Shen Khar Venakhi

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Demetrius I of Georgia. Fresco from Matskvarishi

Thou Art a Vineyard (Georgian: შენ ხარ ვენახი, transliterated: Shen Khar Venakhi) is a medieval Georgian hymn. The text is attributed to King Demetrius I of Georgia (1093–1156). The composer of the music is unknown. Supposedly Demetrius I wrote it during his confinement as a monk in the David Gareja Monastery. The hymn is dedicated to Georgia and the patronage of the Virgin Mary; it is also a prayer of praise to Mary in the Georgian Orthodox Church.

As the lyrics did not mention any saints or gods, this was the only church-song that was permitted to be performed in the atheistic Soviet Union. There are East Georgian (Kartli-Kakhetian) and West Georgian (Gurian) versions of this chant with very different musical compositions.

Thou Art a Vineyard is usually sung by a choir without instrumental accompaniment and is a classic example of Georgian choral music. The hymn is characterized as very polyphonic and is representative of the late Medieval traditions of the Georgian Renaissance.

Text[edit]

Georgian text Transliteration English translation

შენ ხარ ვენახი, ახლად აყვავებული,
ნორჩი კეთილი, ედემს შინა ნერგული,
(ალვა სუნელი, სამოთხეს ამოსული,)
(ღმერთმან შეგამკო ვერვინა გჯობს ქებული,)
და თავით თვისით მზე ხარ და გაბრწყინვებული.

shen khar venakhi, akhlad aq'vavebuli.
norchi k'etili, edems shina nerguli.
(alva suneli, samotkhes amosuli.)
(ghmertman shegamk'o vervina gjobs kebuli.)
da tavit tvisit mze khar da gabrts'q'invebuli.

You are a vineyard newly blossomed.
Young, beautiful, growing in Eden,
(A fragrant poplar sapling in Paradise.)
(May God adorn you. No one is more worthy of praise.)
You yourself are the sun, shining brilliantly.

Popular culture[edit]

This song is used as Georgia's musical theme in the video-game expansion, Civilization VI: Rise and Fall[1][2].

References[edit]

External links[edit]