The lyrics of the song were written by the Ukrainian poet and writer Yevhen Hrebinka. The first publication of the poem was in Literaturnaya gazeta on 17 January 1843.
The words were subsequently set to Florian Hermann's Valse Hommage (in an arrangement by S. Gerdel') and published as a romance on 7 March 1884.
Although often characterised as a Russian gypsy song, the words and music were written respectively by a Ukrainian poet and a German composer: Florian Hermann. Additionally, Hermann's melody bears noticeable resemblance to portions of the Concerto in Esf by Franz Anton Hoffmeister. Feodor Chaliapin popularised the song abroad in a version amended by himself.
Gil the Instrument Lover