Vera Farmiga, star of The Conjuring Universe, is a bit of a metalhead. When we say a bit, we mean quite a lot, considering she’s now performed Iron Maiden with Scott Ian, of Anthrax fame.
The performance took place at a show for Rock School, a music school based in Woodstock, New York. Farmiga kicks off by screaming “Slava Ukraine”, a warcry that translates to “Glory to Ukraine”, before storming into her rendition of ‘The Trooper’, one of Iron Maiden’s staples. Farmiga’s parents are Ukrainian, and the nation’s flag is hoisted high for the song’s duration.
A clip of the makeshift cover band can be found on Farmiga’s Instagram account, along with a link to help support the people of Ukraine. “Lovers of life and liberty, Ukrainians are the bravest souls,” she wrote in another post as the video’s been picked up by music outlets. They will defend their land, identity, culture, language, and freedom to the death, without regret or fear. And we each should help them every way we can.”
On February 24, 2022, Russia started invading Ukraine, a militarised act of aggression resulting in 4.2 million people leaving their homes due to the violence. This is believed to be the largest refugee crisis Europe has seen since the Second World War.
Many resources have come to the aid of Ukraine, offering shelter for its people and charitable donations. Multiple international sanctions have been placed on Russia. Meanwhile, the United Nations has condemned Vladimir Putin’s ongoing attack and the International Criminal Court has opened an investigation into war crimes against Ukraine.
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‘The Trooper’, released by Iron Maiden in 1983 on the Piece of Mind album, contains lyrics inspired by the Charge of the Light Brigade, during the Battle of Balaclava in 1854. Though somewhat removed from what Ukraine is facing, the theme of facing battle head-on makes it poignant and appropriate, especially in light of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky’s refusal to leave Kyiv.