will go up to the mountain *
He will go up onto the rocky mountain *
And will put the golden horn to his mouth *
Get up, alive and dead *
Get up for a Judgement fair
And the righteous will stand up, joyous
And the sinners will stand up, crying tears *
Their own Father and Mother they will curse *
That they did not beat them, or teach them *
Did not send them to God's church *
And so never read God's writings *
And never heard the song of God

* Repeat twice
Track Name: The Oktay Ensemble - Verse of the Prince of Vladimir
10. Verse of the Prince of Vladimir

Hail the eastern Power of Holy Kiev
Grand Prince Vladimir had three sons
The eldest Svyatopolk the smallest Boris and Gleb
Russia divided into three parts to of his sons
To Svyatopolk Chernihiv hail Boris and Gleb limits of Cracow
Prince Vladimir reposed in his own home svyatolepno and blagochestno
Following his chady razydoshasya in their castles
Oh, eveil hater enemy vlastolyubets bogomerzky
It can not ripen bogoderzhtsov blozhisha
Vny Svyatopolk pomyslischa and nauchisha
Like Cain to Abel he beat Boris and Gleb
Had sent to them envoys with a written list poslannyi napisasha
On the advice of a prizyvashe to feast pirovati
Blagovernyya princes Boris and Gleb read the sent list poslannyi prochtosha
Bowed before their mother and went to Svyatopolk poehasha
Oh, evil hater enemy met them in zly in the open field
Fiercely on them vzirashe, anger with fury smeshashe zlyya words nametashe
Aki asp Plesu Forest on blagovonnyya tsvetyyu
Saw it holy his misfortune with tears umyvashe face
Head to the feet preklonyashe fondly to his brother veschashe
Vozopista beautiful two brothers Boris and Gleb
Oh, brother, our oldest Svyatopolche Vladimirovich!
Do you want dominion over us and all the great Russia?
Bear us to your own home to work as faithful servants
Will remember our father begotten us with you spawned there
Do not Make A zlyya laments rozhdshey our mother
Not srezh class nezrelyya not straighten fields nespelyya
Not otrygni this vine root of cheese land
Nedobrezh vine neplodnyya without shedding blood nepovinnyya
Even we are not imams Velma Mlada zlago blemish
Oh, zly hater enemy vlastolyubets bogomerzky
At their tears nevziraet, prayer is listening, forgiveness nepriemlet
Pohitisha Thou Voltz with disfavor nakosnilsya
Not poschadel the two neklasnyh lamb Princes Boris and Gleb
Boris same kopiem probodosha, Gleb same knife zaklasha
The lanky their bodies in ways to draw it like a bandit
Commanded drag saints telescopic, about Mezhuyev bi treasure pogruziti
Sedosha same with the soldiers on their dobryya horses
Poehasha rejoicing in a nice and great in of Cracow deg
Beneath the earth Kolybai Aki wave wind morskago
LORD commanded angels obrezati neighborhood land
Voznesoshasya to heaven and to hell snidoshasya Aki three castles horoziny
Sitse sun into darkness closed and there was the same night, four days
Horrible is the whole universe chayali vtorago Flood
Neither beast nor bird nor gloomy poyade damage
The Lord has shown from the relics and the pillar of fire to heaven
Snidosha as holders princes russtii
Vnesosha same holy relics of a glorious great in degree of Cracow
They put them in the name of the sacred stone church
The grace of God will give the saints moschei, sick as healing
Lame makes walking, the blind gives insight, the sons of Russian pomozhenie
Russia all escaped from a barbaric invasion
Always now and ever and ever amen century
Track Name: The Oktay Ensemble - The Gilded Pipes

The gilded pipes, we praise praise today
The pastoral pipe
miraculous organ of the Holy Spirit
Today the gilded pipes, pipes
Tender SFINIK in the upper chamber, where your PERGAM
NAPOLI the capitals of John Chrysostom
John Chrysostom the Bishop
of Tsargorod
The eternal word of fame KING OF the word eternal
With the Angels rank I cry unto thee
O wrought Abode
Today the bright Abode
Tympanum Golden
The Church of Zion when the sounded the pipe
Do not forget articles with me
Track Name: The Oktay Ensemble - Once Upon A Time a Poor Man
13. Once upon a time a poor man

Once upon a time one poor man
Was once in grief, like Christ on the sand *
Whereever I go, all is misfortune *
Whenever I get up, all is grief *
Here now I leave the world, I will go to a monastery *
There will I live, I will serve God *
I will serve God, to have my body shriven *
And once my body's shriven, all my bones will be dry *
And once all my bones are dry I will get into my coffin *
In my coffin, I will anoint myself with myrrh *
Anointed with myrrh, I will command my bones *
Lie down bones, lie down and do not move *
Lie down and do not move for a terrible Judge awaits you *
When the terrible Judge comes he will find a place for all bones *
For righteous souls a Serene Paradise *
For sinful souls an eternal torment *
A Torment eternal and infinite

* Repeat twice
Track Name: The Oktay Ensemble - As In The Free World
14. As in the free world (after a burial)

As in the free world a soul reigned
A soul reigned, a soul celebrated
Here now a soul passed away
They took that soul, yes to three mountains
On the first mountain a fire burns
Whatever that fire lights is burnt up
The soul weeps, struggles
They took the soul to another mountain
On the other mountain worms squirm
The soul weeps, struggles
They took the soul, yes to the third mountain
As for the third mountain, there the resin boils
Right there - is the place for that soul
Vanity, an eternal celebration
Track Name: The Oktay Ensemble - Why, brothers, have we got together, why, sisters, are we now here?
15. Why brothers, have we got together, why sisters are we now here? (a memorial song)

Why, brothers have we gathered, why sisters are we drawn together
Why sisters are we drawn together?
We are gathered today to remember all the dead
To remember all the dead
We'll remember their with prayers, we'll shed a drop of tears for them
A drop of tears shed for them
When they were alive they lived to their old age with us
And lived to their old Age with us
Now forever gone, we cannot see them anymore
We cannot see them anymore
We do not see their eyes nor hear their voices
And we do not hear their voices
Remember with bread and salt, even with clean water
Even with clean water
Remember with a kind word, everything will be in front of me
Everything will be in front of me
Still more to be everything to me and remeber my dear family
My dear family
I served you meekly, do not forget about me
Do not forget about me
Come often to church, where I am thirsty, I await you there
Where I am thirsty, I await you there
And let's pray together to our Holy Father in heaven
Pray to the heavens
I'm not afraid of the this world, I have gone forever
I have gone forever
I am only afraid that, with sins, I came to the Lord
I came to the Lord
Track Name: The Oktay Ensemble - Lord, Remember Me
16. Lord, remember me (From the book "Bogoglasnika")

Remember Lord!
All the fathers, and parents
And the good mothers of those fathers
Their toddlers, and babies
Write them down O Lord
In the Church registers
On the Cross of the Lord
Remember them, O Lord
Create them, O Lord
All in your eternal memory!
Track Name: The Oktay Ensemble - The Sea Of Life - Zhiteyskoye More
17. Sea of life

The Sea of Life plays with waves
In it joy and sorrow, always before us
Nobody can tell for sure, nobody knows
What might happen, what tomorrow may bring
Rich today, feasting luxuriously
Unable to know God's will
Perhaps you will make friends with a sack
And roam the world with the bitter tears
the Sea of Life, wave after wave
Changes rapidly, one after another
Oarsmen row the boat along on waves
And you, my most sweet, should lift your eyes up to heaven

* Repeat twice

If you like The Oktay Ensemble - That We Shoulild Build - Spiritual Poems (SKMR-082), you may also like: