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Shen Khar Venakhi

Demetrius I of Georgia. Fresco from Matskvarishi

Thou Art a Vineyard (Georgian: შენ ხარ ვენახი, romanized: 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 anti-religious 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 representative of the late Medieval traditions of the Georgian Renaissance.

Text

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

It was performed in a Georgian 1969 film, Don't Grieve.

Its rendition can be heard in 'The Poet in the Prince's Court' segment of the Soviet Armenian film The Color of Pomegranates.

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

References

  1. ^ "Civilization VI: Rise and Fall – First Look: Georgia". Archived from the original on 2021-12-18. Retrieved Jul 31, 2019 – via www.youtube.com.
  2. ^ "Georgia Theme - Industrial (Civilization 6 OST Preview) | Shen Khar Venakhi; Tsaiqvanes Tamar Kali". Archived from the original on 2021-12-18. Retrieved Jul 31, 2019 – via www.youtube.com.
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Shen Khar Venakhi
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